The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is facing renewed scrutiny over its airport screening procedures after two separate reports highlighted unusual or unfair treatment.
In one report, two black women said the TSA had finally agreed to stop singling out passengers for extra screening based on their “sisterlocks” hairstyles.
In the other, The Intercept released what it claims is the secret checklist the TSA uses for behavior screening — including such signs as “exaggerated yawning” and “gazing down”.
Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the federal government for information about the so-called “behavior detection” programs at airport security checkpoints.
The lawsuit said more information needs to be known about the Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques program, also known as SPOT. It said the government has spent more than $1 billion on that program alone since 2007, but that scientists dispute whether this kind of behavioral analysis is at all useful.
The checklist The Intercept released Friday includes 92 items with categories including an initial “observation and behavior analysis,” followed by further analysis based on passengers’ “unusual items” and “signs of deception.”
Some of the signs of deception, according to the document: having a recently shaved beard, whistling, and “wearing improper attire for the location.”