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TSA: 75% of Domestic Travelers A Flight Risk
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[Editor’s Note: The following post is by TDV Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Berwick]
The Transportation Security Agency believes that 75% of Americans are suspect. One indicator that you are a "risk" while flying? Owning a passport.
And so, what does the TSA do about it?
Even for domestic flights, they scan government and private databases including car registration and employment information.
Does your DMV record scream "bad slave?" Thinking that maybe now is a good time to go?
If so, maybe you're too late.
But, don't worry, before you get too stressed, take a deep breath. After all, you just might be among the 25% of travelers the TSA believes won't need extra screening at the airport. Hey, anything is possible. Consider you and your groin lucky!
As for the other 75%, the government now assumes greater authority to use travelers' data for domestic airport screenings. The agency insists this is merely to streamline the check-in procedures for millions of passengers (you know, the "25%").
Whatever the reason given, one thing is for sure: traveling by air from California to Arizona, or New York to Massachusetts, will be like traveling from China into the US.
Some of the pre-screening has already begun. The TSA explained the new procedures in documents it had to release to comply with government regulations about the collection and use of individuals' data.
Of the program, bureaucratese-laden documents aside, the unwashed public has yet to be told.
Nobody can be certain exactly what, and how much, information the agency relies upon to assess the general public. It has a stifling amount of data at its fingertips: tax identification numbers, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, law enforcement, intelligence information and even credit scores. Surely, the list goes on.
If you and your genitalia are desired, you might receive a boarding pass with "SSSS" printed upon it. This will make it hard to break the ice with your fellow passengers. If you make the plane, that is.
Heretofore, the government has publicly relied upon a security protocol called Secure Flight. This program called for a passenger's name, gender and date of birth to be compared with terrorist watch lists and/or no-fly lists.
The new beefed up version of interstate travel entails traveler's passport numbers, just like at the international borders, as well as other identifiers used to access a web of databases managed by the Department of Homeland Security.
An anonymous official "emphasized that the main goal of the program was to identify low-risk travelers for lighter screening at airport security checkpoints, adapting methods similar to those used to flag suspicious people entering the United States."
What's considered a red flag by the TSA? According to the un-named agent:
"Anyone who has never traveled outside the United States would not have a passport number on file and would therefore not be subject to the rules that the agency uses to determine risk."
The documents released by the TSA, however, admitted the agency was pre-screening all passengers in some fashion.
Aside from having a passport, the agency looks into things like an individual's travel itinerary, length of stay abroad and type of travel document, like a passport or visa. The TSA also requires airlines to hand over a traveler's passport number, even on domestic flights.
The TSA knows which passengers belong to frequent-flier miles, as well as past travel reservations, a type of record known as 'passenger name records.'
The new, enhanced screening procedures parallel the TSA's introduction of PreCheck, which, as it turns out, was more a distraction from the true TSA procedures than what it was stated to be: a convenience for travelers.
The TSA has harped on its goal of giving 25% of all passengers lighter screening by the end of 2014, meaning 75% of passengers are considered, at least, "low-risk" travelers. Are you one of them?
If so, you will enjoy repeated searches from here until our grave. Or until you leave the US. You can have no hopes before boarding of leaving your pants and jackets on, and your laptops in their bags. Oh, and not to mention your genitalia ungrazed.
Too unjust for you? Well, feel free to appeal. The Department of Homeland Security has instituted a Traveler Redress Inquiry Program. Yours will be among the approximately 13,000 inquiries the program receives every nine months.
Are you surprised by the over-reaching TSA policy? Don't be. In a blog post, the TSA stated that the program isn't new.
Instead of begging the TSA to behave itself, you should make sure you never have to encounter them again. Take the first step in untangling yourself from the collapsing USSA and its checkpoint police state by clicking here.
Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.
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