The Transportation Security Administration has created a new secret watch list to monitor people who may be targeted as potential threats at airport checkpoints simply because they have swatted away security screeners’ hands or otherwise appeared unruly.
A five-page directive obtained by The New York Times said actions that pose physical danger to security screeners — or other contact that the agency described as “offensive and without legal justification” — could land travelers on the watch list, which was created in February and is also known as a “95 list.”
“The bottom line is that in the post 9/11 world, do we really need another watch list — particularly one from the T.S.A., which is not an intelligence agency?” said Mr. Burton, a former deputy chief of counterterrorism at the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.
On Thursday, lawmakers demanded more details about the watch list, which had not been previously disclosed…
The United States government already maintains a bevy of watch lists…
Civil liberties groups said that makes it even more likely that individuals who do not pose a threat to airports or planes will be swept up in the United States’ homeland security system.
“While people on the list are not necessarily subject to additional scrutiny, it seems likely that agents would single them out for additional attention, and there is no way to get off the list,” said Faiza Patel, a director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.
She said that because the watch list will be shared with other law enforcement agencies, “it will be difficult to control the consequences.”