Friday, January 31, 2014

The TSA of Today



Many of the TSA procedures and policies referenced in a recent opinion piece are no longer in place or are characterized inaccurately. Today’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) looks quite different.  Today’s TSA has moved away from a one-size-fits-all approach, and toward a risk-based security posture to better execute our vital mission.

TSA’s top priority is to protect the traveling public, and every policy and security procedure in place is designed to mitigate threats to passengers and the aviation sector – which we know our adversaries continue to target.  We are always taking steps to enhance our procedures, to most importantly stay ahead of evolving threats, and wherever possible to also improve the experience of the traveling public.  

Today’s TSA is expedited screening for passengers 12 and under and over 75 and Wounded Warriors, as well as providing every military member the ability to utilize TSA Pre™.

Since implementing risk-based procedures in 2011, more than 55 million passengers have experienced some form of expedited security screening – dramatically different than the procedures of years past. You can learn more about our expedited screening opportunities, like TSA Pre™ and how to apply, here.

Every passenger deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and TSA policy upholds this standard. TSA does not tolerate any form of unethical or unlawful behavior by its employees and takes swift disciplinary action if discovered.

In addition, over the last few years TSA has installed Automated Target Recognition software on every Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) unit in use, meaning the machines no longer produce or use passenger-specific images - and haven't for some time.

Most importantly, TSA has instituted one-step removal procedures in many cases for employees behaving unethically or unlawfully. We perform integrity testing every day to ensure the men and women entrusted to interact with the American public are honest and trustworthy. There is no room in today’s TSA for any employee who displays callous disregard for the dignity and respect of every single passenger. 

Every day, TSA helps to screen nearly two million travelers across the United States, so they can take advantage of the opportunity to travel freely and securely from America’s airports. Today’s TSA will continue to uphold our high standards as we carry out our vital homeland security mission.
 
LuAnn Canipe, Assistant Administrator, Transportation Security Administration

51 comments:

Gideon Y said...

On some recent flights:

I was pre-check, my wife not

then she was, I was not

Then we both were

Then we both were not

all within a few weeks

Does this make sense??

Robert Hollis said...

Clearly the article in Politico today hit a nerve, huh?

Is your response meant to suggest that a passenger could now carry a jar of apple butter through security? That that was just an old misunderstanding?

Are you saying that employees are no longer afraid of the amount of radiation coming from the AIT scanners?

Are you suggesting that you now do background checks on all TSA employees before they start work and that the agency is now a model of efficiency?

If not, what parts of Jason Harrington's scathing indictment is incorrect?

[Screenshot taken]

Anonymous said...

Oh, my the screening/ pat down I recieved in Hawaii was so not right. She should have been fired, this was in 2012. Hopefully she is no longer with TSA,

Anonymous said...

How lawyerly of you, Ms. Canipe, to not once have actually denied anything that Mr. Harrington wrote.

Can I opt out of having my tax dollars go towards wonderful pieces of propaganda such as this, Ms. Canipe?

Susan Richart said...

Ho, ho, ho, ho, LuAnn. Don't have the courage to acknowledge what this feeble attempt at justification is in response to?
Jason must have hit a real nerve with the TSA.

Way to go, Jason!

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

What you write misses the point. Historically, TSA has denied any of the practices alleged in the January 30 Politico essay (by Jason Edward Harrington) took place. Today's TSA blog continues the practice of pretending nothing untoward has gone on. Yes, it's fine to emphasize the positive changes TSA has made. Those changes are real. But the first step in any recovery program is admitting you have a problem. TSA has not done that. Nor has it supported public investigative efforts to find the causes of those problems and ensure the public those causes have been eliminated. How else will trust be built?

TropicalSpeed said...

This is good news Ms. Canipe. I am a frequen t traveler and I will hold you to this statement.Rest assured, if I encounter any infractions you will be the first to know. Keep up the good work and never forget that this is the land of Liberty and Rights.

Anonymous said...

Quick! Bury LuAnn's well-written propaganda with another inconsequential blotter post!

Are you going to allow comments on this post, blotterteam?

The former-TSA employee article on Politico is up to over 660 comments. Can this one beat it?

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/tsa-screener-confession-102912.html?ml=po_r#.UuxD0myA10t

RB said...

TSA is still electronically strip searching people.

TSA is still feeling peoples breasts, crotches, and buttocks.

TSA is depriving people of common LGA's without cause.

TSA is still forcing most people to remove shoes, belts, and jackets.

TSA is still treating people like cattle complete with barked orders.

Sure looks like the same old TSA to me.

Anonymous said...

If you want to regain the trust of the American people start by apologizing for the producing the "passenger-specific images" that the TSA believed necessary until May 2013. The TSA has earned its sullied reputation for a reason. Live with it!

Anonymous said...

Given that TSA does not have secret shoppers...aka travelers who report back their experiences. TSI really has no idea how they are perceived.
I just read an article that TSA has the lowest morale of any Government agency. I wonder why that is.

Anonymous said...

"Many of the TSA procedures and policies referenced in a recent opinion piece are no longer in place or are characterized inaccurately..."

You are overlooking the most important point. TSA decided to subject travelers to x-rays, take naked pictures of travelers, and feel up children. An agency that could ever think that subjecting people en masse to medically unnecessary x-rays is acceptable is an agency that is deeply flawed at the most fundamental level. You cannot say you are protecting people from one threat while you are exposing them to another--especially when the odds of dying from radiation-related conditions are higher than the odds of dying in a terror attack. If TSA cannot figure out that fundamental principle, TSA has no business existing. Your credibility as a security agency was destroyed the moment you installed the first backscatter scanner in an airport and started harming the people you were supposed to protect.

Morgan Spencer said...

Fact is, I don't believe you. We all knew this was going on and the security you provide is a joke. These are the people we are counting on to protect us? Shame on all of you, you have ruined the airline industry in this country. It's so uncomfortable now, I refuse to fly. Next you are going to be searching our infants and screening our children!! SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@SkyWayManAz said...

You are offering rebuttal to an article without providing any context to it. You declined to either link to it or refer to it by name. That doesn't conform to any journalistic standards that we see elsewhere online from reputable media. Are you afraid of the public reading this article if they haven't already seen it?

I have read a recent article where it was stated it is policy to refer any passport holders from certain countries to secondary screening period. Iran was listed as one of these countries. I don't have a problem asking guests in our country to be held to a higher standard and expect to be treated the same when I travel abroad. That said I have personally witnessed two Iranian passport holders directed by your screeners to the metal detector then point me to AIT afterward. I only knew of their status when they boarded my flight ahead of me and showed their passports embossed with the Iranian Farsi symbol to the gate agent. Seems odd that I as an American holding a valid Global Entry card for Pre Check, although at a non Pre Check airport, and a valid US Passport was directed to AIT instead. The document checker should have been aware of these facts with my identity and the Iranian couple ahead of me. It seems really odd that couple was given less scrutiny than other passengers. I suppose we can't all be privy to what criteria of risk based assessment was used there by your screeners but it was an revealing observation.

Anonymous said...

Will comments be allowed on this post? If so, how long will American public comments on a government website be delayed?

screenshot

Anonymous said...

Awww, there are new comments posted to the Super Bowl drivel but none to this?

Does Pistole himself have to approve every comment?

Anonymous said...

The piece this post danced around, for your readers' education --

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/tsa-screener-confession-102912.html

James Levzow said...

TSA is to be commended to the service they provide! They have the most troublesome job dealing with an uncooperative public.
Any disconveniece pales in front of a crash or mid-flight occurance.

TSA "ROCK ON!" and thank you

Anonymous said...

The only real problem with the response to the article is that TSA has NEVER accepted responsibility for its gross mistakes and pointless behaviors. That you don't do so now is to be anticipated, but certainly can't be taken as a sign that anything has changed.

Anonymous said...

I just have one comment on your rebuttal statement...."BULL!"

bloodguzzler said...

This is not a "new" TSA, it's a pig with lipstick! They go on about how the policy and procedures and machinery has changed since his resignation. However, now it's more of a problem with the employees who continue to run roughshod over innocent people. (Retaliatory waiting time) (Harassing attractive women and medically disabled people) And this 'threats are detected using software' claim? As in ATD? (Automated threat detection). Jonathan Corbett was also able to get around that as well! New machines, yet still obsolete! Add to the fact that the lines are still dangerously (yes dangerously) long and people wanting to cause mayhem could easily do just that while in the line!

Adrian said...

It is intellectually dishonest to suggest the PreCheck is a part of a risk-based approach to screening. The TSA has provided zero evidence that anything revealed in a PreCheck background check has any statistical correlation with whether or not an individual poses a risk to airline travel. Zero.

PreCheck is a political maneuver to placate the elite who know that TSA security is meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Jason Harrington's article was filled with lies and misinformation. That being said, I'm disappointed you chose to even respond to it, whether in a veiled manner or not.

Anonymous said...

"Any disconveniece pales in front of a crash or mid-flight occurance..."

Would a search of your body cavities be a mere 'disconveniece'?

But to comment on the blog post:

TSA's response to Mr. Harrington's Politico article is empty PR-speak. TSA's leadership should be fired for condoning the abuses committed to date and for continuing to avoid taking responsibility for those abuses.

RB said...

Well, seems TSA and the TSA Blog Team have again censored my speech in violation of the United States Constitution. What could I have possibly written than was not acceptable?

My post consisted of nothing more than a recap of what TSA employees do to people at TSA Checkpoints.

Invasive Pat Downs which result in the TSA employee making hand contact with peoples genitals. How could that statement violate the illegal TSA posting guidelines?

Or the fact that people are electronically Strip Searched in order to fly on a commercial airplane. I see no way that such statement could violate the illegal TSA posting guidelines, especially considering it is a fact that TSA engages in this practice.

I also mentioned how TSA forces most people to remove shoes, belts and jackets. Still nothing that challenges the illegal TSA posting guidelines.

What could it have been TSA? I didn't disparage anyone. Is the ugly truth of what TSA is doing to citizens and visitors to this country to risqué to post?

This LuAnn Canipe wants the public to believe that TSA has somehow changed in the last several years. But the same things continue to be inflicted on the public by TSA employees who lied when they swore to defend the United States Constitution. The only change that TSA has brought is a bigger step to the Police States of America.

Copy saved for submission to the DHS OIG. Post submitted 2/2/14 @ 14:00 hours.

Anonymous said...

Stop giving away Pre-check to random people!

I had to go through a screening and paid $100.

Not only is it unfair to those of us who paid for and went through a deep background check, how do you know you aren't giving random pre-check to the next Boston bombers???

The Precheck Line at DFW D-21 is the longest line of all (over preferred and coach).

STOP GIVING AWAY PRECHECK!

Wintermute said...

"Many of the TSA procedures and policies referenced in a recent opinion piece are no longer in place or are characterized inaccurately..."

And why should you be believed? Because, at the time they were happening, you said those things were not happening.

GSOLTSO said...

Robert Hollis asked - "Is your response meant to suggest that a passenger could now carry a jar of apple butter through security?"

As long as it is 3.4 ounces or smaller. It may also be transported in checked baggage with no limitation on size.

Anon sez - "Will comments be allowed on this post?"

Certainly, provided they comply with the posting rules.

Anon sez - "Does Pistole himself have to approve every comment?"

No.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Keek hiding under secrecy, we will keep being your foe. Keep the policy that all american citizen are potential terrorist, we will keep opposing you. keep violating the Constitution, we will defend it.

RB said...

Anonymous said....

You are overlooking the most important point. TSA decided to subject travelers to x-rays, take naked pictures of travelers, and feel up children. An agency that could ever think that subjecting people en masse to medically unnecessary x-rays is acceptable is an agency that is deeply flawed at the most fundamental level. You cannot say you are protecting people from one threat while you are exposing them to another--especially when the odds of dying from radiation-related conditions are higher than the odds of dying in a terror attack. If TSA cannot figure out that fundamental principle, TSA has no business existing. Your credibility as a security agency was destroyed the moment you installed the first backscatter scanner in an airport and started harming the people you were supposed to protect.

February 1, 2014 at 2:00 AM

.................................

Not only did TSA install Whole Body Xray devices they went on to lie about the clarity of the images these devices created.

TSA lied about the testing of the Backscatter Whole Body Strip Search machines claiming that independent agencies had tested the machines. We know now that that didn't happen at all.

TSA lied about the ability of the Whole Body Xray (and MMW) scanners ability to not only store but transmit images. Contract specs required this ability.

TSA lied about the invasiveness of Pat Downs using words like "meet resistance" when what they should have been saying was genitals.

TSA has lied about TSA screenings where travelers have reported extremely abusive practices such as strip searches and other such events.

What the public has clearly learned is that TSA lies. TSA lies about anything and everything and nothing coming out of TSA can be considered truthful.

TSA has worked extremely hard to be known worldwide as the federal agency that is dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Saw this account of "The TSA of Today" at another website and just shook my head in disbelief.

Came through FNT today; entire family in front of me (2 parents, 3 young children). All got PreCheck. However, they were carrying some sealed juice containers for the children, and the TSA "offered" them these options:

1. Keep the juices but have one bag randomly torn apart and searched, and one adult would have to have a full patdown.

2. "Voluntarily surrender" the explosive juices (which would be thrown into the garbage can right next to the TSO who was concerned the cartons were explosives).


Perhaps someone at TSA can explain how searching one bag renders a childs juice box less of a threat? Or for that matter how how an abusive patdown of one of the adult travelers render those same juice boxes harmless.

Or how tossing potential, to dangerous to enter the sterile area, explosives in common trash bins right at the TSA checkpoint doesn't jeopardize everyones safety?

If TSA wants the public to believe there have been changes at TSA that improve passengers "TSA Experience" then show us exactly what those changes are.

If these are proper TSA procedures then I think TSA is using some of the same contractors that Samsonite used some years ago to test the ruggedness of their suitcases to formulate TSA policy..

It's time to knock off the silly meaningless TSA procedures that add squat to our commercial aviation traveling safety.

Anonymous said...

We live in Canada and we used to fly a lot from US border towns to US or other places. Since new TSA procedures we almost stopped doing that. I had very bad experience at Detroit airport were TSA agent (older women with voice almost lost to smoking) were unfair to my children. So for 2-3 years we stopped going to USA for vacations. Since then we found that flying to Jamaica, Mexico was better value.
Last December we flew again and I agree, a lot of TSA agents are now much better, but still I was not comfortable with some TSA behavior. I am still going to wait few more years till you guys in TSA will figure out all issues. Maybe in 2016-2017 I'll start taking my family to Siesta Keys, FL again.

Bubba said...

Experts from the article you vaguely describe:

We knew the full-body scanners didn’t work before they were even installed. Not long after the Underwear Bomber incident, all TSA officers at O’Hare were informed that training for the Rapiscan Systems full-body scanners would soon begin. The machines cost about $150,000 a pop.

Our instructor was a balding middle-aged man who shrugged his shoulders after everything he said, as though in apology. At the conclusion of our crash course, one of the officers in our class asked him to tell us, off the record, what he really thought about the machines.

“They’re XXX,” he said, shrugging. He said we wouldn’t be able to distinguish plastic explosives from body fat and .that guns were practically invisible if they were turned sideways in a pocket.

We quickly found out the trainer was not kidding: Officers discovered that the machines were good at detecting just about everything besides cleverly hidden explosives and guns. The only thing more absurd than how poorly the full-body scanners performed was the incredible amount of time the machines wasted for everyone.


This text confirms what many of us full body scanner critics have been saying, and what your statistics actually show week by week: body scanners are worse at detecting guns than metal detectors. This fact does not change with automated target recognition - it is a flaw of the method in itself.

How do you respond to this, considering you are now using body scanners (less effective) in the population you consider a higher threat, while using more effective metal detectors on people who are supposedly less dangerous in PreCheck?

Anonymous said...

I don't see any specific denials to what was in the article by the former TSA screener.

My question is why is going through airport security so much worse in the US than in other parts of the world? I fly in Europe and it is a far better experience than in the US. The screeners in Europe are polite, they don't have negative attitudes towards the passengers, and they don't yell about removing laptops and liquids from bags. I can leave my shoes on while I go through the checkpoint. If I do set off the metal detector, they use metal detector wands instead of a full body patdown. What happened to the wands in this country? It's far less invasive and offensive than having someone touch my genitals. The flights are just as safe over there yet security isn't so hostile and touchy-feely as it is in the US.

Chris Boyce said...

On Friday, I submitted a comment concerning the quality and effectiveness of Assistant Administrator Canipe's response to the former screener's blog post and book. It seems as if you have censored my comment.

I would like you to publicly explain why you censored my post. If not, you will be explaining your rationale to the IG as well as me. It's your choice.

RB said...

Looks like another TSA screener upholding the traditions of "The TSA of Today"

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140130/logan-square/tsa-worker-accused-of-stealing-8500-from-checked-bag-at-ohare

"TSA Worker Accused of Stealing $8,500 from Checked Bag at O'Hare"

"Prosecutors said that agent Velazquez was caught on surveillance video going through the woman's suitcase. He allegedly found the cash, stashed it in a garbage can and later retrieved it and put it in his own backpack”

Susan Richart said...

And yet another, RB, this time for making "terroristic threats":

http://www.khou.com/news/crime/TSA-agent-arrested-accused-of-making-terroristic-threat-243363971.html

RB said...

Question TSA.

The Justice Department has filed charges against the company (USIS), a company that does a lot of federal employee background checks.

Has TSA every contracted with USIS to do employee background checks?

If so how many TSA employee background checks are not suspect for not being properly done?

What I want to know is if the TSA screeners I come into contact with have really been vetted properly. Based on the ongoing criminal acts by TSA employees I have to guess that they have not been properly vetted.

Anonymous said...

After flying one time post-9/11, I have not flown on a commercial airplane since, and it is directly related to the policies and practices of the TSA.

I will never subject myself to that kind of invasion of privacy again, and will choose alternate methods of transportation, even if I need to travel cross-country.

Anonymous said...

I'm an active-duty military officer. Over the holidays my family went through security at JFK on our way home and was told at the ticket counter that my kids were pre-check approved, and because we were military, we could proceed to the TSA pre-check as well. I get to the line that has NOBODY in it, and operators just sitting there waiting at the scanners, and am told my kids are pre-check approved and can go through, but my wife and I are not. I told them we were active-duty military, and thought we were good-to-go now, she says no, we don't do that for military. Needless to say, I'm not going to send my 6 and 8 year old kids through this vacant line, while my wife and I wait in a 300 person line down the way.

WHERE IS THE SENSE TSA???!!!???
I'M ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY, WITH A SECURITY CLEARANCE. WHERE IS THE COMMON SENSE ???!!!

Anonymous said...

I sure am glad the TSA pulled my 6 year old son aside to pat him down and go through his back pack. I was suspicious of him up to that point. Thank you TSA, we are all safer now.

Anonymous said...

"I'M ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY, WITH A SECURITY CLEARANCE. WHERE IS THE COMMON SENSE ???!!"

Where is the common sense in groping and taking naked pictures of librarians, doctors, teachers, and florists? Is there any evidence that those professions are producing terrorists? Why do you deserve special treatment?

Anonymous said...

Your own claim is that you have "screened" or more importantly violated the human rights of over 600,000,000 innocent travelers.

I will take my chances with the terrorists! They CAN'T be any worse that you are!

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the TSA has still not caught a single terrorist? You people are extremely unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

HAHA the TSA is such a joke!!! What cracks me up is just how much danger you put people in by corraling them into a group with nowhere to go should something go wrong. Then you make exceptions to certain people who get the the regular metal detector while the sheeple get the full monty. The TSA needs to go away.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"I sure am glad the TSA pulled my 6 year old son aside to pat him down and go through his back pack. I was suspicious of him up to that point. Thank you TSA, we are all safer now."

TSAgents are violating their own policies again, I see. I thought children 12 and under where no longer a threat to aviation?

Anonymous said...

My reply to James Levzow, submitted three or four days ago, was not posted to this blog. My comment did not "disconveniece" James in any way and conformed with blog policies.

Other commenters on this post also say their comments weren't approved.

It is unethical, unprofessional, and against any properly-run govt agency policy to censor the American public.

screen shot

Anonymous said...

percentages are used many times on here to say how ineffective tsa is at its job, can we please get a percentage of how many "bad apples" tsa has fired over the years? lets say that it is 1000 and it has 48,000 employees currently, this does not iinclude the numerous people that have left tsa over its existance so lets say that 60,000 people have worked for tsa during this time. so 1000 out of 60,000 is 1.67% of its employees are "bad apples". how does this agency compare to actual law enforcement agencies and even elected officals as far as "bad apples"? i would like to see an actual number. i am guessing that tsa is quite a bit behind other agencies that are held to a MUCH higher standard than the tsa.
*susan richart statement applies to get my blog out there

Anonymous said...

Jason Harrington's article in Poltico Magazine is up to over 1200 comments. This comment will be, if allowed through censoring moderation, will be #47?

Hmmm... censorship or disbelief of TSA propaganda? Did you ever allow comments through on Pistole's post about the TSA kiddie site?

Anonymous said...

Does the TSA still humiliate cancer survivors?: http://www.cafemom.com/group/115189/forums/read/19614751/DH_was_humiliated_by_TSA_long_post_Were_both_pretty_upset_Anyone_else_have_bad_experiences

Anonymous said...

Did people stop commenting on this lame propaganda or are you censoring posts again, blotter team?