Archive for the TSA Category

TSA to expand pre-check screening at airports to sporting events, music festivals, rodeos and train terminals

Posted in Homeland Security, TSA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2013 by saynsumthn

The TSA is expanding its passenger screening process, according to a report in the New York Times. The TSA will use government and private records in order to pre-screen fliers and streamline the security process.

According to the New York Times, the agency says that the goal is to streamline the security procedures for millions of passengers who pose no risk, the new measures give the government greater authority to use travelers’ data for domestic airport screenings. Previously that level of scrutiny applied only to individuals entering the United States.

The prescreening, some of which is already taking place, is described in documents the T.S.A. released to comply with government regulations about the collection and use of individuals’ data, but the details of the program have not been publicly announced.

It is unclear precisely what information the agency is relying upon to make these risk assessments, given the extensive range of records it can access, including tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information.

The measures go beyond the background check the government has conducted for years, called Secure Flight, in which a passenger’s name, gender and date of birth are compared with terrorist watch lists. Now, the search includes using a traveler’s passport number, which is already used to screen people at the border, and other identifiers to access a system of databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.

Privacy groups contacted by The New York Times expressed concern over the security agency’s widening reach.

The Transportation and Security Administration is expanding its’ reach to sporting events, music festivals, rodeos and train terminals. It’s all part of the TSA’s Intermodal Prevention and Response Squad (VIPR). However, complaints about TSA misconduct have increased by 27 % in the last two year, per a recent Government Accountability Office report. Michael Brooks, Producers producer for The Majority Report joins us to discuss whether the TSA is really the best situated agency to search Americans everywhere they go.

Critics argue that the problem with what the TSA calls an “intelligence-driven, risk-based analysis” of passenger data is that secret computer rules, not humans, make these determinations. Civil liberties groups have questioned whether the agency has the legal authority to make these assessments, which the T.S.A. has claimed in Federal Register notices and privacy disclosures about the initiative. Privacy advocates have also disputed whether computer algorithms can accurately predict terrorist intent.

The airline industry has supported the expansion of PreCheck and using data about travelers to decide who should receive more or less scrutiny at checkpoints, to reduce security bottlenecks and focus resources on higher-risk passengers.

At the heart of the expanded effort is a database called the Automated Targeting System, which is maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and screens travelers entering the United States.

Data in the Automated Targeting System is used to decide who is placed on the no-fly list — thousands of people the United States government has banned from flying — and the selectee list, an unknown number of travelers who are required to undergo more in-depth screening, like Mr. Darrat. The T.S.A. also maintains a PreCheck disqualification list, tracking people accused of violating security regulations, including disputes with checkpoint or airline staff members.

Much of this personal data is widely shared within the Department of Homeland Security and with other government agencies. Privacy notices for these databases note that the information may be shared with federal, state and local authorities; foreign governments; law enforcement and intelligence agencies — and in some cases, private companies for purposes unrelated to security or travel.

For instance, an update about the T.S.A.’s Transportation Security Enforcement Record System, which contains information about travelers accused of “violations or potential violations” of security regulations, warns that the records may be shared with “a debt collection agency for the purpose of debt collection.”

A recent privacy notice about PreCheck notes that fingerprints submitted by people who apply for the program will be used by the F.B.I. to check its unsolved crimes database.

“The average person doesn’t understand how much intelligence-driven matching is going on and how this could be accessed for other purposes,” said Khaliah Barnes, a lawyer with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which has fought to block these initiatives. “There’s no meaningful oversight, transparency or accountability.”

For travelers who feel they have been wrongly placed on some type of watch list or experienced security screening problems, the Department of Homeland Security has established a Traveler Redress Inquiry Program. According to a review by the department’s Privacy Office, there were at least 13,000 inquiries to the redress program in the nine months ending March 31, but civil liberties groups and some travelers described the redress process as a black hole.

“A lot of people I know have tried it,” Mr. Darrat said. “And it just doesn’t really make a difference.”

21 TSA Workers arrested !!

Posted in TSA with tags , , on October 1, 2013 by saynsumthn

A total of 21 Transportation Security Administration officers at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport have now been arrested following the investigation into stolen employee parking passes.

The probe started several months ago with an undercover investigation by the airport’s Department of Public Safety. The last arrests were made over this past weekend.

Investigators found an American Eagle worker had stolen 129 parking passes for employee parking lots and recruited TSA officers to sell the passes to co-workers for $100 apiece.

The American Eagle employee has been fired, and at least eight of the 21 TSA agents have been suspended indefinitely without pay.

TSA officers at DFW Airport — even part-time — are required to pay $102 every quarter to park in two employee parking lots. The stolen airline parking passes allegedly sold for $100 allowed employees to park for one year.

More here

Father: TSA Left My Baby Bleeding

Posted in TSA with tags , , , on November 21, 2012 by saynsumthn

Big Brother wants to read your e-mail and Texas bill may Nullify NDAA Detention and TSA screening

Posted in Alex Jones, Big Brother, NDAA, Privacy, TSA with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2012 by saynsumthn

A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)

It’s an abrupt departure from Leahy’s earlier approach, which required police to obtain a search warrant backed by probable cause before they could read the contents of e-mail or other communications. The Vermont Democrat boasted last year that his bill “provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by… requiring that the government obtain a search warrant.”

Leahy had planned a vote on an earlier version of his bill, designed to update a pair of 1980s-vintage surveillance laws, in late September. But after law enforcement groups including the National District Attorneys’ Association and the National Sheriffs’ Association organizations objected to the legislation and asked him to “reconsider acting” on it, Leahy pushed back the vote and reworked the bill as a package of amendments to be offered next Thursday. The package (PDF) is a substitute for H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved.

One person participating in Capitol Hill meetings on this topic told CNET that Justice Department officials have expressed their displeasure about Leahy’s original bill. The department is on record as opposing any such requirement: James Baker, the associate deputy attorney general, has publicly warned that requiring a warrant to obtain stored e-mail could have an “adverse impact” on criminal investigations.

Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said requiring warrantless access to Americans’ data “undercuts” the purpose of Leahy’s original proposal. “We believe a warrant is the appropriate standard for any contents,” he said. REST HERE

MEANWHILE:

State lawmakers in Texas are fighting to reassert their citizens’ Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendment rights. Republican legislators have submitted two bills, one to remove the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and the other to stop the intrusive screening procedures of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

HB149, the Texas Liberty Preservation Act filed by state Rep. Lyle Larson, targets the most controversial provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. The online Huffington Post reports,

HB 149 specifically calls out Section 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA, which were recently subjects of a federal lawsuit filed by plaintiffs concerned that the language within the passages could be used to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens.

In October, a federal appeals court rejected the notion that the indefinite detention provisions found within the NDAA pose a reasonable threat to American citizens and blocked an injunction issued by another judge in May who had determined that the NDAA did not “pass constitutional muster.”

According to the appeals judges, “the public interest” outweighed the concerns raised by the plaintiffs. They determined that “the statute does not affect the existing rights of United States citizens.”

Lawmakers in the Lone Star State disagree. According to HB 149, sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA are “inimical to the liberty, security, and well-being of the citizens of the State of Texas” and violate both federal and state constitutions. READ REST HERE

TSA Agent Leaves Grandpa’s Ashes On Floor

Posted in TSA with tags , on June 26, 2012 by saynsumthn

INDIANAPOLIS — A man’s attempt to bring the ashes of his grandfather home to Indianapolis ended with an angry scene in a Florida airport, with the ashes spilled on the terminal floor.

John Gross, a resident of Indianapolis’ south side, was leaving Florida with the remains of his grandfather — Mario Mark Marcaletti, a Sicilian immigrant who worked for the Penn Central Railroad in central Indiana — in a tightly sealed jar marked “Human Remains.”

Gross said he didn’t think he’d have a problem, until he ran into a TSA agent at the Orlando airport.

“They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,'” Gross told RTV6’s Norman Cox. “She picked up the jar. She opened it up.

“I was told later on that she had no right to even open it, that they could have used other devices, like an X-ray machine. So she opened it up. She used her finger and was sifting through it. And then she accidentally spilled it.”

Gross says about a quarter to a third of the contents spilled on the floor, leaving him frantically trying to gather up as much as he could while anxious passengers waited behind him.

Read Rest Here

Woman accused of groping TSA agent

Posted in TSA with tags , , , on June 19, 2012 by saynsumthn

FORT MYERS –

A lot of people get peeved about TSA pat downs. But a Bonita Springs woman is accused of groping an agent at Southwest Florida International Airport and it’s all on tape!

It happened on her way to Cleveland, Ohio. Airline passenger Carol Price says while going through security to catch her flight, a TSA agent groped her.

In response, the video shows Price put down her carry-on bags, turn to a TSA supervisor and grab her – allegedly without permission – to show the supervisor what Price says she went through.

“It was a customer complaint of an extremely inappropriate search,” said Price’s defense attorney John Mills.

Mills says another TSA agent first groped Price’s genitals and breasts.

“She did not touch the supervisor as intrusively as she was touched,” Mills said.

Price says the TSA agent wasn’t following protocol – and she should know.

Price is a former TSA agent who worked at the airport until a few years ago. She got along with some, but not all of her co-workers, and says her pat down was personal.

“She’s obviously been through training and knew this lady,” Mills said.

But Mills admits Price was already emotional that day.

“She was going to her brother’s funeral,” he said, adding that she did not make it.

Instead, Price was removed from the flight, taken to jail and now faces misdemeanor battery charges.

She has pleaded not guilty

“Ms. Price just wants her name cleared,” Mills said.

The TSA says: “The pat down was conducted correctly in accordance with our procedures. Violence against our officers who work every day to keep the traveling public safe is unacceptable.”

A Lee County jury will decide in July.

TSA’s War on Women

Posted in TSA with tags , , , on April 16, 2012 by saynsumthn

Vodpod videos no longer available.

TSA’s War on Women , posted with vodpod

More here