Pushy At The Airport? You Could Be On Government List

Are you ever in a bad mood at the airport?  Well, you better be on your best behavior this summer as you go through airport security, or else you could be on THE LIST.   No, not the terrorist watch list, but the “pain in the &@#” list.  A story in USA Today says:

Airline passengers who get frustrated and kick a wall, throw a suitcase or make a pithy comment to a screener could find themselves in a little-known Homeland Security database.  The Transportation Security Administration says it is keeping records of people who make  its screeners feel threatened as part of an effort to prevent workplace violence.

The report says the database has been around since 2007 because the TSA was worried about its screeners getting threatened or attacked.  That’s also when we started seeing the screeners wearing new uniforms and police-style badges.  What do they do with this list?  More from USA Today:

A TSA document published in February says database information can be given to government agencies and to airports, airlines and rail and bus systems in cases involving their workers or job applicants.  “They may be contacted by the TSA if an incident involves their employee,” (TSA spokeswoman Kristin) Lee said.

So the list has been around for about three years.  Wondering if you’re on it?  Trying to remember something you said or did while going through security?  Some of the incidents include:

  • Threats
  • Bullying or verbal abuse
  • Remarks about death or violence
  • Brandishing a real or fake weapon
  • Intentionally scaring workers
  • Excessive displays of anger such as punching a wall or kicking equipment

The TSA’s Lee says in the newspaper report that attacks and threats against screeners are “rare” and the database has records from about 240 incidents.  So chances are you’re not on the list.

Privacy advocates have a problem with this list.  USA Today:

“Is this going to be the baby watch list?  There’s a potential for the misuse of information or the mischaracterization of harmless events as potential threats,” American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Michael German said.

The ACLU’s German is also quoted as saying, “I’ve been very angry at an airport because flying can be a very frustrating experience.”  You think?  Two comments to the story show  two differing opinions:

Orygun Duck says, “You just put your bags on the belt, take off your shoes and walk through.  It is so easy even my six year old can do it.”

HomerSentional writes: “Oh please.  The N0-Fly List has thousands of names and TSA doesn’t even pay attention to those.   But they’re going to bother with people who complain about service?  Yeah, OK.

What do you think?

USA Today story “Pushy Fliers May Show Up On TSA’s Radar”

One Comment on “Pushy At The Airport? You Could Be On Government List

  1. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-for ever.” – George Orwell

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