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TSA Response to Leaked Standard Operating Procedures

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Monday, December 07, 2009
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TSA has learned that an outdated version of our Standard Operating Procedures document had been improperly posted to the Federal Business Opportunities Web site. TSA took swift action to remove the document when this was discovered.

The version of the document that was posted was neither implemented nor issued to the workforce. In fact, there have been six newer versions of the document since this version was drafted. Standard Operating Procedures change regularly as intelligence provides information on new threats and we find better ways improve security.

A full review is now underway to ensure proper procedures are followed in the future.

TSA has many layers of security in place to keep the traveling public safe, and we are confident that the screening procedures we currently have put in place remain strong.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

When is the TSA going to post a copy of the new policy about passengers with large sums of money? Or is it SSI.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"In fact, there have been six newer versions of the document since this version was drafted."

Which would indicate you should be doing constant and significant retraining of your front line staff.

The Brittany ice incident, shoes "optional" and several other issues indicate otherwise...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob said:

"TSA has many layers of security in place"

Layers are effective if procedures are effectively implemented, regardless if they are known to the public.

Unless of course you are trying to say that the TSA has different SOP manuals and different TSO's get trained on different procedures..

Submitted by Anonymous on

So if it was so outdated, why the need for "swift action"?

Submitted by Anonymous on

1) What policies are you putting in place to ensure that sensitive information is never leaked again? This time it was only some stupid governmentese manual...next time personal information about travelers?

2) What are you doing now that potential evildoers can easily get ahold of information you had hoped to keep secret, such as the places that "test objects" are put on a person's body to calibrate the metal detectors?

3) Come on, really now, you claim that the document has evolved 6 times, but really how much as changed. Yeah, not much, I bet.

Submitted by Anonymous on

How about posting a full list of rules passengers must follow in order to go through the checkpoint??

Submitted by Anonymous on

"TSA has many layers of security in place to keep the traveling public safe"
Recently most of these layers have been diverted to shoring up the public relations department.

Fixed for you....

Submitted by Seth on

I appreciate that this particular version was never implemented.

Assuming that fact, however, how do you explain that this version was used to define the means under which contractors were to bid on a fixed-fee contract to perform work for you? Certainly the document had to be substantially accurate for that to work, right? Or are you hoping that the winning bidder simply will ignore the fact that what they bid to do and what they were actualy are required to do are substantially different?

Something still doesn't pass the sniff test on this one.

Keep reading more as I continue to ferret out the details of this debacle!

Submitted by Mike on

Are we supposed to not be concerned that the TSA issued an RFP and a contract based off invalid documents?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Where's the Britney LA tape, Bob?

Submitted by Jay Maynard on

The document does, however, explain a lot of the way TSOs think and act. If it's no longer accurate, why the rush to make it disappear? Perhaps that it's just that there are still many parts of it that are still accurate, and you think security by obscurity actually works?

Then again, given that your whole operation is nothing but security theater anyway, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that you claim it's both critically sensitive and inaccurate...

Submitted by Trollkiller on

Hey Blogger Bob, pull this leg it jingles.

"The version of the document that was posted was neither implemented nor issued to the workforce." is a lie, either that or the TSA is breaking the law by issuing false documents for FOIA requests.

Is this document released to papersplease.org fraudulent?

Notice the Title, Revision number, Date, and Implementation date is the same as the badly redacted "never implemented" SOP. (sorry the TSA won't allow the link to the leaked SOP)

So which is it. Did the TSA surrender a false document in response to a FOIA request or is the TSA lying now by saying this document was never implemented?

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Seth said...

I appreciate that this particular version was never implemented.

Assuming that fact, however, how do you explain that this version was used to define the means under which contractors were to bid on a fixed-fee contract to perform work for you? Certainly the document had to be substantially accurate for that to work, right? Or are you hoping that the winning bidder simply will ignore the fact that what they bid to do and what they were actualy are required to do are substantially different?

Something still doesn't pass the sniff test on this one.

Keep reading more as I continue to ferret out the details of this debacle!

Of course it smells, if this document was never implemented then the TSA issued a fraudulent document in response to a FOIA request made by papersplease.org.
Submitted by TSM, Been Here on

Bob,
Why is this still online?
I found it with 2 clicks. Oh, by the way, it's un-redacted!
TSM

Submitted by Sandra on

Please, Bob, do you expect any person with even half a brain to believe the TSA's explanation? I'd be willing to bet that deep in your heart, you don't believe your employer either.

Now while we're talking about TSA saying things that are not truthful, how about this that was posted about a trip through MCO:

"My husbands' hands were swabbed after he went through the metal detector gate. They said it was testing for swine flu. Also they hand searched my daughters Nintendo DS because they said her chip sent off a silent alarm.... "

Swine flu? Silent alarms?

Surely the screeners can do better than that.

Submitted by Anonymous on

God bless www.flyertalk.com! Thanks to them for uncovering this. It should never have been SSI in the first place.

Submitted by Tyler on

"In fact, there have been six newer versions of the document since this version was drafted."

Always be specific when you lie.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Could you do an entry on passengers with prosthetics? I have had my left hip replaced. I always declare this up front. I expect to be waned and without fail the wane beeps when it comes near my left hip. It does not beep at any other part of my body. Why, then, must I be patted down from head to toe? I have told TSA about my hip. The wand has told TSA about my hip. What's with the full body patting? Could you address this please? Also, when I explain that I will need special attention and willingly walk into the glass cage it would be nice if someone would take my belongings and place them somewhere safe. Anyone could walk off with them while I am trying to be a good passenger and play by the rules. Thank you.

Submitted by RB on

Trollkiller said...
Hey Blogger Bob, pull this leg it jingles.

"The version of the document that was posted was neither implemented nor issued to the workforce." is a lie, either that or the TSA is breaking the law by issuing false documents for FOIA requests.

Is this document released to papersplease.org fraudulent?

Notice the Title, Revision number, Date, and Implementation date is the same as the badly redacted "never implemented" SOP. (sorry the TSA won't allow the link to the leaked SOP)

So which is it. Did the TSA surrender a false document in response to a FOIA request or is the TSA lying now by saying this document was never implemented?

December 8, 2009 1:29 PM


Good work TK, seems you have direct evidence of TSA via Blogger Bobs offerings of violating Federal Law.

Submitted by Anonymous on

@Anonymous (with the metal hip) I agree the TA should do something to stream line the process for people who have metal implants and alarm every time. I'm to the point where I'm not sure why I bother to tell the TSO I will alarm, it does ZERO good.

It might me more fun to play completely dumb and perplexed. Which in my case (with a metal plate in my head) could be interesting. Plus I don't think I am in anyway compelled to offer personal medical information up front to a TSO.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, have you considered changing your name to Pinocchio?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Oh Lord, what a calamity! Now everyone has information that was formerly only available to thousands of entry-level employees!

Submitted by Anonymous on

"My husbands' hands were swabbed after he went through the metal detector gate. They said it was testing for swine flu. Also they hand searched my daughters Nintendo DS because they said her chip sent off a silent alarm.... "

**************************

TSOs had better be careful about testing for swine flu. They might find themselves in court for practicing medicine without a license. As to the Nintendo search, how much effort does it take to tell the truth?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer for the really stupid mistake that gets the current TSA management tossed into the unemployment line. Judging from the host of recent errors, though, it might be just days or weeks away.

Submitted by RB on

"TSA Response to Leaked Standard Operating Procedures"

...................
Bob if TSA placed the SOP on the web how can that be called a leak?

Seems it was intentional to me.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Also, when I explain that I will need special attention and willingly walk into the glass cage it would be nice if someone would take my belongings and place them somewhere safe. Anyone could walk off with them while I am trying to be a good passenger and play by the rules."

TSA does not care if your property is lost or stolen or damaged. The sooner you realize this the better.

Submitted by AngryMiller on

Bob, if this wasn't a 'released' SOP then why is everyone running around doing full damage control?

How much is this little slip up costing your agency?

How does this effect TSA's ability to function as a security agency?

Who was the manager who failed to properly secure this document?

Why was this left in the public domain for nine months?

Why should the traveling public trust anything TSA either says or does?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Aren't the puppy posts supposed to come out on Fridays?

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Bob ... I'll try to ask this with as little snark as possible ...

If, as you state above, TSA is confident that the current screening procedures in place remain strong, even with the release of this document, why shouldn't the current SOP be released as well?

There's a contradiction here I can't resolve. If the document was "outdated", why did TSA take "swift action" to remove it? The only reason I can think of is that the posted document was too similar to current procedures. In that case, it seems to me that there's little additional harm in releasing the current procedures to the public, because the damage has already been done.

Submitted by Clark on

To anonymous with the replacement hip:
Don't fly, take Amtrak or a boat...

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don't know how much you think you know about the internet, but once something is posted, there's no getting rid of it. Copies are mirrored around the world instantly, and no matter how hard you try you can't erase it from everywhere it was leaked.

Just so you know.

Submitted by Isaac Newton on

I was expecting the inadequately redacted "SSI" bits to be really juicy, after all the questions that have been deflected here with the claim of "SSI." Instead, they're mostly pretty boring and in many cases pretty obvious.

Which makes me wonder what other things you're hiding behind that SSI designation when they could easily be shared with passengers instead.

Submitted by Isaac Newton on

Sandra said:
Now while we're talking about TSA saying things that are not truthful, how about this that was posted about a trip through MCO:

"My husbands' hands were swabbed after he went through the metal detector gate. They said it was testing for swine flu. Also they hand searched my daughters Nintendo DS because they said her chip sent off a silent alarm.... "

Swine flu? Silent alarms?

Surely the screeners can do better than that.
__________________
A TV station in MCO must have had a science fiction marathon the week before. (And I'm not sure the screeners CAN do better than that...)

Or maybe the swine flu checks are the first implementation of government health care?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"While the document does demonstrate the complexities of checkpoint security, it does not contain information related to the specifics of everyday checkpoint screening procedures," the TSA said Tuesday. "The traveling public should be assured that appropriate measures have been put in place to ensure the continued implementation of a strong security screening program,"

Wrong! This is a complete disaster for TSA; I can't believe your agency is even trying to minimize this.

The sensitive information that is now clearing in the public domain--absolutely frightening! Heads better roll over this one, and I mean big heads. What is wrong with the DHS! Lax White House security and now this!!! Unbelievable!
Submitted by Anonymous on

Get Workshare protect, easy, inexpensive fix. Seriously this problem has been know for years!

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Ah, so, when your "secret" document is released and the absurdity of your internal procedures is made evident, the response is to call your scribblings "outdated." Good to know.

Now if only you would consider all your other absurdities to be outdated, such as the war on water or the virtual strip searches. Those are absurd, so call them dated.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Please remove the below link to the SSI information.

Thanks.

"Is this document released to papersplease.org fraudulent?"- trollkiller

Submitted by Anonymous on

Come on this agency should be shut down and a new one in its place.
That out dated doc tells how to by pass many security stops.
The size of wire that they can detect.What chemicals they can detect etc.
Only 20% of check baggage is hand checked. Basically tells any bad people how to make security badges and get by our airport security.
Someone must be accountable.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"TSA has many layers of security in place."

Layer One: Keep Security Manuals off internet

Layer Two: Lie About Security Manuals some idiot posts on internet

Layer Three: Explain that Security Manuals aren't actually read or used by TSA employees anyway

Layer Four: Explain that accidentally released Security Manuals are out of date

Layer Five: Do investigation of accidentally released non-used, non-read, out-of-date non-secure Security Manuals

Submitted by Anonymous on

Oh, come on now guys. Why do we need to check people with Cuban passports so thoroughly? They had the decency to let us keep Guantanomo in their backyard, after all. This isn't the Cold War anymore.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don´t see why the news stations are fussing so much about the document. Having read it, it does not add much to what I already know about how you work.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Imagine TSA breaking their own policy of SSI....Go figure......TSA needs their own interal affairs department to see the rest of the corruption thats happening internally.........what a waste of the tax payers money

Submitted by Anonymous on

So much for TSA getting collective bargaining rights now...this is a planned way to sabatoge to officers from exceling in their pay bands......Way to go TSA management!!!

Submitted by Trollkiller on

Hey Blogger Bob, don't forget to add this to the "Week at a Glance"

1 Huge security breach by the TSA.

After all fair is fair.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Here's the kicker in the manual for me: The TSA says that it does not discriminate against travelers by age, race, religion, etc, and NATIONAL ORIGIN. But the manual specifies that people of specific national origins get extra screening 100% of the time.

Argue what you want about the necessity of the screening, but it doesn't change the fact that publicly the TSA states that no discrimination takes place while by the book discrimination is mandated. That would be a lie to the public, which makes me wonder what else is going on.

Public trust in the TSA is about to hit an all time low, and I suspect that there will be a lawsuit very very shortly.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The screenplay for a continually asinine performance of security theatre.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What about adding additional screening for Saudi nationals, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis!

Submitted by Anonymous on

If you think this is the worst=Yhink again. The bad guys don't need this to do harm. TSA is a joke, they watch the good guys while the bad guys go in the back door.

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