Fun Fact #86 about Post-9/11 America

FUN FACT #86: Did you know? ... If your name is on the "No Fly" list, you're fucked!

's RSS feed recently posted a brief article on how to get off the "no-fly" or the "selectee" Watch Lists. Mainly it refers readers to a Transportation Security Administration webpage that includes a downloadable, rather straightforward form for those whose name is on one of these lists erroneously.

However, the article fails to provide the disclaimers found on the TSA's site: Please understand that the TSA clearance process will not remove a name from the Watch Lists.  Instead this process distinguishes passengers from persons who are in fact on the Watch Lists by placing their names and identifying information in a cleared portion of the Lists.  Airline personnel can then more quickly determine when implementing TSA-required identity verification procedures that these passengers are not the person of interest whose name is actually on the Watch Lists.

So essentially, if you're on the list, you stay on the list—even if your only crime is having a name similar to a potential terrorist or "threat to civilian aviation." Even after you fill out the desired form and allow for the likely subsequent background check, you're still stuck.

But hey, it could be worse. You could live in Post-7/7 England, where apparently it is now illegal to ride the tube wearing a rucksack or playing with your mobile phone.