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. icon
    Gracey (profile), 21 Jun 2011 @ 1:24pm

    I guess its time to start planning our vacations in our own backyard. I wonder if the US has any idea how detrimental this could be to their tourism industry? (they probably don't care I suppose)

    I was planning a trip to California and to Georgia...which suddenly I'm rethinking. I think I'd feel as if I were playing roulette no matter which mode of transportation I take.

    Time to head east or west for me...but definitely not south. At least, not until I grow a pair of wings on my back and can fly myself there. But of course, the Air Force might end up shooting me down anyways.

    For some odd reason, this puts me in mind of an old movie with Kurt Russell...escape from New York where NY was turned into a giant maximum security prison...it appears now this might have been premonition instead of fantasy...the next movie will be "Escape from the USA".

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
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
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.