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. icon
    Greg G (profile), 21 Jun 2011 @ 12:25pm

    Re: 4th Amendment and Travel

    According to that list, the only safe modes of transportation left is:

    Motorcycle
    Bicycle
    Pedestrian

    And these are probably only safe for the time being, and only because they are limited in the number of people that can be transported via the vehicle.

    The next to be stopped with be either Pedestrians because they can march en mass, or Bicycles because of a phenomena known as a Peloton or Paceline.

    Watch out, Tour de France cyclists, TSA gropers may attempt to mobilize there to make sure your peloton isn't carrying any bombs under those saddles.

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