Is the TSA Pressuring Americans Into Submitting to Background Checks?

The New York Times had a piece Tuesday on how security lines at airports are getting longer—in many cases, dramatically so, with waits of several hours at some times and airports. For example, the Times reported,

Ben Cheever, a support engineer for a cybersecurity firm, recently missed a flight in Seattle despite getting to the airport two hours ahead of his 6 p.m. departure to San Diego. Two lines spilled into the airport lobby, he said. A third was reserved for passengers who had signed up to a trusted traveler program called T.S.A. PreCheck that allowed them speedier access.

A lot of people love PreCheck. People not only like speedier lines, but it also plays to the natural human tendency to appreciate special treatment. But as I have noted before, there are serious questions about where this background-check program is headed. What is now a whitelist for a select few may turn into the normal manner of travel, subjecting virtually every passenger to increasingly intrusive database checks, excluding only an unfortunate few who become effectively blacklisted. As I observed last year,

by manipulating the system and the lines, the TSA can push more and more people to seek refuge from poor treatment within a government background check program that demands an ever-increasing amount of information about our lives.

What does the TSA say is the solution to longer security lines? According to the Times,

Both the airlines and the T.S.A. said that one way to alleviate the longer wait is to sign up for PreCheck, which allows eligible passengers to go through the speedier lanes without having to take off their shoes and belts or remove laptops and other electronic devices from their bags.

Is the TSA intentionally making everybody stand in long lines in order to pressure passengers into "voluntarily" submitting to (and paying for) background checks? I don’t believe that 3-hour waits are part of an intentional PreCheck-boosting plot, and the agency has incentives to avoid political backlash as angry travelers call their members of Congress. The Times cites a shortage of TSA screeners, budget cuts, and a growing number of passengers as the explanation for the longer waits. Nevertheless, when conditions are bad it’s a natural question to ask. The agency has a stated goal of moving as many Americans as possible into PreCheck, and will no doubt make use of the current situation to increase pressure on people to do so, as we saw officials doing in their comments to the Times. The structural logic of the situation gives the TSA an incentive to make life difficult for those who resist joining their background check program. It’s a parallel to the airlines’ incentive to make seats as uncomfortable as possible for those lowly passengers who hold out paying fees for “upgrades.” As Tim Wu put it, “in order for fees to work, there needs be something worth paying to avoid.”

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Anonymous

Perhaps the airport authority (and airlines) can put the squeeze onto TSA by printing boarding passes with a defined minimum number of pre-check passengers per hour. The airport authority already has very detailed hourly breakdowns of passenger flows for the business day.

Bottom Line:
Either you "upgrade" a certain percentage of passengers to pre-check, or we will do it for you.

Anonymous

The ACLU does a great job informing Americans about how to obtain legal standing claiming "Fourth Amendment Injury" in court. Great writing as always!

Legend

Why yes, the freemasons and the new world order want to put us all into a database for easy access of our history. Chuck Hagel talked that New World Order (just this morning) trash the Bush Jr and his pathetic freemason daddy embraced to make their way to the head of the line. That's why they all conspired to gut American law under the false flag of a ruse terrorist attack on 9/11...to hog-tie jurisprudence and restrain it from it's due roll in keeping their ilk away from the mechanisms of government. That's why Busy flew the Saudi operatives who financed 9/11 out THAT MORNING...on special flights...while all other flights were grounded. The Saudis financed it, and Bush and Cheney importuned 9/11 here by telling the FBI to ignore Crowley. Beware anyone in power now, they are all in the overthrow of US government together. To install Freemasons like Cheney et. al in one Continuity of Government felled swoop, replete with bunkers for the thousand or so elites who take the helm after the Earth is Destroyed by....the Freemasons and their nukes.

theboss

that desroed some of my brain cells

Anonymous

Amen brother! They run the corporations and are at highest levels of government in US and Europe.

Anonymous

Why not just hire more Air Marshals? It's cheaper, more effective and creates jobs.

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