Tags: aclu | tsa | program | terrorism | unreliable

ACLU: TSA Program to Detect Terrorists Unreliable, Can Lead to Racial Profiling

Image: ACLU: TSA Program to Detect Terrorists Unreliable, Can Lead to Racial Profiling

Passengers line up to check in before their flight at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Feb 2017 04:22 PM

The Transportation Security Administration program to spot suspected terrorists based on their behavior is unscientific and has led to racial profiling, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a report released Wednesday.

The ACLU based its conclusion on 12,000 pages of studies and documents used by the TSA to defend the effectiveness of the program.

The ACLU obtained the documents following a 2015 lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act that forced their release.

In the program, behavior detection officers are deployed throughout airports to look for people whose behavior may betray fear, stress, or deception, according to The Intercept.

The TSA has spent more than $1 billion on the program since it started in 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported, with some congressmen calling it a waste of funds that should be eliminated and the officers reassigned to checkpoint screening, where they can be more effective.

The TSA responded to the report by defending the program.

"It is one element of TSA's efforts to mitigate threats against the traveling public, and is critical to TSA's systems approach to deter, detect, and disrupt individuals who pose a threat to aviation."

But ACLU attorney Hugh Handeyside disagrees.

"In these investigations, it becomes very clear how the indicators can be used for wrongful profiling, how they give them a basis for action against someone they don't like the look of," Handeyside said. "They underscore that these indicators are subjective and can be arbitrarily applied."

He added that "It should go without saying that our government shouldn't be implementing programs that are either scientifically bogus or that raise the risk of unlawful racial and religious profiling. There is no indication, at least according to what the TSA has in its own files, that this kind of program can be done in a reliable and scientifically valid way in an airport context."

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The Transportation Security Administration program to spot suspected terrorists based on their behavior is unscientific and has led to racial profiling, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a report released on Wednesday.
aclu, tsa, program, terrorism, unreliable
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2017-22-08
Wednesday, 08 Feb 2017 04:22 PM
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