At a panel at the 2011 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference earlier this month, TSA Special Counselor and FOIA Appeals Officer Kimberly Walton (the same person who has been stonewalling our pending FOIA appeals), made explicit that the TSA plans more “identity-based screening” (i.e. profiling).
But any “screening” based on identity requires, of course, that travelers be identified. And the TSA — knowing it has no legal authority to compel travelers to identify themselves, produce evidence of their identity, or answer questions — has consistently claimed in court cases such as Gilmore v. Gonzales and New Mexico v. Mocek that travelers are not required to produce any evidence of their identity.
So is the TSA planning to seek new statutory authority (or start claiming it already has it) to require travelers to identify themselves, or to deny passage to those who decline to do so?
We asked Walton directly, starting at 5:45 of the video here. Walton said she “wasn’t the person to answer that”, but didn’t say who (if anyone) was.
If the TSA is reading this (and we know they are), we’d welcome an answer. We won’t hold our breath, though.
Once again, the TSA is launching a major expansion of its claimed authority over the traveling public, seemingly without either knowing or carrying whether it has any legal basis for the power it seeks to exercise over us.