TSA: Unclear on the Concept

The General Accounting Administration has criticized the TSA’s “Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques” (SPOT) program, designed to help catch terrorists by detecting suspicious behavior, as a waste of money that does nothing to enhance security.

The GAO said TSA tests of the program were flawed, and decades of published research on behavior detection “also draw into question the scientific underpinnings” of the program. Those studies show that the ability of trained observers to detect deceptive behavior is “the same as or slightly better than chance.”

In response, TSA notes:

Behavior detection techniques have been an accepted practice for many years within the law enforcement, customs and border enforcement, defense, and security communities both in the United States and internationally,”

Yeah, guys, that’s not a defense, that’s the problem.

About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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4 Responses to TSA: Unclear on the Concept

  1. Murali says:

    Why is the General Accounting Administration called GAO and not GAA?

  2. J@m3z Aitch says:

    It’s actually the Government Accountability Office. It used to be the General Accounting Office, and old fogies like me not only can’t keep up, but we get it confused with all the other agencies that are called administrations.

  3. Matty says:

    But arguing that something is a good idea because we’ve been doing it for ages is traditional. Can you imagine if we stopped doing stuff just because there was no good reason to keep on?

  4. Troublesome Frog says:

    Ah, the “wisdom of the ancients” argument. Love it.

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