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Next-Gen Airport Security

Bar codes on airline boarding passes could soon contain hidden red flags that warn government security officers at airport checkpoints whether passengers are on a federal watch list of suspected terrorists. Within weeks, the Transportation Security Administration, now part of the Department of Homeland Security, will begin testing, at several midsize airports, a $70 million IT-based system that scans color-coded bar codes imprinted on boarding passes. TSA won't discuss specifics of the system, known as the Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening II program. TSA will name a contractor soon to build a risk-assessment engine to take information from airlines' passenger lists, the government's terrorist-watch list, and other databases, such as those that track international travelers, to generate security codes.

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