Archive for the ‘airtravel’ Category

The Politics of Fear and “Whole-Body-Imaging”

c/o PrivacyRevolt  The California Progress Report

What remains debatable however, is whether these scanners would have even detected the “underwear bomber” anyway. This is in stark contrast to what we do know: if law enforcement had simply acted on the information it had already gathered – like the warnings of the “underwear bomber’s” father – the plot would have been foiled much earlier.   


c/o  6/27

“The real issue here however is that TSA doesn’t seem to be reading the news. The cost of travel is going up, there will be significantly fewer seats offered for sale from significantly fewer airports. And it doesn’t appear to be a short term blip. What airlines and their passengers do not need is an additional upward pressure on fees associated with air travel. “

While the airline industry bathes in red ink and airports are being asked to cut their costs or lose airline service, The Department of Homeland Security is looking for a 6.8% INCREASE in their {fiscal year}2009 budget to $50.5 billion.  Yes, that’s billion with a B.  You can check out the highlights here, but it includes an increase of $55 million for “deploying the Transportation Security Administration’s Travel Document Checking program to airports nationwide.”  I looked for any reference to automation being developed for this purpose, but could find none. In TSA Administrator Kip Hawley’s testimony to the Commerce Committee last May, he referred to “Travel Document Checkers”,  which sounds like those people who check your ID and boarding pass before you get to security. An extra $55 million for those folks (I guess we can call them TDCs) ??

Earlier this month the Washington Times reported that an independent audit of the TSA produced by KPMG revealed, among other problems, that TSA was unable to provide documentation to back up $585 million listed in its financial documents due to weak accounting practices. Oh, heck  what’s a half a billion anyway?  Besides, they are a security administration, they don’t do accounting. But evidently they don’t have all the bus worked out in employee screening either.  The same audit found TSA didn’t consistently conduct background checks on new employees and contractors who provide IT security to the Coast Guard’s financial center.  DHS didn’t argue with the report and said it is ” taking an aggressive action to implement the reccommendations provided in the report,” according to a letter written by David R. Nicholson, assistant administrator and chief financial officer at TSA.