TSA – Not just for airports anymore
You no longer have to go to an airport to be checked by TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Now you can find them at trains, buses, subways, trolleys, ferries, ports, tunnels, rest areas, even sporting events or while driving down the highway.
In conjunction with other agencies, checkpoints may also look for drugs, cash smuggling, or any other illegal activities – without probable cause.
I invite you to see for yourself. The following links provide plenty of information. I leave it to you to connect the dots. Or get ready to “Present your papers.”
TSA at coordinated highway checkpoints.
TSA at NFL football games
Turns out the TSA goes to NFL games and political conventions and all kinds of places that have little or nothing to do with air travel. Few people know that $105 million of their taxpayer dollars are going to fund 37 VIPR teams in 2012, whose purpose is to "augment" the security of any mode of transportation. They don't realize that these VIPR teams can show up virtually anytime, anywhere and without warning, subjecting you to a search of your vehicle or person. But almost no one noticed when the Department of Homeland Security signaled its intent to broaden the scope of its off-airport searches even more in 2013.
CNN article from 2012 with very interesting comments
Any courtroom battle over VIPR searches will pick apart the Fourth Amendment, which bars police searches unless there's "probable cause" to believe a crime has been committed. But the TSA claims "administrative search authority" to conduct random checkpoint searches of passengers and baggage at "surface transportation venues" without probable cause, according to TSA spokeswoman Kimberley Thompson. "... the administrative search does not require probable cause, but must further an important government need, such as preventing would-be terrorists from bringing an explosive device onto a crowded commuter train," Thompson said.
Los Angeles Times article from 2011 with no comment field
The TSA's 25 "viper" teams — for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response — have run more than 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in the last year. (2011)
Quotations from the TSA’s VIPR site:
* TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) program is part of a nationwide transportation security program that serves all modes of transportation.
* TSA’s VIPR teams provide a full range of law enforcement and security capability …
* TSA VIPR teams can be deployed at random locations and times in cooperation with local authorities …
* TSA routinely conducts thousands of VIPR operations each year in transportation systems nationwide.
* TSA’s VIPR program provides the mechanism through which our law enforcement and security stakeholders can establish solid working relationships to protect you …
Google – Search “TSA VIPR” and also see “Searches related to tsa vipr” at the bottom of the page.
Please alert me of any previous posts on this topic and I will link to them.
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