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Government Privacy Transportation United States

TSA Airport Screenings Now Start Before You Arrive At the Airport 437

Bob the Super Hamste writes "The New York Times is reporting that the TSA is now doing background investigations on passengers before they arrive at the airport. The publicly stated reason for this is that it is to streamline the security procedures at airports allowing more passengers to receive less scrutiny while at the air port but this new authority allows the TSA additional information about each traveler. The prescreening that is being performed for domestic travel now uses a simiar standard to that of foreign individuals who where entering the US. The new measures go beyond what is used in the Secure Flight program and while light on details mentions that the passengers passport number will be used. The article does however point out the data sources that are available to the TSA to conduct these pre-screening with such as tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information. Also mentioned is that individuals who do not have a passport will not be subjected to the rules and from my reading will not be eligible for lesser screening at that airport. The stated goal of this program is to have 25% of all airline passengers in the US receive lighter screening at the airport so that they don't have to take their shoes off, remove jackets, or remove laptops from bags. Additionally passengers who are in higher risk categories can receive additional screenings. Also mentioned is that all passengers are currently prescreened and that airlines are required to share your passport data with the TSA if they have it." One thing I've noticed as a passenger is that the most dangerous-feeling aspect of flying right now seems to be the winding security line itself.
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TSA Airport Screenings Now Start Before You Arrive At the Airport

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  • by stewsters ( 1406737 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:18AM (#45200317)
    Before 9/11 that's how everyone was treated. Without that 8 hour Boston trip.
  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:21AM (#45200339) Journal

    So what you're saying is you handed over your information to these hacks to prove you weren't a criminal, rather than being presumed innocent from the start. And you consider having to prove you're not a criminal a good thing?

  • by yayoubetcha ( 893774 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:25AM (#45200375)

    If you simply ask me: "Would you care to go through an extensive background check in order to zip through security?" I would say, "sure".

    So, US Government, why not just ask the citizens occasionally for their permission, instead of the default unconstitutional spying.

  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:27AM (#45200395)

    You call him a coward, yet your solution to the same problem is to run away.

  • Pre-Check (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:29AM (#45200421)

    Serious question here: as a civilian electronics engineer working for the DoD, I had to go through a rigorous background check, interview process, and polygraph to obtain my current clearance level and job. This costs an extraordinary amount of money (likely over $10K []), why the hell do I have to pay and go through yet another background check and interview process for pre-check?

    One would think that we'd be in the business of trying to save some time and money these days....

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:44AM (#45200587) Homepage Journal

    I practically died with joy the first time I got to use a pre-check lane. Kept my coat, shoes, and belt on, didn't take shit out of my bags. It almost justified the 8 hours it took me to get a global entry card (drive to boston, wait, talk to beurocrats about how I'm not a threat, drive back to vermont).

    Sounds like a battered housewife, explaining how the fact that her abusive husband only blacked one eye in his latest drunken rage means he really does love her.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:47AM (#45200637)

    I think he was more pointing out that that huge crowd of people that can't evacuate the area easily or quickly is actually a pretty prime target for terrorist mayhem.

  • TSA, NSA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phoenix666 ( 184391 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:47AM (#45200643)

    The science and the math behind the tools of control are not classified. There is no classified physics, chemistry, and math. You and I can access them and learn. The components and sensors and knowledge required to build resistance measures are open source. You and I can see them, understand them, and employ them. In Today's--though perhaps not in "Tomorrow's"--America, you can still acquire the tools you need to resist and defeat Tyranny.

    Take stock. Search your own heart. Can you live in a world where you are not free? Most of you will choose controlled comfort. You will cede control over your very existence to some remote, faceless drone within a bureaucracy, be it government- or corporate-controlled. Still there are a few who would rather die, no matter how much they have to lose, than acquiesce to petty, stupid tyrants.

    I have a wife and kids. I love them dearly. I want to live a long life with them. But if I could trade my life for their freedom, I would do so in an instant. Those of you who are like me, assess and consider. We have been in a bubble of denial, but now that time is over. We all must choose whether to stand and be counted, or to kneel and submit. Choose the former and you're an American, choose the latter and you're a slave.


  • What I don't mind (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @10:54AM (#45200719)

    I don't mind having my jacket/coat X-rayed.
    I don't mind having my laptop X-rayed seperatly.

    I can live with my shoes being x-rayed.

    But what pisses me of is that I have to do all of this without proper infrastructure at the checkpoint. Those lines are still designed for people walking through the scanner in paralell to one item going through X-ray. Pick up your carry on after the scanner and walk on. But now this design gets clogged up by people like me who are unfortunately born with only two arms and hands and therefor CANT'T pick up their stuff as it comes out of the X-ray item by item. That's what bags were invented for!

    I apologize to all people who had to wait behind me because I had to repack my bag, re-tie my shoes and wear my belt again. I'm sorry, but I can't remove that stuff all at once.

  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @11:10AM (#45200925) Homepage Journal

    the TSA guys can still check what property you have, who you're living with and how much money you make.

    the real problem I see with this is giving the information to so many people in a organization. they get to see enough to apply for a credit card...

  • Um... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @11:19AM (#45201047) Homepage

    The Tea Party has been trying to defund the TSA for several years now. And is probably it's #1 opponent. Have you heard of Senator Rand Paul???????????

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @11:29AM (#45201207) Homepage

    ...and THAT will disappear when every sneetches has star upon thars.

  • Re:Um... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @11:30AM (#45201211)

    Unfortunately that's a load of crap. From what I have seen, they are trying to privatize the TSA. They believe it is unconstitutional for the government to do these screening but A-OK if its a private corp.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by radio4fan ( 304271 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @11:35AM (#45201287)

    I think he was more pointing out that that huge crowd of people that can't evacuate the area easily or quickly is actually a pretty prime target for terrorist mayhem.

    Absolutely. If I was a suicide bomber, this is exactly where I'd explode my bomb. I reckon I could get a devastating quantity of explosive in a carry-on bag and detonate it in the snake-line. Also get an accomplice to do the same in a check-in line with a full-size suitcase packed with HE.

    While it might not have the glamour of bringing down an aircraft, no matter where the TSA or local equivalent move the security line to (pre-security security, pre-security security security...), passengers are still vulnerable to this attack. I can't see a practical defence against it.

    It's truly chilling that they could do this trivially, tomorrow.

  • by SeattleGameboy ( 641456 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @11:39AM (#45201363) Journal
    Hmmm... not sure about that. When I fly, I have to get to the airport at least 90 min before (that is pretty common, many arrive 2 hours before), add 30 min for travel from my house to the airport, add another hour from landing to getting a rental car, and another hour or so to get the destination, you are looking at 6 to 7 hours total for that 1.5 hour in the air. 8 to 10 hour drive is a distance I normally drive.
  • Re:Um... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @11:47AM (#45201453)

    the crap is between your ears. Rand and co. just say the airlines themselves have a vested interest in their planes being safe so let them handle security arrangements. makes sense to me, what with the TSA being mostly useless dullards

  • Re:Um... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @12:15PM (#45201807)

    The Tea Party does not control any branches of Congress. They can't "have votes". Every single Republican is united in voting against Obamacare, including the fraction of Republicans that are Tea Party people. The Republicans can "have votes" on Obamacare because they all agree.

    How many times did the Libertarian Party have votes against the TSA? None? I guess the Libertarian Party doesn't care about freedom either. Right?

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