One of America’s busiest airports, Orlando Sanford International, has announced it will opt out of using TSA workers to screen passengers, a move which threatens the highly unpopular federal agency’s role in other airports across the nation.
“The president of the airport said Tuesday that he would apply again to use private operators to screen passengers, using federal standards and oversight,” reports the Miami Herald.
With Sanford International having originally been prevented by the TSA from opting out back in November 2010 when the federal agency froze the ability for airports to use their own private screeners, a law passed by the Senate last month forces the TSA to reconsider applications.
Larry Dale hinted that the move was motivated by the innumerable horror stories passengers have told of their encounters with the TSA, noting that the change was designed to provide a more “customer friendly” operation.
The agency has been slow to reissue the guidelines on the the Read more…
WASHINGTON — Even as the Obama administration says it’s close to defeating al-Qaida, the size of the government’s secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States has more than doubled in the past year, The Associated Press has learned.
The no-fly list jumped from about 10,000 known or suspected terrorists one year ago to about 21,000, according to government figures provided to the AP. Most people on the list are from other countries; about 500 are Americans.
The flood of new names began after the failed Christmas 2009 bombing of a Detroit-bound jetliner. The government lowered the standard for putting people on the list, and then scoured its files for anyone who qualified. The government will not disclose who is on its list or why someone might have been placed on it.
The surge in the size of the no-fly list comes even as the U.S. has killed many senior members of al-Qaida. That’s because the government believes the Read more…
(CNN) — You might have heard something about the Transportation Security Administration’s new known (or trusted) traveler program that will begin testing in October. For now, this will impact a very small number of travelers, but it has the potential to mean big changes in the security process in the long run.
When it comes to airport security today, everyone is treated as a potential threat when walking through the checkpoint. That’s why you still have to take your shoes off and pull your laptop out among other things. If they find something, then you might be subject to further screening.
Many have spent years arguing that the TSA is unnecessarily wasting resources and Read more…
The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks forever changed the way Americans fly.
Gone are the days when friends or family could kiss passengers goodbye at the gate, replaced by X-rayed shoes and confiscated shampoo bottles at security checkpoints.
Air travelers are increasingly subjected to revealing full-body scans or enhanced pat-downs — all in the name of keeping the skies safe.
As America prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks in the U.S., security experts question whether freedom, speed and personal space — along with continued safety — will one day return to air travel.
Some security analysts foresee a bumper crop of futuristic detection methods — from biometrics to electronic fingerprinting to behavioral analysis — and predict smoother, nimbler and less-intrusive airport walkthroughs in the coming years.
Still others envision Big Brother’s even Bigger Brother: chip-embedded passports that someday tell the federal transportation watchdogs all about your daily commutes to work, the mall — even to parties.
Gazing into the future
And then there are experts like Ed Daly who peer into the next two decades of public travel and forecast two possible scenarios Read more…
Government intelligence officials are now warning airlines that terrorists could be using surgically implanted explosives to bypass security measures; there is no information regarding a specific plot or threat, but airlines could begin to implement additional screening procedures as the current body scanners cannot effectively detect bombs hidden inside an individual; last year, al Qaeda operatives in Iraq implanted two dogs with explosives, but the dogs died before they could loaded onto a U.S.-bound plane
Government intelligence officials are now warning airlines that terrorists could be using surgically implanted explosives to bypass security measures.
There is no information regarding a specific plot or threat, but airlines could begin to implement additional screening procedures as the current body scanners cannot effectively detect bombs hidden inside an individual.
According to the Los Angeles Times, U.S. officials have received new information that suggest terrorists may be seriously considering surgically implanting explosive devices to circumvent existing screening procedures.
In response, Nicholas Kimball, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), said Read more…
The personal data of millions of passengers who fly between the US and Europe, including credit card details, phone numbers and home addresses, may be stored by the US department of homeland security for 15 years, according to a draft agreement between Washington and Brussels leaked to the Guardian.
The “restricted” draft, which emerged from negotiations between the US and EU, opens the way for passenger data provided to airlines on check-in to be analysed by US automated data-mining and profiling programmes in the name of fighting terrorism, crime and illegal migration. The Americans want to require airlines to supply passenger lists as near complete as possible 96 hours before takeoff, so names can be checked against terrorist and immigration watchlists.
The agreement acknowledges that there will be occasions when people are delayed or prevented from flying because they are wrongly identified as a threat, and gives them the right to petition for judicial review in the US federal court. It also outlines procedures in the event of anticipated data losses or other unauthorised disclosure. The text includes provisions under which “sensitive personal data” – such as ethnic origin, political opinions, and details of health or sex life – can be used in exceptional circumstances where an individual’s life could be imperilled.
The 15-year retention period is likely to prove highly controversial as it is three times the five years allowed for in the EU’s PNR (passenger name record) regime to cover flights into, out of and Read more…
D.C., Washington, United States (AHN) – Transportation Security Administration Chief John Pistole said over the weekend that the agency will limit private screeners to just 16 U.S. airports.
Pistole explained the policy that the agency does not see any advantage to the use of private screeners.
The Screening Partnership Program permitted gateways to replace government screeners with private contractors who are attired in similar uniforms as those worn by TSA personnel, follow TSA standards and are supervised by the agency.
The TSA previously adopted a neutral standard toward private screeners, but changed its stand after more airports opted out of tapping private groups because of the public furor created by the TSA’s enhanced pat downs, criticized by many air travelers as intrusive. Read more…