TSA compiled se­cret list of ‘un­ruly’ pas­sen­gers

Agency says fewer than 50 peo­ple are on it; 2017 saw over 34 as­saults on of­fi­cers

Orlando Sentinel - - NATION & WORLD / FROM PAGE ONE - By Fredrick Kun­kle

The Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion, not con­tent with pat-downs and other pro­ce­dures, has been com­pil­ing a se­cret watch­list of “un­ruly” pas­sen­gers who might pose a threat to TSA staff at air­port check­points.

The watch­list, first re­ported Thurs­day by the New York Times, in­cludes peo­ple deemed by the agency to have en­gaged in be­hav­ior or come into con­tact with a TSA of­fi­cer in a way the agency deemed to be of­fen­sive or threat­en­ing. Peo­ple who are seen to be loi­ter­ing sus­pi­ciously near the check­points could end up on the list, the Times says, cit­ing a five-page TSA di­rec­tive it ob­tained.

Lisa Farb­stein, a TSA spokes­woman, said the agency took the step to pro­tect its of­fi­cers from com­bat­ive pas­sen­gers, and that so far, fewer than 50 are on it.

In fis­cal 2017, there were more than 34 as­saults on TSA of­fi­cers, she said.

Thou­sands of pas­sen­gers, in turn, have com­plained about check­point be­hav­ior and phys­i­cal con­tact by TSA of­fi­cers. But the se­cret watch­list also raises ques­tions about pos­si­ble civil rights abuses and due process for those who land on the list.

The Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union ex­pressed some of the same con­cerns Thurs­day about the TSA watch­list that the or­ga­ni­za­tion has raised about the broader sys­tem of na­tional se­cu­rity watch­lists. Too many in­no­cent peo­ple are swept up onto watch­lists main­tained by the FBI and other agen­cies, and there are in­ad­e­quate meth­ods to chal­lenge those des­ig­na­tions, the ACLU said.

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