Newly released documents reveal the Transportation Security Administration is preparing to broaden its pre-screening process for airline travelers. The agency already cross-references flight manifests with a terror watch list but according to the New York Times, the TSA can now search a number of government and private databases before you even arrive at the airport – a level of pre-screening that was previously only used for those flying into the US.
The new screening process is outlined in a TSA document although full details still remain unknown. What we do know is that the agency can access a number of records about a person including information like car registration, employment information, tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics and intelligence and law enforcement information.
The TSA says the measures will help streamline the security procedures for passengers that pose little risk and obvious to help identify higher-risk passengers. It’s much more in-depth than the current background check process known as Secure Flight. Under the Secure Flight check, the name, gender and birth date of passengers are checked against a terror watch list.
Naturally, several privacy groups are against the TSA’s widening reach over airline passengers. Identity Project consultant Edward Hasbrouck said the default screening will be the highest, most intrusive level of search and anything less will be approved only when additional details are provided to lower the risk level.
How do you feel about beefed up airport security in general? Do you feel safer traveling now than pre-911?