Speed Reads


GAO: Secretive TSA sorting practices privilege millions of government employees

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says in a new report that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses its Secure Flight Program — which sorts passengers into high risk, low risk, or unknown risk categories — to privilege many government employees.

In addition to members of Congress and federal judges, millions of employees of the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and intelligence agencies are automatically being considered low risk. As a result, they're able to use the less invasive and more convenient Pre-Check line at the airport.

As the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has pointed out, this program creates something of a caste system in which government employees get special privileges, while civilians placed in the high or unknown risk categories can't even find out the rationale for their categorization. "Ultimately," the ACLU argues, "when we start rewarding or punishing people because of who they are, as opposed to what they've done, we drift farther from the principles at the heart of our Constitution."