Transportation Security Administration
|Formed||November 19, 2001|
|Jurisdiction||Transportation systems inside, and connecting to the United States of America|
|Headquarters||Pentagon City, Arlington County, Virginia|
|Annual budget||$7.58 billion (2018)|
|Parent agency||Department of Homeland Security|
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that has authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States. It was created as a response to the September 11 attacks.
The TSA was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, sponsored by Don Young in the United States House of Representatives and Ernest Hollings in the Senate, passed by the 107th U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. Originally part of the United States Department of Transportation, the TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security on March 9, 2003.
History and organization
The TSA was created as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Its first administrator, John Magaw, was nominated by President Bush on December 10, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate the following January. The agency's proponents, including Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, argued that only a single federal agency would better protect air travel than the private companies who operated under contract to single airlines or groups of airlines that used a given terminal facility.
TSA Screeners represent a case of a large scale staffing project completed over a short period. The only effort in U.S history that came close to it was the testing of recruits for the armed forces in the Second World War. TSA screeners, during the period from February to December 2002, 1.7 million applicants were assessed for 55,000 positions.
With state, local, and regional partners, the TSA oversees security for highways, railroads, buses, mass transit systems, pipelines and ports. However, the bulk of the TSA's efforts are in aviation security. The TSA is responsible for screening passengers and baggage at more than 450 U.S. airports.
Private screening did not disappear under the TSA, which allows airports to opt out of federal screening and hire firms to do the job instead. Such firms must still get TSA approval under its Screening Partnership Program (SPP) and follow TSA procedures. Among the U.S. airports with privately operated checkpoints are San Francisco International Airport; Kansas City International Airport; Greater Rochester International Airport; Tupelo Regional Airport; Key West International Airport; Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport; and Jackson Hole Airport.
In August 2017, the General Services Administration announced the new headquarters would be built in Springfield, Virginia. The new, 625,000-square-foot headquarters will be a short distance from the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and is projected to cost $316 million for a 15-year lease. The facility is expected to open in mid-2020.
When TSA was established by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act in the Department of Transportation, the position was referred to as the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security. Following the TSA's transfer to the Department of Homeland Security, the position was reclassified as the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. The position has also been referred to as the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for the Transportation Security Administration.
There have been seven administrators and six acting administrators in TSA's 15-year history.
|1||John Magaw||2002||Under Secretary of Transportation for Security|
|2||James Loy||2002–2003||Under Secretary of Transportation for Security until Department of Homeland Security transition|
|3||David M. Stone||2003–2005||Acting until July 2004 when confirmed by Senate|
|5||John S. Pistole||2010–2014|
|—||Melvin J. Carraway||2015||Acting, reassigned to DHS Office of State and Local Law Enforcement following leak of DHS Inspector General red team test results showing screening failures at TSA checkpoints.|
|—||Mark Hatfield Jr.||2015||Acting|
|—||Francis X. Taylor||2015||Acting, served concurrently as Homeland Security Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis|
|6||Peter V. Neffenger||2015–2017|
|—||Huban A. Gowadia||2017||Acting|
All offices are headed by an Assistant Administrator, except for the offices of Enterprise Support, Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service, Operations Support and Security Operations, which are headed by an Executive Assistant Administrator; the Office of Chief Counsel, who uses the title of Chief Counsel. The Investigations office and Strategy, Policy Coordination and Innovation office are referred to as a Director for the former and Executive Director for the latter. The Executive Assistant Administrator for Law Enforcement is also the Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service.
- Deputy Administrator
- Chief Financial Officer
- Chief Counsel
- Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement
- Chief of Staff
- Legislative Affairs
- Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
- Strategy, Policy Coordination and Innovation
- Enterprise Support
- Chief Administrative Officer
- Acquisition Program Manangement
- Contracting and Procurement
- Human Capital
- Information Technology
- Professional Responsibility
- Training and Development
- Law Enforcement / Federal Air Marshal Service
- Operations Support
- Global Strategies
- Intelligence and Analysis
- Requirements and Capabilities Analysis
- Security Policy and Industry Engagement
- Security Operations
- Deputy Administrator
- Transportation Security Officers: The TSA employs around 47,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs), often referred to as screeners or agents. They screen people and property and control entry and exit points in airports. They also watch several areas before and beyond checkpoints. TSOs carry no weapons, and are not permitted to use force, nor do they have the power to arrest.
- Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) provide security and protection of air travelers, airports and aircraft. This includes:
- Operating various screening equipment and technology to identify dangerous objects in baggage, cargo, and on passengers, and preventing those objects from being transported onto aircraft.
- Performing searches and screening, which may include physical interaction with passengers (e.g., pat-downs, search of property, etc.), conducting bag searches and lifting/carrying bags, bins, and property weighing up to 70lbs.
- Controlling terminal entry and exit points.
- Interacting with the public, giving directions and responding to inquiries.
- Maintaining focus and awareness while working in a stressful environment which includes noise from alarms, machinery and people, crowd distractions, time pressure, and disruptive and angry passengers, in order to preserve the professional ability to identify and locate potentially life threatening or mass destruction devices, and to make effective decisions in both crisis and routine situations.
- Engaging in continuous development of critical thinking skills, necessary to mitigate actual and potential security threats, by identifying, evaluating, and applying appropriate situational options and approaches. This may include application of risk-based security screening protocols that vary based on program requirements.
- Retaining and implementing knowledge of all applicable Standard Operating Procedures, demonstrating responsible and dependable behavior, and is open to change and adapts to new information or unexpected obstacles.
- Key Requirements for Employment
- Be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National at time of application submission
- Be at least 18 years of age at time of application submission
- Pass a Drug Screening and Medical Evaluation
- Pass a background investigation including a credit and criminal check
- No default on $7,500 or more in delinquent debt (but for some bankruptcies)
- Selective Service registration required
- Key Requirements for Employment
- As of September 2014 the starting salary for a TSO is $25,773 to $38,660 per year, not including locality pay (contiguous 48 states) or cost of living allowance in Hawaii and Alaska. A handful of airports also have a retention bonus of up to 35%. This is more than what private screeners were paid.
- Behavior Detection Officers: In 2003, the TSA implemented the Screening of Passengers by Observation Technique (SPOT), which expanded across the United States in 2007. In this program, Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs), who are TSOs, observe passengers as they go through security checkpoints, looking for behaviors that might indicate a higher risk. Such passengers are subject to additional screening.
- This program has led to concerns about, and allegations of racial profiling. According to the TSA, SPOT screening officers are trained to observe behaviors only and not a person's appearance, race, ethnicity or religion.
- The TSA program was reviewed in 2013 by the federal government's Government Accountability Office, which recommended cutting funds for it because there was no proof of its effectiveness. The JASON scientific advisory group has also said that "no scientific evidence exists to support the detection or inference of future behavior, including intent."
- Federal Air Marshals: The Federal Air Marshal Service is the law enforcement arm of the TSA. FAMs are federal law enforcement officers who work undercover to protect the air travel system from hostile acts. As a part of the Federal Air Marshal Service, FAMs do carry weapons.
- The FAM role, then called "sky marshalls", originated in 1961 with U.S. Customs Service (now U.S. Customs and Border Protection) following the first US hijacking. It became part of the TSA following the creation of the TSA following the September 11 attacks, was transferred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2003, and back to the TSA in fiscal 2006.
- In July 2018, the Boston Globe reported on a secret program called "Quiet Skies", under which armed undercover marshals in airports and on planes keep tabs on passenger behaviors and movements they deemed noteworthy - including abrupt change of direction in the airport, fidgeting, having a "cold penetrating stare", changing clothes, shaving, using phones, even using the bathroom - and sending detailed observations to the TSA. The news raised concerns about Constitutional rights by groups like the ACLU and by lawmakers.
- Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDOs) are the airline pilots working for the U.S. airlines, who are deputized as federal law enforcement officers (FLEOs) to carry out the law enforcement duties within their specific jurisdictions (flight deck) and only from the time their aircraft doors are closed and until they are opened. FFDOs have the power to arrest, apply force (only within their jurisdiction) and are required to carry a federally issued firearm. Only active airline pilots are eligible for the FFDO program, which is available for a limited enrollment on a volunteer basis. FFDO's are trained by the Federal Air Marshal Service and deputized by the Department of Homeland Security. Their primary goal is to work with (or without) the FAM team to defend the flight deck from hijacking or any other terrorist threats to their aircraft.
- Transportation Security Inspectors (TSIs): They inspect, and investigate passenger and cargo transportation systems to see how secure they are. TSA employs roughly 1,000 aviation inspectors, 450 cargo inspectors, and 100 surface inspectors.
- National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program: These trainers prepare dogs and handlers to serve as mobile teams that can quickly find dangerous materials. As of June 2008, the TSA had trained about 430 canine teams, with 370 deployed to airports and 56 deployed to mass transit systems.
- Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams: VIPR teams started in 2005 and involved Federal Air Marshals and other TSA crew working outside of the airport environment, at train stations, ports, truck weigh stations, special events, and other places. There has been some controversy and congressional criticism for problems such as the July 3, 2007 holiday screenings. In 2011, Amtrak police chief John O'Connor moved to temporarily ban VIPR teams from Amtrak property. As of 2011, VIPR team operations were being conducted at a rate of 8,000 per year.
In 2008, TSA officers began wearing new uniforms that have a blue-gray 65/35 polyester/cotton blend duty shirt, black pants, a wider black belt, and optional short-sleeved shirts and black vests (for seasonal reasons). The first airport to introduce the new uniforms was Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Starting on September 11, 2008, all TSOs began wearing the new uniform. One stripe on each shoulder board denotes a TSO, two stripes a Lead TSO, and three a Supervisory TSO.
TSOs are issued badges similar to those carried by police officers, which has led to complaints from the latter group.
2013 LAX shooting
On Friday, November 1, 2013, TSA officer Gerardo I. Hernandez, age 39, was shot and killed by a lone gunman at the Los Angeles International Airport. Law enforcement officials identified the suspect as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, who was shot and wounded by law enforcement officers before being taken into custody. Ciancia was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a hand-written note that said he "wanted to kill TSA and pigs". Hernandez was the first TSA officer to be killed on the job.
2015 New Orleans airport attack
On March 21, 2015 63-year-old Richard White entered the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport armed with Molotov cocktails, a gasoline lighter, and a machete. White promptly began assaulting passengers and Transportation Security Administration officers by spraying them with a can of wasp killer, then drew his machete and ran through a metal detector. A Jefferson Parish's deputy sheriff shot and killed White as he was chasing a TSA officer with his machete.
For fiscal year 2012, the TSA had a budget of roughly $7.6 billion.
|Transportation Security Support & Intelligence||1,032||14%|
|Federal Air Marshals||966||13%|
|Transportation Threat Assessment & Credentialing||165||2%|
|Surface Transportation Security||135||2%|
Screening processes and regulations
Passenger and carry-on screening
The TSA requires that passengers show a valid ID at the security checkpoint before boarding their flight. Valid forms of identification include passports from the U.S. or a foreign government, state-issued photo identification, or military ID. Passengers that do not have ID may still be allowed to fly if their identity can be verified through an alternate way.
Passenger names are compared against the No Fly List, a list of about 21,000 names of suspected terrorists who are not allowed to board. Passenger names are also compared against a longer list of "selectees"; passengers whose names match names from this list receive a more thorough screening before being potentially allowed to board. The effectiveness of the lists has been widely criticized on the basis of errors in how those lists are maintained, for concerns that the lists are unconstitutional, and for its ineffectiveness at stopping Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to detonate plastic explosives in his underwear, from boarding an aircraft. At the airport security checkpoint, passengers are screened to ensure they are not carrying prohibited items. These include most sorts of sharp objects, many sporting goods such as baseball bats and hockey sticks, guns or other weapons, many sorts of tools, flammable liquids (except for conventional lighters), many forms of chemicals and paint. In addition, passengers are limited to 3.4 US fluid ounces (100 ml) of almost any liquid or gel, which must be presented at the checkpoint in a clear, one-quart zip-top bag. These restrictions on liquids were a reaction to the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot.
The number of passengers who have been detected bringing firearms onto airplanes in their carry-on bags has increased in recent years, from 976 in 2009 to 1,813 in 2013, according to the TSA. In 2010 an anonymous source told ABC News that undercover agents managed to bring weapons through security nearly 70 percent of the time at some major airports. Firearms can be legally checked in checked luggage on domestic flights.
In a program begun in October 2011, the TSA's Precheck Program allows selected members of the American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin America, Southwest Airlines, Air Canada, JetBlue Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines frequent flyer programs, members of Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI and active duty members of the US military to receive expedited screening for domestic and select international itineraries. As of August 2015, this program was available at 156 airports. After completing a background check, being fingerprinted, and paying an $85 fee, travelers will get a Known Traveler Number. The program has led to complaints of unfairness and longer wait lines. Aeromexico, Etihad Airways, Cape Air, and Seaborne Airlines joined the program bringing the total number of member carriers to 16. On December 15, 2015, the program expanded to include Allegiant Air. On June 21, 2016, it was announced that Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines will also join the program starting in the fall of 2016. On August 31, 2016, the program expanded to include Lufthansa, and on September 29, 2016, Frontier Airlines was added. In 2017, 11 more airlines were added on January 26, and another seven were added on May 25, bringing the total to 37 carriers.
In October 2013, the TSA announced that it had begun searching a wide variety of government and private databases for information about passengers before they arrive at the airport. They did not say which databases were involved, but TSA has access to past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, law enforcement and intelligence information, among others.
Large printer cartridges ban
After the October 2010 cargo planes bomb plot, in which cargo containing laser printers with toner cartridges filled with explosives were discovered on separate cargo planes, the U.S. prohibited passengers from carrying certain printer cartridges on flights. The TSA said it would ban toner and ink cartridges weighing over 16 ounces (453 grams) from all passenger flights. The ban applies to both carry-on bags and checked bags, and does not affect average travelers, whose toner cartridges are generally lighter.
November 2010 enhanced screening procedures
Beginning in November 2010, TSA added new enhanced screening procedures. Passengers are required to choose between an enhanced patdown, allowing TSOs to more thoroughly check areas on the body such as waistbands, groin, and inner thigh. or instead to be imaged by the use of a full body scanner (that is, either backscatter X-ray or millimeter wave detection machines) in order to fly. TSA encouraged flyers to choose scanners by emphasizing the "intrusive" nature of the "enhanced" patdown. These changes were said to be made in reaction to the Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab bombing attempt.
The new pat-down procedures, which were originally not made public, "routinely involve the touching of buttocks and genitals" as well as breasts. These procedures were controversial, and in a November poll, 50% of those polled felt that the new pat-down procedures were too extreme, with 48% feeling them justified. A number of publicized incidents created a public outcry against the invasiveness of the pat-down techniques, in which women's breasts and the genital areas of all passengers are patted. Pat-downs are carried out by agents of the same gender the passenger presents at the screening.
Concerns were raised as to the constitutionality of the new screening methods by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union. As of April 2011, at least six lawsuits were filed for violation of the Fourth Amendment. George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen has supported this view, saying "there's a strong argument that the TSA's measures violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures." Concerns were also raised about the effects of these pat-downs on survivors of sexual assault. In January 2014, Denver police launched a sexual assault investigation against a screener at Denver International Airport over what the passenger stated was an intrusive patdown.
Full body scanners
In November 2010, the TSA began putting backscatter X-ray scanners and millimeter wave scanners machines into airports. The TSA refers to these two technologies as Advanced Imaging Technologies, or AIT. Critics sometimes refer to them as "naked scanners".
Passengers are directed to hold their hands above their heads for a few seconds while front and back images are created. If the operator sees an anomaly on the scanner, or if other problems occur, the passenger will also have to receive the pat-down.
Full body scanners have also proven controversial due to privacy and health concerns.
The American Civil Liberties Union has called the scanners a "virtual strip search." Female passengers have complained that they are often singled out for scanning, and a review of TSA records by a local CBS affiliate in Dallas found "a pattern of women who believe that there was nothing random about the way they were selected for extra screening."
The TSA, on their website, states that they have "implemented strict measures to protect passenger privacy which is ensured through the anonymity of the image," and additionally states that these technologies "cannot store, print, transmit or save the image, and the image is automatically deleted from the system after it is cleared by the remotely located security officer". This claim, however, was proven false after multiple incidents involving leaked images. The machines do in fact have the ability to "save" the images and while this function is purported to be "turned off" by the TSA in screenings, TSA Air Marshalls and training facilities have the save function turned on.
As early as 2010, the TSA began to test scanners that would produce less intrusive "stick figures". In February 2011, the TSA began testing new software on the millimeter wave machines already used at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport that automatically detects potential threats on a passenger without the need for having an officer review actual images. Instead, one generic figure is used for all passengers and small yellow boxes are placed on areas of the body requiring additional screening. The TSA announced in 2013 that the Rapiscan's backscatter scanners would no longer be used, due to the fact that the manufacturer of the machines could not produce "privacy software" to abstract the near-nude images that agents view and turn them into stick like figures. The TSA will continue to use other full body scanners.
Health concerns have been raised about both scanning technologies.
With regards to exposure to radiation emitted by backscatter X-rays, and there are fears that people will be exposed to a "dangerous level of radiation if they get backscattered too often" A petition by both scientists and pilots argue that the screening machines are safe. Ionizing radiation is considered a non-threshold carcinogen, but it is difficult to quantify the risk of low radiation exposures. Active millimeter wave scanners emit radiation which is non-ionizing, does not have enough energy to directly damage DNA, and is not known to be genotoxic.
In April 2016, TSA Administrator, Peter V. Neffenger told a Senate committee that small airports had the option to use "reverse screening" – a system where passengers are not screened before boarding the aircraft at departure, but instead are screened upon arrival at the destination. The procedure is intended to save costs at airports with a limited number of flights.
After the November 2010 initiation of enhanced screening procedures of all airline passengers and flight crews, the US Airline Pilots Association issued a press release stating that pilots should not submit to full body scanners because of unknown radiation risks and calling for strict guidelines for pat-downs of pilots, including evaluation of their fitness for duty after the pat-down, given the stressful nature of pat-downs. Two airline pilots filed suit against the procedures.
In March 2011, two New Hampshire state representatives introduced proposed legislation that would criminalize as sexual assault invasive TSA pat-downs made without probable cause. In May 2011, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it illegal for Transportation Security Administration officials to touch a person's genitals when carrying out a patdown. The bill failed in the Senate after the Department of Justice threatened to make Texas a no-fly zone if the legislation passed. In Congress, United States House of Representatives by Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced the American Traveler Dignity Act (H.R.6416).
On July 2, 2010, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit in federal court asking to halt the use of full body scanners by the TSA on Fourth amendment grounds, and arguing that the TSA had failed to allow a public notice and rule making period. In July 2011, the D.C. Circuit court of appeals ruled that the TSA did violate the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to allowing a public notice and comment rule making period. The Court ordered the agency to "promptly" undertake a public notice and comment rule making. In July 2012, EPIC returned to court and asked the court to force enforcement; in August, the court granted the request to compel the TSA to explain its actions by the end of the month. The agency responded on August 30, saying that there was ""no basis whatsoever for (The DC Circuit Court's) assertion that TSA has delayed implementing this court's mandate," and said it was awaiting approval from the Department of Homeland Security before the hearings take place. The TSA also said that it was having "staffing issues" regarding the issue, but expects to begin hearings in February 2013. The comment period began on March 25, 2013 and closed on June 25, 2013, with over 90% of the comments against the scanners. As of October, 2015, no report has been issued.
Two separate Internet campaigns promoted a "National Opt-Out Day," the day before Thanksgiving, urging travelers to "opt out" of the scanner and insist on a pat-down. The enhanced pat-down procedures were also the genesis of the "Don't touch my junk meme".
March 2017 electronic device restrictions
On March 21, 2017, the TSA banned electronic devices larger than smartphones from being carried on flights to the U.S. from 10 specific airports located in Muslim-majority countries. The order cited intelligence that "indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items". The restrictions were ended in July following changes in screening procedures at the specified airports.
In order to be able to search passenger baggage for security screening, the TSA will cut or otherwise disable locks they cannot open themselves. The agency authorized two companies to create padlocks, lockable straps, and luggage with built-in locks that can be opened and relocked by tools and information supplied by the lock manufacturers to the TSA. These are Travel Sentry and Safe Skies Locks. TSA agents sometimes cut these locks off instead of opening them, and TSA received over 3500 complaints in 2011 about locks being tampered with. Travel journalist and National Geographic Traveler editor Christopher Elliott describes these locks as "useless" at protecting the goods within, whereas SmarterTravel wrote in early 2010 that the "jury is out on their effectiveness", while noting how easy they are to open.
In November 2014, The Washington Post inadvertently published a photograph of all seven of the TSA master keys in an article about TSA baggage handling. The photograph was later removed from the original article, but it still appears in some syndicated copies. On August 22, 2015, Twitter user Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) noticed the photograph and posted it on Twitter, and from there it quickly spread across social media, gaining the attention of news sites. Using the photograph, security researchers and members of the public have been able to reproduce working copies of the master keys using 3D printing techniques. The incident has prompted discussion about the security implications of using master keys.
The TSA has been criticized for an increase in baggage theft after its inception. Reported thefts include both valuable and dangerous goods, such as laptops, jewelry guns, and knives. Such thefts have raised concerns that the same access might allow bombs to be placed aboard aircraft.
In 2004, over 17,000 claims of baggage theft were reported. As of 2004, 60 screeners had been arrested for baggage theft, a number which had grown to 200 screeners by 2008. 11,700 theft and damage claims were reported to the TSA in 2009, a drop from 26,500 in 2004, which was attributed to the installation of cameras and conveyor belts in airports. A total of 25,016 thefts were reported over the five-year period from 2010 to 2014.
As of 2011, the TSA employs about 60,000 screeners in total (counting both baggage and passenger screening) and approximately 500 TSA agents have been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage since the agency's creation in November 2001. The airports with the most reported thefts from 2010 to 2014 were JFK, followed by LAX and MCO.
In 2008, an investigative report by WTAE in Pittsburgh discovered that despite over 400 reports of baggage theft, about half of which the TSA reimbursed passengers for, not a single arrest had been made. The TSA does not, as a matter of policy, share baggage theft reports with local police departments.
In September 2012, ABC News interviewed former TSA agent Pythias Brown, who has admitted to stealing more than $800,000 worth of items during his employment with the agency. Brown stated that it was "very convenient to steal" and poor morale within the agency is what causes agents to steal from passengers.
The TSA has also been criticized for not responding properly to theft and failing to reimburse passengers for stolen goods. For example, between 2011 and 2012, passengers at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport reported $300,000 in property lost or damaged by the TSA. The agency only reimbursed $35,000 of those claims. Similar statistics were found at Jacksonville International Airport – passengers reported $22,000 worth of goods missing or damaged over the course of 15 months. The TSA only reimbursed $800.
Undercover operations to test the effectiveness of airport screening processes are routinely carried out by the TSA's Office of Investigations and the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General's office.
A report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General found that TSA officials had collaborated with Covenant Aviation Security (CAS) at San Francisco International Airport to alert screeners to undercover tests. From August 2003 until May 2004, precise descriptions of the undercover personnel were provided to the screeners. The handing out of descriptions was then stopped, but until January 2005 screeners were still alerted whenever undercover operations were being undertaken. When no wrongdoing on the part of CAS was found, the contract was extended for four years. Some CAS and TSA workers received disciplinary action, but none were fired.
A report on undercover operations conducted in October 2006 at Newark Liberty International Airport was leaked to the press. The screeners had failed 20 of 22 undercover security tests, missing numerous guns and bombs. The Government Accountability Office had previously pointed to repeated covert test failures by TSA personnel. Revealing the results of covert tests is against TSA policy, and the agency responded by initiating an internal probe to discover the source of the leak.
In July 2007, the Times Union of Albany, New York reported that TSA screeners at Albany International Airport failed multiple covert security tests conducted by the TSA. Among them was a failure to detect a fake bomb.
In December 2010, ABC News Houston reported in an article about a man who accidentally took a forgotten gun through airport security, that "the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports".
In June 2011 TSA fired 36 screeners at the Honolulu airport for regularly allowing bags through without being inspected.
In May 2012, a report from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General stated that the TSA "does not have a complete understanding" of breaches at the nation's airports, with some hubs doing very little to fix or report security breaches. These findings will be presented to Congress.
Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, have had several joint hearings concerning the cost and benefits of the various safety programs including full body scanners, the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), and the behavior detection program, among others.
Some measures employed by the TSA have been accused of being ineffective and fostering a false sense of safety. This led security expert Bruce Schneier to coin the term security theater to describe those measures.
Unintended consequences of 2002 screening enhancements
Two studies by a group of Cornell University researchers have found that strict airport security has the unintended consequence of increasing road fatalities, as would-be air travelers decide to drive and are exposed to the far greater risk of dying in a car accident. In 2005, the researchers looked at the immediate aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and found that the change in passenger travel modes led to 242 added driving deaths per month. In all, they estimated that about 1,200 driving deaths could be attributed to the short-term effects of the attacks. The study attributes the change in traveler behavior to two factors: fear of terrorist attacks and the wish to avoid the inconvenience of strict security measures; no attempt is made to estimate separately the influence of each of these two factors.
In 2007, the researchers studied the specific effects of a change to security practices instituted by the TSA in late 2002. They concluded that this change reduced the number of air travelers by 6%, and estimated that consequently, 129 more people died in car accidents in the fourth quarter of 2002. Extrapolating this rate of fatalities, New York Times contributor Nate Silver remarked that this is equivalent to "four fully loaded Boeing 737s crashing each year." The 2007 study also noted that strict airport security hurts the airline industry; it was estimated that the 6% reduction in the number of passengers in the fourth quarter of 2002 cost the industry $1.1 billion in lost business.
Data security incidents
Employee records lost or stolen
In 2007, an unencrypted computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data, and payroll information for about 100,000 employees was lost or stolen from TSA headquarters. Kip Hawley alerted TSA employees to the loss, and apologized for it. The agency asked the FBI to investigate. There were no reports that the data was later misused.
In 2007, Christopher Soghoian, a blogger and security researcher, said that a TSA website was collecting private passenger information in an unsecured manner, exposing passengers to identity theft. The website allowed passengers to dispute their inclusion on the No Fly List. The TSA fixed the website several days after the press picked up the story. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigated the matter, and said the website had operated insecurely for more than four months, during which more than 247 people had submitted personal information. The report said the TSA manager who awarded the contract for creating the website was a high-school friend and former employee of the owner of the firm that received the contract. It noted:
neither Desyne nor the technical lead on the traveler redress Web site have been sanctioned by TSA for their roles in the deployment of an insecure Web site. TSA continues to pay Desyne to host and maintain two major Web-based information systems. TSA has taken no steps to discipline the technical lead, who still holds a senior program management position at TSA.
In December 2009, someone within the TSA posted a sensitive manual titled "Screening Management SOP" on secret airport screening guidelines to an obscure URL on the FedBizOpps website. The manual was taken down quickly, but the breach raised questions about whether security practices had been compromised. Five TSA employees were placed on administrative leave over the manual's publication, which, while redacted, had its redaction easily removed by computer-knowledgeable people.
REAL ID and air travel
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards.
Beginning January 22, 2018, driver's licenses or state IDs issued by states that are not in compliance with the REAL ID Act and have not been granted an extension by DHS may not be used to fly within the U.S.
Current list of acceptable IDs
- Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent) in accordance with REAL ID enforcement
- U.S. passport
- United States Passport Card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. Military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
- Permanent resident card
- Border Crossing Card
- DHS-designated Enhanced Driver's License
- Airline- or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
- Immigration and Naturalization Service Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
TSA agents are also accused of having mistreated passengers, and having sexually harassed passengers, having used invasive screening procedures, including touching the genitals, including those of children, removing nipple rings with pliers, misusing body scanners to ogle female passengers, having searched passengers or their belongings for items other than weapons or explosives, and having stolen from passengers. The TSA fired 28 agents and suspended 15 others after an investigation determined they failed to scan checked baggage for explosives.
The TSA was also accused of having spent lavishly on events unrelated to airport security, having wasted money in hiring, and having had conflicts of interest.
The TSA was accused of having performed poorly at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration viewing areas, which left thousands of ticket holders excluded from the event in overcrowded conditions, while those who had arrived before the checkpoints were in place avoided screening altogether.
In 2013, dozens of TSA workers were fired or suspended for illegal gambling at Pittsburgh International Airport, and eight TSA workers were arrested in connection with stolen parking passes at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
A 2013, GAO report showed a 26% increase in misconduct among TSA employees between 2010 and 2012, from 2,691 cases to 3,408. Another GAO report said that there is no evidence that the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) behavioral detection program, with an annual budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, is effective.
A 2013 report by the Homeland Security Department Inspector General's Office charged that TSA was using criminal investigators to do the job of lower paid employees, wasting millions of dollars a year.
On December 3, 2013, the United States House of Representatives passed the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act (H.R. 2719; 113th Congress) in response to criticism of the TSA's acquisition process as wasteful, costly, and ineffective. If the bill became law, it would require the TSA to develop a comprehensive technology acquisition plan and present regular reports to Congress about its successes and failures to adhere to this plan. An April 2013 report from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General indicated that the TSA had 17,000 items with an estimated cost of $185.7 million stored in its warehouses on May 31, 2012. The auditors found that "TSA stored unusable or obsolete equipment, maintained inappropriate safety stock levels, and did not develop an inventory management process that systematically deploys equipment."
In January 2014, Jason Edward Harrington, a former TSA screener at O'Hare International Airport, said that fellow staff members assigned to review body scan images of airline passengers routinely joked about fliers' weight, attractiveness, and penis and breast sizes. According to Harrington, screeners would alert each other to attractive female passengers with the code phrase "Hotel Papa" so that staff would have an opportunity to view the passengers' nude form in body scanner monitors and retaliated against rude flyers by delaying them at the checkpoint. TSA Administrator John Pistole responded by saying that all the scanners had been replaced and the screening rooms disabled. He did not deny that the behaviors described by Harrington took place.
In May 2016, actress Susan Sarandon claimed that during the entire time of the Bush administration she was "harassed everytime I came into the country". She said that she hired two lawyers to contact the TSA to determine why she had been targeted but that she assumed it was because she was critical of the Bush administration. She said the harassment stopped after her attorneys followed up a second time with the TSA.
In July 2018, a case heard in the Third Circuit Appeals Court ruled that TSA agents are not "investigative or law enforcement officers" and thus are not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The case extended from a woman who had been detained and arrested by TSA in 2006 but later the criminal charges were acquitted in court; she had sought damages under the FTCA for damages related to the false arrest and related matters.
A CBS telephone poll of 1137 people published on November 15, 2010 found that 81% percent of those polled approved TSA's use of full-body scans. An ABC/Washington Post poll conducted by Langer Associates and released November 22, 2010 found that 64% of Americans favored the full-body X-ray scanners, but that 50% think the "enhanced" pat-downs go too far; 37% felt so strongly. In addition, the poll states opposition is lowest among those who fly less than once a year. A later poll by Zogby International found 61% of likely voters oppose the new measures by TSA. In 2012, a poll conducted by the Frequent Business Traveler organization found that 56% of frequent fliers were "not satisfied" with the job the TSA was doing. 57% rated the TSA as doing a "poor job," and 34% rated it "fair." Only 1% of those surveyed rated the agency's work as excellent.
Investigations of the TSA
In 2013 The Office of Inspector General published a reported titled "TSA's Actions Insufficient to Address Inspector General Recommendations to Improve its Office of Inspection". The report touched upon several topics of misconduct but the main focus of the report was of the TSA criminal investigators who received a premium on their pay despite not meeting the minimum qualification to be eligible for this pay.
The TSA Office of Accountability Inspection Act of 2015 published by the Committee of Commerce, Science, and Transportation, was based on a report of an investigation which found issues with the TSA. The act also followed up the Office of Inspector General's 2013 report, mandating that the TSA should comply with Federal Regulation and correct the wage of the TSA's Criminal Investigators. Had no action been taken this misuse of funds was estimated to cost taxpayers, in a span of five years, $17 million.
In response the TSA contracted a consulting firm to assist the TSA with the Office of Inspector General recommendations. However Office of Inspector Generals has found the TSA's response lacking as they have yet to fix a majority of the issues brought up in the report.
Calls for abolition
Numerous groups and figures have called for the abolition of the TSA in its current form by persons and groups which include Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY), Rep. John Mica, (R-FL), The Cato Institute, Downsize DC Foundation, FreedomWorks, and opinion columnists from Forbes, Fox News, National Review, USA Today, Vox, The Washington Examiner, and The Washington Post.
The TSA's critics frequently cite the agency as "ineffective, invasive, incompetent, inexcusably costly, or all four" as their reasons for seeking its abolition. Those seeking to abolish the TSA have cited the improved efficacy and cost of screening provided by qualified private companies in compliance with federal guidelines.
- "THOMAS". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
- "THOMAS". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
- 49 USC § 114(d)
- Landy, Frank J.; Conte, Jeffery M. (December 26, 2012). Work in the 21st Century: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Wiley; 4 edition. p. 263. ISBN 9781118291207.
- TSA Jobs Archived August 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
- Greg fulton (August 17, 2006). "An Airport Screener's Complaint". Time.com. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- TSA Announces Private Security Screening Pilot Program, TSA press release June 18, 2002 Archived September 4, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- TSA Awards Private Screening Contract Archived September 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., TSA press release January 4, 2007
- Sernovitz, Daniel J. (2017-08-24). "At long last, GSA picks a new headquarters site for the TSA". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
- "Senate confirms Admiral Stone as Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for TSA" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: Transportation Security Administration. July 23, 2004. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
- "TSA Suspends 30-Minute Rule for Reagan National Airport". Transportation Security Administration. July 14, 2005. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- Becker, Andrew (February 9, 2016). "TSA official responsible for security lapses earned big bonuses". Reveal. Center for Investigative Reporting. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- "Statement By Secretary Jeh C. Johnson On The Transportation Security Administration" (Press release). Department of Homeland Security. June 1, 2015. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
- "Statement By Secretary Jeh C. Johnson On Inspector General Findings On TSA Security Screening" (Press release). Department of Homeland Security. June 1, 2015. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
- "Statement By Secretary Jeh C. Johnson On The Transportation Security Administration" (Press release). Department of Homeland Security. June 1, 2015. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
- "File:TSA Senior Leadership Organizational Chart - June 29 2018.pdf" (PDF). commons.wikimedia.org. Transportation Security Administration. June 29, 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- "TSA's Administration Coordination of Mass Transit Security Programs" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "GAO-08-456T Aviation Security: Transportation Security Administration Has Strengthened Planning to Guide Investments in Key Aviation Security Programs, but More Work Remains" (PDF). Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "TSA needs screeners at PDX". Portlandtribune.com. Archived from the original on December 25, 2008. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- Ahlers, Mike M. (December 9, 2011). "Bill would strip TSA officers of badges in reaction to alleged strip searches". CNN. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Transportation Security Officer (TSO)". USAJOBS. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-27. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
- "USAJOBS – Search Jobs". Jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov. Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "Exclusive: TSA's Secret Behavior Checklist to Spot Terrorists". The Intercept.
- Schmidt, Michael S.; Eric Lichtblau (12 August 2012). "Racial Profiling Rife at Airport, U.S. Officers Say". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Report: Newark TSA screeners targeted Mexicans". CBS News. June 12, 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Zureik, Elia; Lyon, David; Abu-Laban, Yasmeen (2010-12-13). Surveillance and Control in Israel/Palestine: Population, Territory and Power. Taylor & Francis. pp. 379–. ISBN 9780203845967. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Tierney, John (March 23, 2014). "At Airports, a Misplaced Faith in Body Language". The New York Times.
- Weinberger, Sharon (27 May 2010). "Intent to Deceive?" (PDF). Nature. 465: 412–415. doi:10.1038/465412a. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- Grinberg, Emanuella (December 30, 2009). "Federal air marshals back in spotlight after attempted plane bombing". CNN. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Grabell, Michael (November 13, 2008). "History of the Federal Air Marshal Service". Pro Publica. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Winter, Jana. "In 'Quiet Skies' program, TSA is tracking regular travelers like terrorists in secret surveillance". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- Domonoske, Camila. "TSA's 'Quiet Skies' Program Tracks, Observes Travelers In The Air". NPR.org. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- Corbteett, Jessica. "'Creepy Violation of Constitutional Rights': TSA Uses Armed Undercover Air Marshals to Surveil Unsuspecting Travelers". Common Dreams. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- Winter, Jana. "TSA 'Quiet Skies' program has lawmakers demanding answers - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- "GAO-08-959T Aviation Security: Transportation Security Administration May Face Resource and Other Challenges in Developing a System to Screen All Cargo Transported on Passenger Aircraft" (PDF). Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "GAO-08-933R TSA's Explosives Detection Canine Program: Status of Increasing Number of Explosives Detection Canine Teams" (PDF). Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- Please see Visual Intermodal Prevention and Response article for references
- TSA Management Directive No. 1100.73-2 – TSO Dress and Appearance Responsibilities Retrieved May 26, 2010.
- Frank, Thomas (June 16, 2008). "TSA's new policelike badges a sore point with real cops". USA Today. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Bennett, Brian; Winton, Richard; Gold, Scott (November 1, 2013). "LAX shooting: Slain TSA Officer identified as Gerardo I. Hernandez". LA Times. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "New Orleans airport machete suspect is dead". USA Today. March 21, 2015.
- United States Congress (December 23, 2011). "CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2012" (PDF). United States Government Printing Office. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
- "TSA Fee Would Double Under New Proposal". Newsmax.
- Josh Hicks (19 November 2013). "Travelers leave $500,000 per year at TSA checkpoints". Washington Post.
- At TSA, loose change is real money Archived January 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Acceptable IDs". tsa.gov. Transportation Security Administration. August 26, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- "No-fly list doubles in a year – now 21,000 names". CBS News. February 2, 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Alvarez, Lizette (October 22, 2008). "Terrorist watch lists shorter than previously reported". CNN. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Schoenfeld, Gabriel (December 29, 2009). "Politics and the no-fly list". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Tankersley,, Jim (December 31, 2009). "Plane bombing plot: No-fly list procedure needs revamping, critics say". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Prohibited Items". tsa.gov. Transportation Security Administration. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "3-1-1 for Carry-ons". Transportation Security Administration. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Luna, Taryn. "Despite warnings, more guns are showing up at US airports". www.bostonglobe.com. The Boston Globe. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Quinn, Kevin (December 17, 2010). "Man boards plane at IAH with loaded gun in carry-on". ABC News KTRK-TV/DT Houston. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- "How to Legally Check a Firearm on a Plane".
- Sullivan, Eileen; Laurie Kellman; Martin Crutsinger; Larry Margasak (November 23, 2010). "TSA: Some gov't officials to skip airport security". Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
- O'Keefe, Ed (November 22, 2010). "Who is exempt from airport security?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Sharkey, Joe (8 November 2011). "ON THE ROAD; For the Chosen Fliers, Security Check Is a Breeze". The New York Times. p. 9. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "TSA Precheck Participating Airports".
- Stuck in line: TSA PreCheck expansion slowing down frequent travelers Archived February 5, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- Jeff Plungis (22 March 2013). "TSA Chief John Pistole Gets Into a Knife Fight". Bloomberg.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
- "TSA Pre✓® expands to include Allegiant". Transportation Security Administration. 2015-12-15. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-10. Retrieved 2016-06-27.
- "TSA partners with Lufthansa to offer TSA Pre✓®". Transportation Security Administration. 2016-08-31. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
- "TSA partners with Frontier Airlines to offer TSA Pre✓®". Transportation Security Administration. 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
- "TSA partners with 11 additional airlines to offer TSA Pre✓®". Transportation Security Administration. 2017-01-26. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
- "TSA Pre✓® expands to include 7 more domestic and international airlines". Transportation Security Administration. 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
- "Security Check Now Starts Long Before You Fly". The New York Times. 22 October 2013.
- Matt Apuzzo & Eileen Sullivan (November 3, 2010). "Officials suspect Sept. dry run for bomb plot". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "UK: Plane Bombs Explosions Were Possible Over U.S". Fox News. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
- Hoffman, Tony (November 8, 2010). "U.S. Bans Large Printer Ink, Toner Cartridges on Inbound Flights". PC Mag. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
- Martin, Hugo (November 23, 2010). "Poll finds 61% oppose new airport security measures". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Saletan, William (November 23, 2010). "The government's secret plan to feel you up at airports". Slate. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Elias, Bart (January 26, 2011). "Changes in Airport Passenger Screening Technologies and Procedures: Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Bajoria, Jayshree (December 28, 2010). "The Debate Over Airport Security". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Goldberg, Jeffrey (May 21, 2012). "Underwear Bombers Show Limits of TSA's Groping". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Tilkin, Dan (November 17, 2010). "Replacement hip singles out woman for new TSA pat-down". KATU. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Silver, Nate (November 22, 2010). "New Poll Suggests Shift in Public Views on T.S.A. Procedures". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Michigan Man Left Covered in Own Urine following TSA Pat-Down Archived November 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Fox News Detroit, November 22, 2010.
- Mike Clary, Full-body scanners trigger concerns for some fliers Archived November 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., Sun Sentinel, November 22, 2010.
- Airport screening horror stories: Could a pat-down backlash cripple holiday airline travel? Archived September 11, 2012, at Archive.is, The Post-Standard, November 22, 2010.
- Joe Sharkey, Screening Protests Grow as Holiday Crunch Looms Archived February 21, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., New York Times, November 15, 2010.
- "Transgender Travelers". Transportation Security Administration. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Balko, Radley Q: Why Has the ACLU Been Silent About TSA Abuses? A: Because You Haven't Been Listening Archived July 11, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Reason
- Ward, Kenric (November 28, 2010). "TSA Gropers Draw Tea Party Wrath; Unionizing Vote Next". Sunshine State News. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
- Goins, David (November 23, 2010). "Little Rock man sues over enhanced TSA screenings". Little Rock, AR: FOX16.com. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
- Rosen, Jeffrey (2010-11-28) The TSA is invasive, annoying – and unconstitutional, Washington Post
- Dailey, Kate (November 17, 2010). "TSA Screenings Worry Sexual-Assault Survivors". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 6 April 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "TSA Pat-Down At DIA Leads To Sex Assault Investigation".
- "TSA: How it Works". Tsa.gov. Archived from the original on December 21, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
- Reuters Editorial (29 November 2008). "Germany plans lab tests for airport naked scans". Reuters UK.
- Grabell, Michael (October 19, 2012). "TSA Removes X-Ray Body Scanners From Major Airports". Pro Publica. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Jim Puzzanghera, 'Invasive' airport pat-downs not going away for the holidays Archived October 27, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Los Angeles Times, November 22, 2010.
- "Female Passengers Say They're Targeted By TSA". CBS Dallas. February 13, 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT)" - Retrieved 2012-09-19
- "AIT: Privacy". Transportation Security Administration. December 24, 2012. Archived from the original on February 15, 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Norman, Joshua (16 November 2010). "Naked Body Scan Images Never Saved, TSA Says". CBS News. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Revealed: How TSA agents 'laugh at travelers' naked scanner images in backrooms while flirting with each other Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. LiveLeak.com (2012-12-19). Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
- One Hundred Naked Citizens: One Hundred Leaked Body Scans Archived October 11, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. Gizmodo.com. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
- Smith, Novia (November 19, 2010). "Airport Scanners Transform Bodies Into Stick Figures : NPR". NPR. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- News.cheapflights.com Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- "TSA dumps near-naked Rapiscan body scanners"
- Layton, Julia (February 27, 2007). "Do 'Backscatter' X-Ray Systems Pose a Risk to Frequent Fliers?". HowStuffWorks. Retrieved Mar 18, 2007.
Backscatter" X-Ray Screening Technology
- Leon Mullenders; Mike Atkinson; Herwig Paretzke; Laure Sabatier; Simon Bouffler (2009). "Assessing cancer risks of low-dose radiation". Nature Reviews Cancer. 9 (8): 596–604. doi:10.1038/nrc2677. PMID 19629073.
- "Radiation Exposure and Cancer". cancer.org. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
- Ryan KL, D'Andrea JA, Jauchem JR, Mason PA (February 2000). "Radio frequency radiation of millimeter wave length: potential occupational safety issues relating to surface heating". Health Physics. 78 (2): 170–81. doi:10.1097/00004032-200002000-00006. PMID 10647983. Retrieved 2010-08-28. "Thus, it is clear that RF radiation is not genotoxic and therefore cannot initiate cancer... the majority of such studies have shown that chronic exposure of animals to RF in the range of 435 to 2,450 MHz did not significantly alter the development of tumors in a number of animal cancer models... the same acceleration of skin cancer development and reduction in survival occurred in animals exposed to chronic confinement stress in the absence of RF exposure, suggesting that the RF effect could possibly be due to a non-specific stress reaction."
- Patrick Mason; Thomas J. Walters; John DiGiovanni; Charles W. Beason; James R. Jauchem; Edward J. Dick Jr; Kavita Mahajan; Steven J. Dusch; Beth A. Shields; James H. Merritt; Michael R. Murphy; Kathy L. Ryan (June 14, 2001). "Lack of effect of 94 GHz radio frequency radiation exposure in an animal model of skin carcinogenesis". Carcinogenesis. 22 (10): 1701–1708. doi:10.1093/carcin/22.10.1701. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- 700WLW NewsRadio - Cincinnati, OH https://web.archive.org/web/20160816064154/http://700wlw.iheart.com/onair/aviation-blog-jay-ratliff-43304/tsas-moneysaving-plan-screen-after-the-14643459/
- President’s Message, US Airline Pilots Association press release, November 8, 2010.
- Steve Everly and Randy Heaster, Airline security gets private, The Kansas City Star, November 19, 2010.
- Manuse, Andrew J. (2011-03-07). "Rep. Andrew J. Manuse: Why I sponsored the TSA 'don't touch my junk' bill". New Hampshire Union Leader. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Rogers, Josh (2011-03-10). "O'Brien Applauds Vote to Retain Anti-TSA Bill". New Hampshire Public Radio. Archived from the original on 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Frayer, Lauren (2011-03-15). "Man With 4th Amendment on Chest Sues Over Airport Arrest". AOL News. Archived from the original on 2011-03-23. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Sullum, Jacob (May 25, 2011). "Feds Threaten No-Fly Zone Over Texas". Reason. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- Hill, Kashmir (May 25, 2011). "TSA Threatens To Cancel All Flights Out Of Texas If 'Groping Bill' Passed". Forbes. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- Ron Paul Would Like to Give You Back Your Dignity Archived October 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., New York magazine, November 18, 2010
- ARS Technica Archived April 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.- Posted August 2, 2012; Retrieved 2012-08-08
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2012-09-03. TSA Denies Stonewalling Nude Body-Scanner Court Order.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-30. Retrieved 2013-03-09. TSA to Ask Public About Naked Image Scanners, Pat-downs
- "NPRM: Passenger Screening Using Advanced Imaging Technology (Federal Register Publication)". Regulations.gov. March 25, 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Welch, Sara J. (November 19, 2010). "T.S.A. Screening Measures Draw Virtual Protests". The New York Times.
- Rowe, Peter (November 17, 2010). ""Junk" catchphrase rockets into pop culture lexicon". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "TSA explains why it won't allow electronics on some USA-bound flights [Updated]". Ars Technica. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- "What to know about the new airline electronics bans". CBC News. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- Bear, David (August 20, 2006). "Separating needles from haystacks". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "TSA-approved luggage locks don't always keep belongings safe". ABC7 San Francisco.
- Elliot, Christopher (April 21, 2008). "Tips to ensure the TSA doesn't swipe your stuff". NBCNews.com. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- Unger, Carl (February 11, 2010). "Who's Responsible for Items Stolen From Your Bag?". SmarterTravel. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "The secret life of baggage: Where does your luggage go at the airport?". The Washington Post. Retrieved Sep 15, 2015.
- "What happens to baggage at airports?". The Daily Herald.
- @Lukewearechange (22 August 2015). "Does the @washingtonpost & brilliant TSA know that they just compromised their locking system by putting this out" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "TSA inadvertently shows the dangers of master baggage keys". Engadget. AOL.
- "Lockpickers 3-D Print TSA Master Luggage Keys From Leaked Photos". WIRED Magazine. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
- "3D-printable files of TSA master baggage keys are out for download". Engadget. AOL.
- William J. McGee (January 2005). "Stop Press: Case Closed?". Condé Nast Traveler. Archived from the original on August 25, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
- "TSA Baggage Screeners Exposed". CBS Evening News. September 13, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- "Guns stolen from O'Hare Airport police". WHDH-TV. August 16, 2006. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
- "3 ex-TSA workers plead guilty to theft". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. September 24, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- "Airport insecurity ; Several guns have been stolen from baggage at O'Hare". Chicago Tribune. Aug 15, 2006. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
In addition, the apparent ease with which employees have opened checked baggage already screened for explosives raises concerns that a bomb could be planted ......
- Elliott, Christopher (April 21, 2008). "Tips to ensure the TSA doesn't swipe your stuff". msnbc.com. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- "U.S. reports big drop in baggage claims". UPI. March 18, 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
- Karp, Aaron (February 7, 2010). "TSA sets 'framework' for airport screeners to collectively bargain". Air Transport World. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
- Parsons, Jim (May 25, 2005). "Team 4: Airport Baggage Theft Claims". Pittsburgh: WTAE-TV. Archived from the original on June 16, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- ABC News. "Convicted TSA Officer Reveals Secrets of Thefts at Airports". ABC News.
- Hundreds of complaints filed with TSA over lost items at Hartfield Archived February 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- Passengers lose thousands at JIA Archived February 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- Elias, Bart (April 2010). Airport Passenger Screening: Background and Issues for Congress. DIANE Publishing. pp. 11–. ISBN 9781437923223. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (October 2006). "Review of Allegations Regarding San Francisco International Airport, OIG-07-04" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 27, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- San Francisco International Airport Screening tests were sabotaged Archived November 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 2006
- Jim Doyle (November 17, 2006). "San Francisco International Airport / Screening tests were sabotaged / Security workers were warned when undercover agent arrived". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Aaron C. Davis (November 17, 2006). "SF Airport Cheated Security Tests". FOX News. Archived from the original on July 30, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Airport screeners fail to see most test bombs Archived January 31, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., The Seattle Times, October 28, 2006
- Screeners at Newark fail to find 'weapons' Archived March 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. – Agents got 20 of 22 'devices' past staff. The Star-Ledger, October 27, 2006.
- TSA seeks source of leaks on airport security tests, The Star-Ledger, October 31, 2006 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Fake Bomb Eludes Airport Test". Times Union. Albany, NY. July 4, 2007.
- Poole, Robert (2011-09-19) Massive firing at HNL Honolulu Airport Archived October 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., CNN
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2012-05-16. Report: TSA Security Breaches Mishandled
- JUSTIN FISHEL, PIERRE THOMAS, MIKE LEVINE and JACK DATE via GOOD MORNING AMERICA. "TSA failure: Investigators able to smuggle weapons past airport checks in 95 percent of tests". newsnet5. Archived from the original on 2015-06-01.
- Joint house hearing- Retrieved 2012-08-19
- Robert W. Poole, Jr. (December 5, 2001). "False Security". New York Post / Reason Foundation. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
- Ron Paul (U.S. Congressman) (November 29, 2004). "TSA- Bullies at the Airport". Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk. house.gov. Archived from the original on August 2, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
- Schneier, Bruce (2003). Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World. Copernicus Books. p. 38. ISBN 0-387-02620-7.
- Blalock, Garrick; Vrinda Kadiyali; Daniel H. Simon (February 10, 2005). "The Impact of 9/11 on Road Fatalities: The Other Lives Lost to Terrorism". SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.677549. ISSN 1556-5068. SSRN 677549
- "AEM.cornell.edu" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-16.
- Silver, Nate (November 18, 2010). "The Hidden Costs of Extra Security - NYTimes.com". Fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- Blalock, Garrick; Vrinda Kadiyali; Daniel H. Simon (2007). "The Impact of Post‐9/11 Airport Security Measures on the Demand for Air Travel". The Journal of Law and Economics. 50 (4): 731–755. doi:10.1086/519816. ISSN 0022-2186.
- Matt Apuzzo (May 4, 2007). "TSA Computer Hard Drive Missing". Associated Press.
- "TSA: Missing hard drive left unprotected". USA Today. July 16, 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Soghoian, Christopher (February 13, 2007). "TSA has outsourced the TSA Traveler Identity Verification Program?". Slight paranoia. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- Singel, Ryan (February 14, 2007). "Homeland Security Website Hacked by Phishers? 15 Signs Say Yes". Threat Level – Wired News. Archived from the original on April 29, 2007. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- Waxman, Henry (February 23, 2007). "Letter Requesting Documents from TSA: Oversight Committee Requests Information on TSA Traveler Identity Verification Website" (PDF). House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 28, 2007. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- "Background on Committee Report Regarding TSA's Redress Web Site". Transportation Security Administration. January 11, 2008. Archived from the original on February 19, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
- Singel, Ryan (January 11, 2008). "Vulnerable TSA Website Exposed by Threat Level Leads to Cronyism Charge". Wired News. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
- "Chairman Waxman Releases Report on Information Security Breach at TSA's Traveler Redress Website". United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. January 11, 2008. Archived from the original on January 31, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
- Eric Zimmermann (December 11, 2009). "House to hold hearings on breach of TSA screening guidelines". The Hill. Washington, DC. Archived from the original on October 31, 2010.
- "TSA puts 5 on leave after security manual hits Internet". CNN Travel. December 10, 2009.
- "TSA Real ID and Air Travel" (PDF). https://www.tsa.gov/. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016. External link in
- "TSA fires screener caught sleeping in Seattle". CNN. January 6, 2003.
- "Report: Air Marshal Caught Sleeping on Flight". TheDenverChannel.com. June 7, 2006. Archived from the original on January 25, 2007.
- "Security screener suspended for sleeping". CNN. Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Associated Press. March 11, 2003. Archived from the original on June 18, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
- "TSA Has Fired 112 Honolulu Employees Since 2002". TheHawaiiChannel.com. February 2, 2006. Archived from the original on May 11, 2006.
- "TSA Workers Skipping Orlando Airport Security Causes Concern". Local6.com. February 7, 2007. Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "TSA Officers Hassle Female Passenger with Toddler at Reagan National Airport over Sippy Cup?". Myth Busters. Transportation Security Administration. June 17, 2007. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- Keith Olbermann (host), Andrew Thomas (guest), Monica Emmerson (seen in CCTV clip/s and photos) (June 18, 2007). Olbermann covers *The sippy-cup terrorist* – "Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann" (Television production). MSNBC via YouTube. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- "Teen Says TSA Screener Opened Sterile Equipment, Put Life In Danger". Orlando, Fla.: WFTV.com. March 6, 2008. Archived from the original on September 29, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- Reed, Keith (December 23, 2004). "US eases patdown policy for air travelers". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
- "Plan to snoop on fliers takes intrusion to new heights". Editorial/Opinion. USA Today. March 11, 2003. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
- "Phoenix airport to test X-ray screening". USA Today. Associated Press. December 1, 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
- Ritchie, Jim (April 29, 2005). "TSA officials being probed". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2008.
- "Pilots and passengers rail at new airport patdowns". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "Passenger forced to remove nipple ring with pliers". Brisbane Times. March 28, 2008.
- Scott McCartney (July 16, 2009). "Is Tougher Airport Screening Going Too Far?". Wall Street Journal.
- Jamieson, Bob (November 19, 2004). "TSA Under Fire for Rising Theft by Baggage Screeners". ABC News. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- "3 ex-TSA workers plead guilty to theft". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. September 24, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- "TSA Baggage Screeners Exposed". CBS Evening News. September 13, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- Goo, Sara Kehaulani (June 29, 2003). "TSA Under Pressure To Stop Baggage Theft". Washington Post. pp. A01. Retrieved August 2, 2008. (Registration required). Full text here. Archived August 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- TMJ4 staff (October 14, 2006). "TSA Screener Arrested". Milwaukee: WTMJ-TV. Archived from the original on November 4, 2006.
- "10News Exclusive: Are TSA Employees Stealing?". 10News. San Diego, California: KGTV. February 7, 2007. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- Elliott, Christopher (April 21, 2008). "Tips to ensure the TSA doesn't swipe your stuff". msnbc.com. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- Kerr, Keoki (September 16, 2011). "Some TSA HNL Employees Escape Firing In Baggage Scanda". KITV Honolulu. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015.
- Miller, Leslie (October 13, 2004). "Lavish party spurs criticism of agency". Deseret News. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- Peterson, Barbara S. (March 2007). "Inside Job: My Life as an Airport Screener". Condé Nast Traveler. Archived from the original on June 20, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- Poole, Robert (2010-04-13) Get the Government Out of Airport Screening: The TSA's conflicts of interest prevent better, cheaper security Archived July 12, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Reason
- "TSA Helps Secure Inauguration". Transportation Security Administration. January 21, 2009. Archived from the original on May 10, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
- Constable, Pamela (January 20, 2009). "And Then We Knew It Was Too Late". Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
- "Dozens Of TSA Employees Fired, Suspended For Illegal Gambling Ring At Pittsburgh Int'l Airport".
- "Eight TSA Workers Arrested in Dallas in Stolen Parking Pass Scam". Newsmax.
- Michael Pearson. Ed Payne and Rene Marsh, CNN (31 July 2013). "Government report: TSA employee misconduct up 26% in 3 years - CNN.com". CNN.
- Ashley Halsey III (13 November 2013). "GAO says there is no evidence that a TSA program to spot terrorists is effective". Washington Post.
- Mike M. Ahlers and Rene Marsh, CNN (25 October 2013). "Audit shows highly paid TSA investigators perform lesser tasks". CNN.
- Kasperowicz, Pete (2 December 2013). "House to push tech reform at TSA". The Hill. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Reform TSA's Acquisition Process". Committee on Homeland Security of the US House of Representatives. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Richards, Anne L. (April 26, 2013). "Transportation Security Administration Logistics Center - Inventory Management" (PDF). Office of Inspector General - Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "'New TSA in town,' agency says in response to screener's charges". NBC News. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Interview on The Late, Late Show with James Corden. CBS Corporation. May 3, 2016.
- Stempel, Jonathan (July 11, 2018). "TSA screeners win immunity from abuse claims: appeals court". Reuters. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Poll: 4 in 5 Support Full-Body Airport Scanners CBS News, November 15, 2010.
- Nate Silver, New Poll Suggests Shift in Public Views on T.S.A. Procedures Archived May 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., The New York Times, November 22, 2010.
- Poll finds 61% oppose new airport security measures Archived August 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2010.
- Martin, Hugo (September 11, 2012). "Many frequent travelers say TSA is doing poor job". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- TSA Office of Accountability Act, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-114srpt111/pdf/CRPT-114srpt111.pdf
- "Rand Paul's TSA fix: Pull the plug". POLITICO.
- "Guy Who Created The TSA Says It's Failed, And It's Time To Dismantle It". Techdirt.
- "Privatizing the Transportation Security Administration". Cato Institute.
- "Abolish the TSA".
- "Top 10 Reasons to Abolish the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)".
- Art Carden (14 November 2010). "Full Frontal Nudity Doesn't Make Us Safer: Abolish the TSA". Forbes.
- Chris Edwards. "Congress should abolish the TSA -- it's time to privatize airport screening". Fox News.
- Veronique de Rugy (3 December 2013). "National Review Online". National Review Online.
- "Abolish the TSA: Column". USA TODAY. 2 December 2013.
- Dylan Matthews (26 May 2014). "The case for abolishing the TSA". Vox.
- Charles Hoskinson. "Abolish the TSA". Washington Examiner.
- CJ Ciaramella (16 April 2015). "Abolish the TSA". Washington Post.
- Mann, Charles C. (2011-12-20). "Does Airport Security Really Make Us Safer?". Vanity Fair. New York, NY: Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 2015-04-20.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-07. Retrieved 2015-04-20.