Apr 042010
 
 April 4, 2010  Surveillance, U.S.

Stewart Baker writes:

The press has been spending a lot of time on TSA’s new policy.   This New York Times story is representative (I’ve linked to it here because it has the first ever MSM reference to Skating on Stilts).

Despite all the attention, though, there’s a surprising lack of certainty about exactly what TSA is doing that’s different.  After making some assumptions that weren’t quite right, I think I now understand and can explain what TSA has done.

[…]

So what happened last week? It looks as though the administration tweaked the system further. Now, when TSA scrutinizes the passenger list, it won’t just be looking for known terrorist identities but also for fragmentary identities. So, if we know that a Nigerian is training for an attack and that his first name is Umar, we’ll select a lot of Nigerian Umars for screening. This is a good thing, but not in my view as significant as the earlier step.

For some reason, though, last week the administration didn’t have a good plan for explaining what it was doing.

Read more on The Volokh Conspiracy.

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