TSA profiling in misguided security effort

As a result of the T.S.A.’s ineffective oversight of the program, it “cannot ensure that passengers at U.S. airports are screened objectively,” The T.S.A.’s “behavioral detection program” is supposed to rely on security officers who pull aside passengers who exhibit what are considered telltale signs of terrorists for additional screening and questioning. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/us/report-says-tsa-screening-program-not-objective.html?ref=us  It is illegal to screen passengers because of their nationality, race, ethnicity or religion.  According to a new report, the T.S.A. has not assessed the effectiveness of the program, which has 2,800 employees and does not have a comprehensive training program. The T.S.A. cannot “show that the program is cost-effective, or reasonably justify the program’s expansion.
The program has been under scrutiny for years. In 2010, the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said that the program, which began in 2003, was started without first determining its potential effectiveness.
As recently as 2011, reports emerged that the program was being used to profile passengers at airports in Newark and Hawaii.
In August, it was reported that more than 30 officers at Logan International Airport in Boston had said that the program was being used to profile passengers like Hispanics traveling to Florida or blacks wearing baseball caps backward.
The officers said that such passengers were being profiled by the officers in response to demands from managers who believed that stopping and questioning them would turn up drugs, outstanding arrest warrants or immigration problems.
The managers wanted to generate arrests so they could justify the program, the officers said, adding that officers who made arrests were more likely to be promoted. The Homeland Security Department said then that its inspector general was investigating the matter, although the coming report does not address the program at Logan Airport.
Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, said that he would be offering an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriations bill this week that would “prevent any more taxpayer dollars from being spent on this failed and misguided effort.”

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