Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

TSA's 'Quiet Skies' Program Tracks, Observes Travelers In The Air
NPR ^ | July 30, 20181:23 PM ET | Camila Domonoske

Posted on 07/30/2018 12:19:33 PM PDT by BenLurkin

Some Americans have been trailed and closely monitored by undercover air marshals as they traveled on U.S. flights, as part of a previously undisclosed Transportation Security Administration program called Quiet Skies.

The existence of the program was first reported Saturday by the The Boston Globe, citing an internal TSA bulletin from March as well as anonymous sources within the department. The Globe says the program targets travelers who are not on terrorist watch lists and are not suspected of a crime.

Some air marshals involved have expressed misgivings about the domestic surveillance program, questioning whether it's legal and whether it's an efficient use of resources, the newspaper reports.

In a statement to NPR on Monday, the TSA defended the program as "a practical method of keeping another act of terrorism from occurring at 30,000 feet."

Spokeswoman Michelle Negron said the program "doesn't take into account race and religion, and it is not intended to surveil ordinary Americans."

The program is routinely reviewed by "legal, privacy and civil rights and liberties offices," she said.

Under the program, the Globe reports, "thousands of unsuspecting Americans have been subjected to targeted airport and inflight surveillance, carried out by small teams of armed, undercover air marshals, government documents show."

The air marshals observe the targets and keep notes, the Globe reports — documenting whether they change clothes or shave while traveling, abruptly change direction while moving through the airport, sweat, tremble or blink rapidly during the flight, use their phones, talk to other travelers or use the bathroom, among many other behaviors.

The TSA says that people are selected for monitoring based on an analysis of their travel patterns.

The Globe reports that there are 15 rules for selection, and that the full list of criteria is not known. "Passengers are not under investigation and their names are not on a terrorist watch list or in a screening database," the newspaper writes.

The Globe reports that a flight attendant and a federal law enforcement officer are among those who have been flagged for surveillance under the program. Dozens of people are monitored each day, the newspaper says. Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, tells NPR that whether or not Quiet Skies is legal depends on how exactly it is carried out. National

'Quiet Skies' TSA Surveillance Program Targets Americans Without Warrant

In general, he says, people in public — on an airplane, for instance — do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Constitution. "If other citizens can see you, the government and the police are allowed to see you," he told All Things Considered on Sunday. "They're also allowed to keep notes on what they observe."

But it's possible that the program could step over the line, he says.

"If [air marshals] are trying to see what's on the screen of a computer or take more intrusive steps, it could raise serious privacy issues under the Constitution," Turley said. "Also, if they're using these types of digital dossiers to restrict people, putting them on flight lists or putting them under some type of other limitation, that could also raise a serious matter under the Constitution. We simply don't know."


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: 1984; airlinesecurity; counterterrorism; quietskies; stupidgov; tsa; uselesscrap; wasteoftime
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-24 next last

1 posted on 07/30/2018 12:19:33 PM PDT by BenLurkin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
But it's possible that the program could step over the line, he says.

"If [air marshals] are trying to see what's on the screen of a computer or take more intrusive steps, it could raise serious privacy issues under the Constitution," Turley said. "Also, if they're using these types of digital dossiers to restrict people, putting them on flight lists or putting them under some type of other limitation, that could also raise a serious matter under the Constitution. We simply don't know."

So, they’ll do it anyway.

2 posted on 07/30/2018 12:24:00 PM PDT by TADSLOS (If You’re Gonna Do Me Wrong, Do It Right...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

The Israelis seem to do a pretty good job of keeping their aircraft safe. Why don’t we learn from them?


3 posted on 07/30/2018 12:24:29 PM PDT by Moonman62 (Give a man a fish and he'll be a Democrat. Teach a man to fish and he'll be a responsible citizen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

I gave up flying when the TSA was instituted and will not fly again until they are disbanded.


4 posted on 07/30/2018 12:24:46 PM PDT by Lurkinanloomin (Natural Born Citizen Means Born Here of Citizen Parents__Know Islam, No Peace - No Islam, Know Peace)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

NPR:”...but its perfectly fine to phone tap the winner of a Presidential election....”


5 posted on 07/30/2018 12:27:35 PM PDT by Zathras
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62
The Israelis seem to do a pretty good job of keeping their aircraft safe

They do behavioral profiling. They look at whether they change clothes or shave while traveling, abruptly change direction while moving through the airport, sweat, tremble or blink rapidly during the flight, use their phones, talk to other travelers or use the bathroom, among many other behaviors. They also do extensive interviews, looking not necessarily at the answers given, but how the answers are given.

6 posted on 07/30/2018 12:29:29 PM PDT by NorthMountain (... the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

I think the TSA is a waste of time. We as a nation could do so much better.

That said, I don’t care if an air marshal is scoping me out.

I visited the Flight 93 Memorial yesterday. It was a very somber reminder of our need for vigilance and the heroism of the average American.

They identified the terrorist scum as Islamist which was good. They did use their names on the seating chart where I would have preferred “dead Terrorist” or some such nomenclature.

One of the women on the plane was identified several times by her name and unborn child. Good pro-life message.


7 posted on 07/30/2018 12:31:22 PM PDT by cyclotic ( We’re the first ones taxed, the last ones considered and the first ones punished)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
Perhaps the reason air travel is so bad these days is that the crowded, overbooked flights are the result of so many air marshals and TSA dupes riding aboard.
 
8 posted on 07/30/2018 12:32:02 PM PDT by Governor Dinwiddie (MAGA in the mornin', MAGA in the evenin', MAGA at suppertime . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62
The Israelis seem to do a pretty good job of keeping their aircraft safe. Why don’t we learn from them?

The Israelis make a whole bunch of completely unacceptable assumptions. For example, they assume that Islamic travelers aged 15-45 are more likely to be Islamic terrorists than, for example, Christian infants or elderly Jews are. We're too politically correct to be sensible.


9 posted on 07/30/2018 12:34:06 PM PDT by Pollster1 ("Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

Pretty soon there will be no more living members of the Mile High Club.


10 posted on 07/30/2018 12:35:43 PM PDT by Yaelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

we keep letting Muslim terrorist invasion troops into USA
and they are almost everywhere in our communities already

but
we are paying for these folks to spy on Americans who are not even ‘suspected’ of any terrorist intentions ?

WTF!?

recalling also that 96% of all weapons got thru TSA at the airports, in a test... not too long ago...


11 posted on 07/30/2018 12:36:45 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ( "Politicans aren't born, they're excreted." -Marcus Tillius Cicero (3 BCE))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

Complete stupidity. The person who’s going to see a dying parent is going to trigger their idiotic warnings, or someone who’s afraid of flying.

Anything to avoid keeping liberals and muzzies off airplanes.


12 posted on 07/30/2018 12:57:36 PM PDT by I want the USA back (This week's hysterical obsession: Russia collusion, again. Last week's: sex tape.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

13 posted on 07/30/2018 12:57:37 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the Occupation Media.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lurkinanloomin

I’ve flown once since TSA was instituted and that wasn’t by choice. No thanks.


14 posted on 07/30/2018 1:03:32 PM PDT by bgill (CDC site, "We don't know how people are infected with Ebola.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Lurkinanloomin

Im just not flying again, period.

They are shrinking the seats and people are getting fatter and more obnoxious.


15 posted on 07/30/2018 1:05:40 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

Would NOT be surprised if they were surveilling people like us who check handguns with our baggage when flying to/from free states. Or, surveilling known Trump supporters.


16 posted on 07/30/2018 1:28:26 PM PDT by backwoods-engineer (Enjoy the decline of the American empire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: backwoods-engineer

Last time I flew a loooong time ago I had a checked handgun and ammo all done up above and beyond the requirements needed the tsa did everything except run a camera up My A$$. When I got to My destination and got My luggage I opened the 48 Qt Igloo cooler full of Texas Peaches to get one and I knew it had been opened because the duct tape had been undone and sort of put back. Inside was the standard printed note from the T otaly S tupid A $$holes saying they had rifled through My baggage. There was an entire layer of Peaches missing.

I don’t fly anymore and I was Born and Raised into the Airline Industry and had been flying for 40+ years.

I’m DONE! If I can’t drive there I don’t need to go there.


17 posted on 07/30/2018 2:27:55 PM PDT by mabarker1 (congress- the opposite of PROGRESS!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Pollster1

18 posted on 07/30/2018 2:28:52 PM PDT by dfwgator (Endut! Hoch Hech!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

Surely that can’t happen often.


19 posted on 07/30/2018 2:34:31 PM PDT by Pollster1 ("Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Pollster1

20 posted on 07/30/2018 2:39:41 PM PDT by dfwgator (Endut! Hoch Hech!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-24 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson