TSA DEFENDS ‘QUIET SKIES’ MONITORING PROGRAM
Pray for our TSA officials as they work to make our modes of transportation safe.
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thess 3:3)
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is defending its use of a previously secret program used to monitor potential security threats at airports and on planes.
Michael Bilello, an assistant administrator of public affairs for TSA, told The Hill that the “Quiet Skies” initiative does not focus on “ordinary Americans,” but instead zeroes in on a small percentage of the traveling population.
“These programs are not designed to observe the average American,” he said. “They’re designed to protect the traveling public, but they’re not targeting the average American.”
“We’re talking about a very unique passenger that warrants the attention of a federal air marshal,” he added.
The Boston Globe first reported on Sunday that the TSA implemented the “Quiet Skies” program years ago to help eliminate threats posed by “unknown or partially known terrorists.”
Through the program, undercover federal air marshals observe passengers’ behavior. This can include watching how close they stand to the boarding area, how often they use the bathroom and any behavioral tics such as sweating or twitching….
He also defended its role in keeping the skies safe.
The program is aimed at travelers who display “travel patterns that will initially flag them as somebody that should receive further analysis,” Bilello said.
TSA then analyzes additional information available through law enforcement agencies and other databases, he said.
“If after that completion of analysis that person is deemed a potential threat to aviation, the flight crew, passengers, they could be entered into the program and be assigned a federal air marshal for observation,” Bilello said….
TSA officials have also insisted that the program does not target people based on their race or nationality, something TSA has sometimes come under criticism for doing. (Excerpts from Brett Samuels article in The Hill)
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