Delta is the first (and so far, only) airline to participate in the federal government’s latest assault on the Constitution: the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II, not to be confused with the previously introduced CAPPS I). Privacy and civil rights activists have rightly been alarmed about the increasing invasion of privacy and limitation of rights introduced by misguided anti-terrorism initiatives such as the USA Patriot act, John Poindexter’s proposed Total Information Awareness, and the well-concealed Patriot II act. To a certain extent, much of the criticism of these is abstract; critics cite the enormous potential for abuse. I think that with CAPPS II, we’re seeing a giant step beyond potential into reality. The boycott organizers cite some good examples of very real problems that law-abiding travellers can expect to encounter as a result of this system. I’m not sure why Delta is so eager to help the feds abuse their customers, but the problem could be mitigated if they suddenly have no customers. This could also send a powerful message to other businesses that their customers will not tolerate such privacy invasions, and could nip any further implementation in the bud.