facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Tepid review for TSA program to spot suspicious characters

Nov. 14, 2013 at 1:33 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Airport security agents in the United States may be wasting their time scanning the lines of travelers waiting for screening, government analysts said.

The Government Accountability Office released a report Thursday that concluded the Transportation Security Agency should drop its Screening of Passengers by Observation Technique (SPOT) training program because the profiling wasn't producing the desired results.

The SPOT program trains agents to look over the lines of people approaching airport screening stations and pick out individuals who may be up to no good based on their facial expressions, body language and other factors. The GAO concluded the eyeballing was successful only 54 percent of the time, just slightly better than random chance.

The agency said that while it appeared that pulling suspicious-looking individuals over for closer scrutiny was better than just randomly selecting them would be more effective at finding potential trouble, there was a lack of high-quality data to support that assertion.

The report said the stress of air travel could cause perfectly innocent travelers to appear unduly nervous, harried or irritated.

The GAO report was the centerpiece of a hearing on the SPOT program held Thursday by a House subcommittee on transportation security. Rep. Bennie Wilson, D-Miss., told the Washington Post the report confirmed to him that the program "is fundamentally flawed, cannot be proven effective, and should no longer be funded with taxpayer dollars."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks
2
Plane crash in Vinoy Park narrowly misses St. Pete condos Plane crash in Vinoy Park narrowly misses St. Pete condos
3
Kirsten Gillibrand: I don't know who called me 'porky' Kirsten Gillibrand: I don't know who called me 'porky'
4
Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper arrested for kidnapping, sexual assault Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper arrested for kidnapping, sexual assault
5
Lobbyist Thomas 'Tommy' Boggs dies of heart attack
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback