May 26 2009

TSA releases (censored) ID checking procedures

In response to a request by the Identity Project under the Freedom of Information Act, the TSA has for the first time given us a (redacted) version of the section on Travel Document and ID Checks from the TSA’s “Screening Management SOP” (Standard Operating Procedures) manual.  Our request was made June 21, 2008, the day the TSA announced what they claimed were changes to ID “requirements” for air travelers. It took the TSA almost seven months to respond.

The version of the SOP manual which the TSA has now made public is dated June 30, 2008, so it ought to reflect the changes announced in the TSA’s June 21, 2008 press release. But there is nothing at all in the sections of the manual the TSA has released about the new procedures and new ID verification form which the TSA had, in fact, started using.  Rather than requiring people who don’t have or don’t choose to show government-issued ID credentials to execute affidavits stating who they are under penalty of perjury, the TSA procedures manual requires that such people be allowed to proceed through secondary screening as “selectees”, and specifically directs screeners and other TSA staff not to make any attempt to detain or delay them.

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May 26 2009

Add your name to the campaign against TSA “Virtual Strip Searches”

The Identity Project has joined with the Privacy Coalition in a campaign to stop “Whole Body Imaging” in U.S. airports.

The TSA is in the process of substituing these “Virtual Strip Search” machines as a replacement for, or an addiiton to, metal detectors for primary screening of all travelers.  You’ll be able (at least at first) to opt out of the virtual strip search “Whole Body Imaging”, but then you’ll automatically get the full secondary screening pat-down, as though you had set off the metal detector.  The “Whole Body Imaging” machines use microwaves that go through your clothes and reflect off your skin to display a detailed picture of your naked body to a TSA operator, in a back room where you can’t see who they are or what they are doing while they ogle your as-though-naked image.

Individual travelers as well as organizations can sign up until May 31, 2009 (Sunday) to endorse a joint letter (scroll ot the bottom of this page for the sign-on form) calling for on Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano to suspend the use of “Whole Body Imaging” for primary screening. Read More