Thanks, Kevin. But that would mean a lot more to travelers if you hadn't spent so much time after 9/11 trying to, well, stop the government from spending incremental dollars on intelligence gathering and risk-management analysis and sharing, which at the time you were calling "invasive screening" and "data mining."
Kevin Mitchell's Business Travel Coalition was a leader in opposing Automated Targeting System (ATS), the database that is used by CBP to keep terrorists out of the country. That's the one that seems to worry al Qaeda so much that it keeps trying to blow up planes before its operatives have to go through US immigration and customs. It is one of the most effective "intelligence gathering and risk-management analysis" systems the US has. Yet if Mitchell had his way, the system would have been suspended or killed years ago. Here's an excerpt from one letter he signed in 2006 about ATS:
screening of millions of business travelers entering and exiting the
U.S. could do significant personal harm to them, and reduce the
productivity of the organizations that field business travelers.
ATS is a truly monolithic and disturbing data-mining program which
allows for the aggregation of personal information on business
travelers; forbids travelers from accessing and correcting
inaccuracies; provides for the sharing of such information with
foreign governments and third parties; and retains travelers’ personal
information in a dossier for 40 years.
Of particular worry is that ATS was widely thought to be strictly for
cargo screening. It was discovered only recently that data on
travelers have been collected for at least four years without the
awareness of the U.S. Congress or foreign governments whose citizens
are being profiled. What's more, a dossier is being maintained on
these travelers without their knowledge or consent.
We Signatories to this letter urge you to suspend the ATS program
immediately; provide substantially more details on the program to us
and our elected representatives; and proceed with ATS only through an
official rulemaking with a significant public comment period, per
requirements of the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974."
I am glad when anyone converts, of course, but Mr. Mitchell ought to admit somewhere that he's been on the other side of this debate for years.