TSA Takes Security Theater On The Road: Mobile Groping Teams Can Pop Up Anywhere

from the somehow-this-makes-me-feel-less-safe dept

Via Julian Sanchez, we learn that the TSA has apparently been taking its security theater on the road, with special mobile teams, as a part of its VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) program. These teams apparently show up unannounced, and start their usual groping and scanning procedures at bus stations, train and subway stations, and occasionally even on passenger cars.

While the TSA is claiming it's doing this to "prevent terrorism" (of course), some are noting that the TSA is working closely with ICE on these efforts, and it often seems like these "random" searches are specifically targeting potential illegal immigrants, rather than actual terrorist threats.

Of course, no one has a problem with the general idea of stopping terrorism or enforcing the basics of the law. But it does seem highly questionable, on basic 4th Amendment points, for the TSA to just magically drop in a team that gets to search people without any other basis beyond "we're here from the TSA, and we're here to grope."

Filed Under: privacy, searches, tsa


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2011 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: 4th Amendment and Travel

    I suspect they were only using radiation detectors and dogs.

    I suspect you're an apologist of some sort.

    It would be problematic for them to even question the driver or passengers in light of the fact that anti-drunk checkpoints have to be announced in advance and that the driver has to be able to avoid the checkpoint after seeing it (or is that only California?).

    Maybe it would be better to refrain from making uninformed comments, then.

    At any rate, what happens if you refuse a search or questioning? Do they force you to turn around and drive back to wherever you got your bomb?

    Because we all know that anyone who doesn't want to be irradiated or groped must have a bomb, huh? "If you have nothing to hide, then you ave nothing to fear"?

    It's like saying, at an airport when you refuse a search, that you can't travel to NY but you can go to Seattle.

    Not if you're *flying* to Seattle, unless, of course, you happen to be wealthy enough to charter a private plane or even own your own. Then you can do whatever you want. (Can't pull this crap on them, they've got the money to get somebody fired!)

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