Tags: tsa | domestic passenger | phone searches | aclu | suit

TSA Domestic Passenger Phone Searches Targeted by Suit

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By    |   Tuesday, 13 March 2018 07:20 AM

TSA domestic passenger phone searchers have been targeted by a lawsuit filed this week by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is demanding information on the practice.

The Freedom of Information lawsuit involves the Transportation Security Administration's field office in San Francisco and Arlington, Virginia headquarters, requesting information pertaining to searches of electronic devices of domestically-traveling passengers, TechCrunch reported.

The complaint was filed in U.S. district court in San Francisco on Monday.

The ACLU has requested in the lawsuit information about what equipment is being used in the searches, what data is searched, and what kind of training TSA has given employees who conduct the searches, TechCrunch said.

"The federal government's policies on searching the phones, laptops, and tablets of domestic air passengers remain shrouded in secrecy," said Vasudha Talla, staff attorney with the ACLU Foundation of Northern California.

"TSA is searching the electronic devices of domestic passengers, but without offering any reason for the search. We don't know why the government is singling out some passengers, and we don't know what exactly TSA is searching on the devices. Our phones and laptops contain very personal information, and the federal government should not be digging through our digital data without a warrant."

The ACLU charged that while the TSA announced heightened screening procedures of domestic passengers’ electronic devices in October 2017, the agency has not made public any policies or procedures governing searches of electronic devices for passengers taking those flights.

The ACLU Foundation of Northern California said it first asked for information on the searches through a Freedom of Information Act request on Dec. 20, but said the TSA has withheld the records.

NBC News reported that federal authorities have long had equipment that can perform detailed searches on privately-owned electronic devices with the Department of Homeland Security publishing dozens of technical reports of how it is done regardless of password protection.

The network said the department published a report in December disclosing its search capabilities on a wide range of popular Apple and Android devices.

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TSA domestic passenger phone searchers have been targeted by a lawsuit filed this week by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is demanding information on the practice.
tsa, domestic passenger, phone searches, aclu, suit
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2018-20-13
Tuesday, 13 March 2018 07:20 AM
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