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Tag: TSA

Amid Fierce Criticism, Homeland Security Abandons Plans to Photograph American Travelers at Airports

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Facing a firestorm of criticism, Homeland Security is abandoning plans to expand the federal government’s facial recognition system by requiring all travelers, including Americans, to be photographed if they are leaving or entering the country.

Homeland Security was expected to propose the regulation change in July, igniting privacy concerns and trepidation about the accuracy of facial recognition technology.

Homeland Security officials responded by saying it no longer plans to move forward with the plan.

“There are no current plans to require U.S. citizens to provide photographs upon entry and exit from the United States. CBP intends to have the planned regulatory action regarding U.S. citizens removed from the unified agenda next time it is published,” the agency said in a news release.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who was among the toughest critics, had pledged to introduce legislation to stop the proposal.

Facial recognition technology has come under intense criticism from local, state and federal lawmakers because of its lack of accuracy, especially when applied to people of color.

TSA Agents Find Gun-Shaped Toilet Paper Holder at New Jersey Airport

Photo via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

TSA agents believed they had discovered a gun in a passenger’s carry-on at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey.

But this item was meant to hold toilet paper, not bullets.

Upon closer inspection last week, TSA agents found a gun-shaped toilet paper holder, the agency said in a news release.

TSA prevents travelers from boarding planes with real or replica firearms. So the traveler was given a choice: Surrender the gun or place it in a checked bag.

The traveler forfeited it to the TSA.

‘Dangerously Cheesy:’ Woman Stopped by TSA for Having ‘Like 20 Bags’ of Cheetos

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The TSA was not messing around when Emily Mei tried to pass through airport security with more than a dozen bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in her carry-on bag.

After all, the Cheetos slogan is “dangerously cheesy.”

The 25-year-old was pulled aside at Los Angeles International Airpot so a gloved TSA agent could methodically examine each package of Cheetos.

“Will never forget the day TSA stopped me cuz they thought i was hiding shit inside my bag cuz all i had was like 20 bags of Hot Cheetos,” Emily Mei tweeted, posting a video of a TSA agent checking for chemicals with a swab test on each bag.

Mei followed up her tweet with an explanation for bringing so many Cheetos onto a plane.

“For everyone who’s asking why i had so many bags of Hot Cheetos, apparently it’s hard to get in korea so my friends always ask me to bring it for them LOL.”
After finding nothing sinister about the bags of Cheetos, Mei was allowed to board her flight with her bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Quick-Acting TSA Officer May Have Saved the Life of a Traveler in Alaska

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A TSA officer may have saved the life of a passenger who was choking on a grape at an Alaskan airport.

Juneau International Airport Lead Transportation Security Officer Brenda Irizarry sprung to action last week after she was alerted that a woman was choking on a grape, Juneau Empire reports.
Irizarry performed the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the fruit from the 26-year-old Brenda Studley’s throat.

“We are extremely thankful to the excellent training that Brenda has obviously received,” a family member wrote in an email.

The family was on their way to a wedding in California and didn’t miss their flight thanks to the TSA officer’s quick actions.

FBI Arrests TSA Agent Accused of Downloading Child Pornography for Years

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 34-year-old TSA agent accused of downloading child pornography for years.

Curtis Fleming, who worked at Orlando International Airport, told authorities he had looked at child pornography since he was 14 years old, WFTV-9 reports.

The FBI said it tracked down Fleming from a file-sharing site and then traced the IP address to the home of his parents.

Fleming told agents he tried to curb his behavior but couldn’t, according to authorities.

One of the videos downloaded by Fleming allegedly depicted children as young as 3 years old getting raped.

Fleming faces up to 15 to 30 years behind bars.

Trump’s Crackdown on the Border Could Make Airports Less Safe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Transportation Security Administration, which protects America’s airports by screening passengers, could lose substantial funding to finance President Trump’s crackdown at the southern border.

The Department of Homeland Security is asking for $232 million from the TSA to fund increased security measures at the border, a controversial move that underscores the dramatic shifts in priorities after the 9/11 attacks.

Homeland Security is requesting the money in case Congress doesn’t support a $1.1 billion funding request, according to documents obtained by NBC News.

A DHS spokesman said the agency is “considering all options” to combat the influx of migrants at the southwest border.

“We will continue to work with our workforce to find dynamic solutions and funding to address this very serious problem. As part of this effort, it is our responsibility to explore fiscal mechanisms that will ensure the safety and welfare of both our workforce and the migrant population, which is also reflected in the supplemental request submitted to Congress,” said DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton.

TSA Sending Up to 400 Personnel to U.S.-Mexico Border to Assist with Immigration Surge

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA is preparing to deploy up to 400 of its personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist with the escalation of Central American migrants trying to enter the U.S.

The largest union representing the TSA, the American Federation of Government Employees TSA Council, questioned the move, saying it may “undermine aviation security” at airports during one of the busiest time of the year for air travel.

“The timing of this deployment could not be worse, as we are preparing for yet another busy summer travel season,” Hydrick Thomas, president of the union, said in a statement.

The deployment is part of a Homeland Security effort to send more personnel to the border as immigration surges.

It’s not yet clear what the TSA employees will do at the border, but they won’t have direct contact with immigrants, according to NBC News.

A TSA officials told NBC News that it would not deploy any of its frontline personnel who deal with travelers at airports.

The TSA has identified some personnel, which includes lawyers, air marshals and immigration specialists.

In March an April, more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants crossed the border into the U.S.

TSA: Traveler Carried Large Sack of Moose Poop for Politicians onto Airplane

Sack of moose pop, via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

TSA agents made a stinky discovery: A traveler passed through airport security at Alaska’s Juneau International Airport carrying a large sack of moose poop.

Security stopped the traveler on April 15 after his carry-on was flagged for a “large organic mass.”

The traveler had a simple explanation, saying the nuggets of poop were “for politicians and their bleep policies,” a TSA spokeswoman told KTOO.

Since there are no rules against carrying moose poop, the man and his poop were sent on their way.