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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Frost, 23 Jun 2011 @ 12:56am

    I actually do have a problem with "fighting terrorism"

    Let's just take a brief moment to juxtapose the damage done by terrorism vs what is done by the putative "fighting of terrorism".

    The latter has killed a myriad Iraqis, countless Afghanis, created thousands of extra fantatics who didn't start out hating America but certainly do now after a drone blew up their house, their kids and their wife, has shredded the US constitution, is hastening the march of fascism in the USA and the world, causes incredible delays and costs related to anything to do with travel, especially by air, and is furthermore used as an excuse for every egregious violation of human rights in the USA and world-wide.

    Terrorism itself has killed a few thousand people over the years and the chance of anyone dying of a terrorist attack is massively lower than the risk of dying by slipping in the tub at home!

    Let's stop for just one short second and contemplate which is worse here, the disease or the putative cure?

    Of course we should have police, and that police should be extremely heavily monitored to make sure they don't overstep their authority. If that hampers their efficiency somewhat then that's the way it has to be. This TSA BS? This is just unacceptable and outrageous.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.