Societal

TSA searching passengers before they even arrive at the airport by using property, work and car records

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 16:10 EST, 22  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 17:26 EST, 22 October 2013

The Transportation Security Administration is  expanding its searches to check a number of personal records before passengers  even arrive at the airport, newly released documents have revealed.

The TSA already checks travelers against a  terrorist watch list, but it will now reportedly start profiling them based on  previous travel, property records, employment information and car  registrations.

This will lead to a full background check –  meaning much lighter screenings for some, but more invasive baggage checks in  the terminal for others.

Scrutiny: Abdulla Darrat, who said he is singled out for extra security when he flies. The TSA is expanding its screening of travelers before they arrive at the airport by searching government and private databases 

Scrutiny: Abdulla Darrat, who said he is singled out for  extra security when he flies. The TSA is expanding its screening of travelers  before they arrive at the airport by searching government and private  databases

 

Stopped: His boarding card is marked with 'SSSS' and he is pulled over for an extensive baggage check and swabbing for explosives. He assumes it is because he traveled to Libya to see relatives 

Stopped: His boarding card is marked with ‘SSSS’ and he  is pulled over for an extensive baggage check and swabbing for explosives. He  assumes it is because he traveled to Libya to see relatives

 

The prescreening, some of which is  already  taking place, has been detailed in documents the TSA released to comply with  government regulations about the collection of data, the New York  Times reported.

It means that the TSA can access a wide range  of  records, the Times reported, including tax identification number, past  travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics and law  enforcement records.

 

 

THE URBAN PLANNER SCRUTINIZED EVERY TIME HE  TRAVELS

Abdulla  Darrat, an urban planner from  Queens, told the Times he has had to undergo extra  scrutiny all eight times he  has flown since June.

He is unable to check in online and instead  gets a boarding card at the  airport – which is marked with ‘SSSS’ for extra  screening.

‘They pat me down,’ he said. ‘Then they pull  out every single  article of clothing in my bag.’

After his baggage is swabbed for explosive  residue, he is often stopped at the gate too.

‘It adds this whole air of suspicion about me  to everybody on the plane,’ he said.

He said he has assumed the checks are because  he had flown to Libya to see relatives.

For travelers who feel they have been  wrongly placed on a watch list, the Department of Homeland Security has  established a Traveler Redress Inquiry Program to file a  complaint.

‘A lot of people I know have tried it,’  Darrat, 31, said. ‘And it just doesn’t really make a difference.’

The aim of the new checks is that one in four  passengers can eventually undergo lighter screening – meaning they can keep on  their shoes and jackets, wait in special lines and do not have to take laptops  out of bags.

This PreCheck system, which is possible after  the traveler submits their fingerprints and undergoes a criminal-background  check, will lighten the workload for TSA agents too, the agency  believes.

But there are concerns over who will  get  access to the information once it is provided in this PreCheck  system – and  over how little control the passenger will have.

Privacy notices say the information could be  shared with federal, state and  local authorities, foreign governments, law  enforcement and intelligence agencies – and in some cases, private  companies.

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

Privacy advocates have also said they are  worried that the checks will lead to  profiling individuals based on their past  travel patterns.

New searches: The TSA already checks travelers against a terrorist watch list, but it will now start profiling them based on travel, property records, employment information and car registrations 

New searches: The TSA already checks travelers against a  terrorist watch list, but it will now start profiling them based on travel,  property records, employment information and car registrations

‘I think the best way to look at it  is as a  pre-crime assessment every time you fly,’ Edward Hasbrouck, a consultant to the  Identity Project, told the Times.

‘The default will be the highest, most  intrusive level of search, and anything less will be conditioned on  providing  some additional information in some fashion.’

Other critics have expressed their concerns  over the assessments relying on algorithms rather than human judgment to decide  who poses a risk and who does not.

It comes at a difficult time for the TSA,  which has recently come under fire for apparently increasingly political  screenings. Last week, Israeli cryptographer Adi Shamir was denied entry to the  U.S. for an NSA-sponsored cryptography conference.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2472173/TSA-searching-property-work-car-records-passengers-arrive-airport.html#ixzz2iVcNzbeh Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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