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
    mundens, 24 Jun 2011 @ 9:38pm

    VIPR == Terrorist attack squad

    The silly thing is that the more the US government's agencies do this sort of thing, the easier it is for terrorists to operate.

    Now, all the terrorists have to do is dress up as a TSA VIPR team and they'll be able to carry out whatever terrorist action they like!

    Hey wait a minute, are you sure those VIPR teams are _actually_ sent out by the TSA? Maybe Al Quaeda is doing it as part of a recruiting drive?

    Next time anyone sees a VIPR team, I suggest calling the FBI and reporting the potential terrorist recruiting cell operation you're witnesssing!

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