A bit nervous about flying? Some estimates say one out of every four people are. Which makes even more curious the TSA’s controversial behavior screening program that tries to pick out of an airport crowd a terrorist whose jitters give him or her away.
Here’s the theory behind the TSA’s behavior screening program. TSA agents circulate among passengers before they pass through security. They’re looking for a few of 94 signs of stress, fear or deception. Who knew there were so many telltale signs of those three emotions?
The TSA isn’t about to reveal what those 94 signs are, but it seems to me that with 25% of passengers having some degree of a fear of flying, it might be easy to mistake that kind of nervousness for something more sinister.
The TSA hasn’t yet caught a bad guy using this system, and some members of Congress say this is a waste of money. The government’s chief auditor—the Government Accounting Office—said last year the program is a waste of money and that behavior detection is unproven.
The TSA just ended a trial program at Baltimore’s airport yesterday. I wonder if that agency will start to agree with its critics?