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Mon, Apr 18, 2011

Is It Profiling? TSA Targets Those Who Complain In Security Lines

One Of The "Behavioral Indicators" That Could Trigger An Enhanced Screening

If you don't want to go through the full-body scanner or be subjected to an "enhanced" pat-down search, you might be advised to not complain about such things ... at least while in the security line.

Complaining about security is apparently one of 70 "behavioral indicators" used by TSOs to identify (profile?) what they call "high risk" individuals at airports. CNN reports that, while none of the indicators point to race, religion, or ethnicity, "Very arrogant and expresses contempt against airport passenger procedures" is among the telltales TSOs are trained to identify.

TSA says that just complaining about security procedures is not enough to have you pulled out of the security line for extra attention, but it can be a contributing factor.

As part of the SPOT, or Screening Passengers By Observation Technique program, one method of screening is for a TSO to strike up a conversation with a passenger exhibiting behaviors on the SPOT checklist. Usually, TSA says, the conversation will resolve any suspicion. But it could lead to additional screening. The Department of Homeland Security told Congress in a recent hearing that the SPOT method is more effective than random screening, making the finding of prohibited items or false documents nearly five times more likely.

But some civil liberty groups told CNN that the method is just a proxy for racial profiling or other unconstitutional activities on the part of authorities.

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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