TSA's New Strategy: Chats With Passengers

Agency plans to borrow security ideas from Israel
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2011 2:31 PM CDT
The TSA plans to roll out a new initiative in August involving conversations with passengers.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – Get ready to reveal more than just your underwear at airport security checkpoints: TSA officers plan to start chatting up more passengers as part of the screening process. The agency already has "behavior detection officers" at work in airports across the US, but the new strategy calls for more one-on-one conversations, reports Politico (picking up on an interview TSA chief John Pistole gave to CNN). It could be in place next month.

The method is based in part on tactics used at airports in Israel. "There's a lot—under that Israeli model—a lot that is done that is obviously very effective," said Pistole. Critics, however, have said the Israeli system amounts to profiling. Pistole also said the agency will take a new approach to kids: "I think we can do a different way of screening children that recognizes that the very high likelihood they do not have a bomb on them." In other words, fewer patdowns, like this controversial one.

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