Jul 25 2019

Can you “opt out” of TSA groping or virtual strip-searches?

Two recent decisions — one an administrative decision by the TSA,  and the other a judicial decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals —  have dealt with, but failed to resolve, the question of whether, in the face of unpredictable demands for more intrusive searches, an airline passenger can “opt out” if they decide […]

May 24 2018

DHS aggregating commercial biometric data and position logs

The DHS is proposing to expand its biometric identification and surveillance programs, and its collaboration with commercial entities in biometric-based surveillance, with the creation of a new database of “External Biometric Records” (EBR). EBR would include (1) biometric identifiers (such as facial photos, iris scans, fingerprints, DNA profiles, etc.) and (2) logs of the location, […]

Apr 13 2017

Yes, you can fly without ID

On average, 77,000 people each year — more than 200 a day — pass through TSA checkpoints to board airline flights in the USA without showing ID. Ninety-eight percent of the would-be travelers who show up at TSA checkpoints without ID are allowed to board their flights. Only two percent are turned back. The average […]

Dec 21 2016

“AFI” is the latest DHS name for “extreme vetting”

We’ve heard a lot of talk in recent months about “extreme vetting” of immigrants, Muslims, and foreign visitors to the US. But what does “extreme vetting” really mean? “Vetting” of both domestic and international travelers — making predictive pre-crime decisions as to whether or not to allow them to travel — is already extreme, and […]

Oct 07 2016

“Following the money” in travel surveillance

The growth of a homeland-security industrial complex funded by single-source contracts and shielded by knee-jerk invocation of “security” as an excuse for secrecy has created huge opportunities for cronyism and collusion between lobbyists, contractors, and government officials. The poster child for this revolving door and its invidious effects on government policies and spending is former Secretary […]

Oct 23 2015

Court orders TSA to publish “rules” for use of strip-search machines

Acting on a petition submitted in July 2015 by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Rutherford Institute, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today ordered the Department of Homeland Security to, within 30 days from today, “submit to the court a schedule for the expeditious issuance of […]