So, the Department of Homeland Security has decided to be slightly less stupid in their hunt for international terrorists travelling by air.

Their watch list has created a ton of complaints as people with the same or similar sounding names of known terrorists have been stopped searched and even prevented from boarding. The most famous example of this idiocy was Ted Kennedy, who was stopped several times because someone uses that name as an alias.

So, a few years (and 16,000 online complaints from customers) later, they’ve come up with a genius way of avoiding this unneccesary inconvenience. It’s obviously taken a lot of time and consideration, no doubt they’ve spent millions on the solution, which is, to compare birth dates. From The Register:

According to the TSA, 97 per cent of those who complained weren’t actually on the list. They merely shared a name with someone on it. As of November, the TSA needed an average of 44 days to officially resolve these cases of mistaken identity – i.e. put namesakes on a second list that says they’re not on the first one.

Thankfully, the DHS has taken a step to alleviate this backlog. The only question is why it took them so long. Does it really take more than a year to realize that namesakes can be freed if airlines simply record their birth dates?

Sigh. I want to find out what the job position is and how much one gets paid to sit around and take that much time and taxpayer money to come up with solutions a 3rd grader could think of.

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