OSI could not meet a deadline to come up with software that rendered the images generic. Instead, TSA will use machines by L3 Communications which produce generic passenger images. Here's the L3 page for the Provision II. L3 Communications announced a $245 million contract with TSA in November. Also in November, at a congressional hearing, allegations arose, which OSI denied, that it had falsified test results.[More...]
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TSA searches have been expanding in recent months, thanks to its 25 Visible Intermodal Prevention & Response Teams which conduct random checks without suspicion. First authorized in 2005, they are now increasingly being used at train stations. The checks are being noticed at LA's Union Station. An additional 12 teams are planned for 2012. Since last summer, the VIPR teams have conducted 9,300 suspicionless searches.
What's a Visible Intermodal Prevention & Response Team? According to TSA:
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Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is decrying the Republican cuts to the Homeland Security Budget. She testified before the House Homeland Security Committee today and said the cuts would add to delays for airline passengers. I'm not buying it. And, I think the cuts are a good thing. Who wants more of this?
The House budget "cuts technology investments and security improvements on the Southwest and Northern borders," Napolitano said.
"It cuts aviation security measures. It cuts funding to sustain the progress that has been made in enforcing the nation's immigration laws. It cuts critical cyber security tools and operations. It cuts intelligence personnel. It cuts Coast Guard funding to support our war efforts abroad. And it cuts grants that support counterterrorism and disaster-response capabilities at the local level," she added.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg joined in the fear-mongering: [More...]
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Politico reports the TSA announced new security rules for passengers coming to the U.S., and heightened security for those coming from or through certain countries.
All travelers flying into the U.S. from foreign countries will receive tightened random screening, and 100 percent of passengers from 14 terrorism-prone countries will be patted down and have their carry-ons searched, the Obama administration was notifying airlines on Sunday.
The TSA announcement is here.
SA is mandating that every individual flying into the U.S. from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening. The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on U.S. bound international flights."
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Update: Both subpoenas have been withdrawn.
When the TSA increased security after the Xmas Day foiled bomb plan, two bloggers got a copy and posted it. The TSA paid them a visit last night, serving them a subpoena, wanting to know their source.
TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public....Frischling said the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo.
What was in the top secret memo? [More...]
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