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ACLU Sues for Details of Controversial 'Behavioral Detection' Program at Airports

Created: 20 March, 2015
Updated: 21 November, 2022
1 min read

The ACLU, a well-known civil rights group, filed a lawsuit Thursday in an effort to obtain more information on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) controversial 'behavioral detection' program. Critics say the program may lead to racial profiling.

The group sent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the TSA in October for details on the program, but the agency never responded. The ACLU is now asking a federal district court judge in New York to order the TSA to comply with the FOIA requests.

"The Freedom of Information Act requires federal agencies to respond to records requests within 20 days, but processing regularly takes months or even years, especially when the materials require redactions of sensitive information or complicated searches for documents. [...] TSA uses behavioral detection for its Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques program, in which specially trained officers send suspicious passengers for additional screening such as pat-downs, questioning and sometimes investigations by law-enforcement. The agency also uses the techniques to select passengers for expedited screening. TSA has never explained what types of behaviors raise flags, but critics say fidgeting, sweating and eye movement can be seen as signs of bad intent." - Josh Hicks, The Washington Post

Read the full Washington Post story here.

Photo Source: AP