June 9, 2015

TSA: Terrorists Screening at Airports

Now, after a security breach of its own making, the Transportation Security Agency wants more of the nation’s data on terrorists to sift through, as if building a bigger haystack will solve the problem. The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security reports that the TSA let 73 people linked to terrorism work inside the nation’s airports. According to the report, the TSA checks the Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist every time it’s updated. But the DHS inspector general took the list of more than 900,000 airport workers and ran it against the National Counterterrorism Center’s database. “TSA acknowledged that these individuals were cleared for access to secure airport areas despite representing a potential transportation security threat,” the report read. The inspector general also found the TSA works with shoddy data, clearing people with incomplete names and missing passport numbers, for example. Step one for the TSA is to clean up the data. But questions remain: Will more access to the terrorism watchlist help? Who were the people the IG considers to have links to terrorism? Those details were redacted. And without that information, we can only take the TSA’s word that this was a serious breach. On top of recent news of TSA screening failures, this doesn’t increase our faith in bureaucracy.

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