Mission Creep at the TSA and the Case for Privatization

November 14, 2013

In the 12 years since the creation of the TSA it has become clear that the federal takeover of airport security was a mistake. Cato scholar Chris Edwards writes in an upcoming paper that TSA operations should be privatized and passenger and baggage screening “moved to the control of airports and opened to competitive bidding.” In a recent New York Times article, EPIC administrative law counsel Khaliah Barnes highlighted that the TSA deploys Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) squads to perform random sweeps of individuals outside of airports and argues that these practices are problematic because they are devoid of true legal standards like probable cause. Also in response to the growing use of VIPR squads, Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ) introduced the Freedom of Travel Act, which denies the TSA the authority to conduct random searches of surface transportation travelers. Join us for a discussion about restructuring airport screening to improve security, increase efficiency, and reduce civil liberties concerns.

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