Did you change clothes while at the airport? Get to the boarding area late? Fall asleep during the flight? Use your phone?
If you're on the Transportation Security Administration's new Quiet Skies list, then a federal air marshal knows the answer to all of those questions - and more. Quiet Skies is a TSA domestic surveillance program that specifically targets travelers who are not under any kind of investigation or on a terrorist watch list. The previously undisclosed program requires federal air marshals to follow ordinary US citizens through airports and on flights, documenting their every move.
Quiet Skies is a TSA domestic surveillance program that specifically targets travelers who are not under any kind of investigation or on a terrorist watch list
Federal air marshals must track everything about the person's behavior, referring to a lengthy checklist to make minute by minute observations.
Now some marshals are speaking out, telling the Boston Globe that they believe the Quiet Skies program is a costly waste of time that may even be unethical.
A TSA bulletin states that the purpose of Quiet Skies is to decrease threats by 'unknown or partially known terrorists and to identify and provide enhanced screening to higher risk travelers before they board aircraft'.
All US citizens are automatically screened for inclusion in the Quiet Skies program. There are 15 rules to screening passengers for the program, with criteria including international travel patterns, behaviors that match those of known or suspected terrorists, or potential affiliations with someone on a watch list. Passengers on the list have included a businesswoman who traveled to Turkey, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, and even a fellow federal law enforcement officer. Read More