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Wed, May 26, 2010

Lose Your Temper In A Security Line And TSA Will Remember

Security Agency Keeps Little-Known Database Of People Who Make Screeners Feel "Threatened"

If you're having a bad day at the airport, it's probably best if you keep it to yourself while in the security line. TSA has admitted that it is keeping a database of passengers who lose their temper, or even make a snide comment to a screener. The list has caused red flags to go up with civil liberty organizations who think the list could feed a watch list, and subject more people to increased scrutiny without cause.

USA Today reports that an internal TSA document says the database includes names, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, and other personal data on not only the aggressors, but also on victims and those who may witness an incident. The database notes the type of incident as well, such as bullying, verbal abuse, or threats. Screeners can also note whether a passenger made remarks about death or violence, showed a real or fake weapon, or made an "excessive display of anger", like punching a wall.

Information about passengers is taken from incident reports that are created when a traveler attacks or threatens a screener, according to TSA spokeswoman Kirstin Lee. The database was created in 2007, when TSA officials said they had concerns about passengers being disrespectful of screeners, and issued police-style uniforms and badges. Still, Lee said, only about 30 incidents have involved passengers interacting with screeners since the program began, and there are only 240 incidents in the database. Most incident reports, she said, deal with inter-agency issues between employees.

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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