Bob the Super Hamste writes: The New York Times is reporting that the TSA is now doing background investigations on passengers before they arrive at the airport. The publicly stated reason for this is that it is to streamline the security procedures at airports allowing more passengers to receive less scrutiny while at the air port but this new authority allows the TSA additional information about each traveler. The prescreening that is being performed for domestic travel now uses a simiar standard to that of foreign individuals who where entering the US. The new measures go beyond what is used in the Secure Flight program and while light on details mentions that the passengers passport number will be used. The article does however point out the data sources that are available to the TSA to conduct these pre-screening with such as tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information. Also mentioned is that individuals who do not have a passport will not be subjected to the rules and from my reading will not be eligible for lesser screening at that airport. The stated goal of this program is to have 25% of all airline passengers in the US receive lighter screening at the airport so that they don't have to take their shoes off, remove jackets, or remove laptops from bags. Additionally passengers who are in higher risk categories can receive additional screenings. Also mentioned is that all passengers are currently prescreened and that airlines are required to share your passport data with the TSA if they have it. Link to Original Source
"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the
sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment."
-- Richard P. Feynman