TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: TSA Work Sloppy, but Not Illegal

TSA Work Sloppy, but Not Illegal

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 26 Mar 2005 10:27:36 -0500

By Ryan Singel
02:00 AM Mar. 26, 2005 PT

Homeland Security officials failed to keep millions of airline
passenger records secure and repeatedly made false denials of their
involvement in data transfers to the media and Congress, but they did
not violate federal law, according to a report released Friday.

The report (.pdf) by acting Department of Homeland Security Inspector
General Richard Skinner found that the Transportation Security
Administration was involved in 14 different data transfers totaling
more than 20 million records in 2002 and 2003.

The report describes an array of data dumps from airlines to TSA
contractors and paints a picture of an agency unable to keep track of
its own operations, leading to false denials of data transfers to the
media and inaccurate sworn testimony to the Senate.

However, the department did not violate the Privacy Act, which
prohibits secret databases on Americans, since the agency used the
records in bulk and did not look up individuals by name, according to
the report.

Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways and American, Frontier, Continental
and America West airlines -- along with three airline record
processing firms, all secretly turned over data directly to the TSA
and government contractors.

The data included names, addresses, dates of birth, itineraries and
credit card numbers.,1848,67031,00.html

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