Aviation Security: TSA Is Taking Steps to Validate the Science Underlying Its Passenger Behavior Detection Program, but Efforts May Not Be Comprehensive

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The attempted passenger aircraft bombing of Northwest flight 253 on December 25, 2009, provided a vivid reminder that the civil aviation system remains an attractive terrorist target. To enhance aviation security, in October 2003 the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began testing of its Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security. The SPOT program utilizes behavior observation and analysis techniques to identify potentially high-risk passengers. This testimony provides information on (1) the ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 6, 2011.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The attempted passenger aircraft bombing of Northwest flight 253 on December 25, 2009, provided a vivid reminder that the civil aviation system remains an attractive terrorist target. To enhance aviation security, in October 2003 the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began testing of its Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security. The SPOT program utilizes behavior observation and analysis techniques to identify potentially high-risk passengers. This testimony provides information on (1) the extent to which TSA has validated the scientific basis for SPOT and (2) other operational challenges. This statement is based on a prior report GAO issued in May 2010 on SPOT, including selected updates made in March 2011. For the updates, GAO reviewed documentation on TSA's progress in implementing the report's recommendations."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 6, 2011

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Aviation Security: TSA Is Taking Steps to Validate the Science Underlying Its Passenger Behavior Detection Program, but Efforts May Not Be Comprehensive, text, April 6, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc294418/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.