MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Smile! TSA has yet another boondoggle to make traveling more painful

Posted by M. C. on December 10, 2022

But what harm could there be in permitting TSA to scrutinize people’s faces? TSA already spent a billion dollars on behavior detection officers who furtively circulated in airports to detect travelers who were sweating, hand-wringing, yawning, staring too intently, or avoiding eye contact. The inspector general said the program was a complete waste of money and never caught any terrorists.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/08/smile-tsa-has-yet-another-boondoggle-to-make-traveling-more-painful/

By 

James Bovard

Why would any law-abiding American balk at permitting the feds to vacuum up his biometric data at the airport? The Transportation Security Administration is running a pilot program in which travelers stand in photo kiosks that compare their faces with a federal database of photos from passport applications, driver’s licenses, and other sources. TSA promises its new airport regime, which could vastly expand next year, will respect Americans’ privacy.

If you believe that, I can sell you a bridge in Brooklyn really cheap.

TSA has long been one of the most intrusive and inept federal agencies. For 20 years, every TSA boondoggle has been shielded by a bodyguard of bureaucratic lies.

“Trust us” is the TSA mantra for the new program. “TSA hasn’t actually released hard data about how often its system falsely identifies people, through incorrect positive or negative matches,” the Washington Post notes. TSA will be relying on photo-identification systems that have a misidentification error rate up to 100 times higher for blacks and Hispanics.

Some view TSA as being the most intrusive federal agency as it has been in service for over 20 years.
Some view TSA as being the most intrusive federal agency as it has been in service for over 20 years.
A TSA agent loads passengers baggage in to a bomb detection X-ray unit.
“TSA hasn’t actually released hard data about how often its system falsely identifies people, through incorrect positive or negative matches,” according to the Washington Post.

TSA has had plenty of profiling debacles, including targeting black males with backward baseball caps in Boston. At Newark Liberty Airport, TSA agents fabricated false charges against Hispanics to boost the program’s arrest numbers.

The TSA scanning system could be a big step toward a Chinese-style “social credit” system that could restrict travel by people the government doesn’t like. Actually, TSA has already been caught doing that. In 2018, the New York Times exposed a secret watchlist for anyone TSA labels “publicly notorious.” TSA critics to the end of the line — forever?

See the rest here

Be seeing you

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