TSA Search Policies Need to Provide Security, Protect Privacy, ACLU Says; Calls on Congress to Adopt Least Intrusive, Most Effective Measures

April 4, 2006 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today urged the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to direct the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to adopt policies regarding the physical screening of cargo and passengers that both provide security and protect privacy. Lawmakers were also urged to eliminate support for ineffective airline passenger screening programs such as Secure Flight and Registered Traveler in favor of more effective security measures.

The following can be attributed to Timothy D. Sparapani, an ACLU Legislative Counsel:

“Screening methods that unnecessarily invade privacy, with no proven added benefit to security, provide only a false sense of security and must be rejected. We have a limited number of resources at our disposal, and the government must focus its energy on technologies and methods that provide real security, and not simply the illusion of security. Screening programs like Secure Flight and Registered Traveler invade our privacy and place undue burdens on completely innocent Americans and must be rejected.

“TSA must use effective, minimally intrusive security measures to enhance airport safety that have minimal risk to privacy, maximum benefit to security and reflect the level of risk. Examples of such steps include: increased training for security personnel; heightened screening of airline and airport security personnel; strict control of secured areas of airports; a neutral entity to which passengers can report lax security procedures; luggage matching of all passengers; and the screening of all luggage, carry-on bags and cargo for explosives and weapons. The flying public can and must have better security measures put into place that do not unnecessarily curtail personal privacy and freedom.”

The ACLU’s statement for the record on passenger and cargo screening can be read at:

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