USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Facts About the “Quiet Skies”

Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Picture of Jet

You’ve likely heard or read about the “Quiet Skies” program recently. Media reports have inaccurately described it as a program through which Federal Air Marshals surveil random travelers for no rhyme or reason. In fact, it’s an important program, and we’d like to give you a better understanding of it.

If your local police department had intelligence that your neighborhood was at an elevated threat for dangerous activity, you’d want an increased police presence until the threat was gone. Federal Air Marshals serve in that same capacity in the aviation environment; they are law enforcement officers who use their experience and training to identify things that are out of the ordinary in the aviation environment. Over the years, Federal Air Marshals have used their skills and training to successfully respond to in-flight emergencies and non-terrorist incidents. Their on-board presence has defused dozens of situations that had the potential to escalate, placing the aircraft, crew, and passengers in further danger. 

“Quiet Skies” is another tool that allows the Federal Air Marshal Service to more efficiently deploy law enforcement resources to focus on travelers who may present an elevated risk to aviation security. Through TSA’s Secure Flight Program and by leveraging Custom and Border Protection’s Automated Targeting System, TSA’s intelligence professionals develop a set of risk-based, intelligence-driven scenario rules, which allow us to identify international travelers who may require enhanced screening. These rules have strict oversight by the Department of Homeland Security, including the privacy, civil rights and liberties, and general counsel offices. 

TSA uses this program to reduce the risk on airplanes by identifying passengers deemed to be higher risk according to certain travel patterns and other intelligence-based factors.  Contrary to some reporting, the program does not take into account race or religion, and does not designate individuals based on their observed behaviors onboard an aircraft.  As trained law enforcement officers, Federal Air Marshals observe passengers in accordance with their training. When FAMs are informed that a traveler identified through the intelligence-driven scenario rules will be on a particular flight or in the airport, they are able to observe the traveler in the airport and on the flight. Passengers referred to the program may require additional scrutiny for a certain period of time; however, TSA routinely removes passengers from the program sooner than the prescribed period if we become aware of information that indicates the passengers do not represent a risk.  

Something to keep in mind is that the Federal Air Marshal Service is the only federal law enforcement agency dedicated solely to protecting the nation’s aviation system. Since President Kennedy initiated the concept of having armed air marshals, the goal has always been to protect travelers and ensure that the flight arrives to its destination safely.

Let’s take a moment to recognize that air marshals have a difficult and important job: they must remain vigilant at all times, and operate at 30,000 feet in tight quarters. Air marshals receive specialized training in a variety of law enforcement techniques including blending in with other aviation travelers and identifying when something is out of the ordinary in the aviation environment. They are prepared to react to a wide spectrum of criminal and terrorist events and activities.

FAMs have and will continue to use a variety of tools and work with industry partners to detect, deter, and defeat any potential threat to the aircraft, crew and passengers. They play an important role in protecting travelers in mid-air and are essential to our national security.

Bob Burns - TSA Social Media

Comments

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Pure propaganda.

Submitted by Richard Dann Sherman on

I am thankful for this program and the safety that it adds to flying on commercial aircraft. Please continue your vigilance to keep our skies safe for everyone. You are doing a great job!

Submitted by Richard C on

Never let the misguided media deflect or interfere with what TSA determines is safest and best for our travelers.

Submitted by Gary Kwitkin on

Thank you for writing this post. As we move further and further away from 9/11 we must not forget the past and repeat our mistakes. The men and women of the Federal Air Marshal Service are dedicated to the protection of the flying public.

Submitted by GREAT PROGRAM on

I FEEL BETTER ABOUT FLYING KNOWING THAT A FAM MAY BE ON BOARD THE PLANE.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Pure propaganda.

Submitted by D Balbirnie on

You are 100% correct. The Air Marshals were doing just fine without the TSA, and this public relations officer is awkward to put it politely.

Submitted by D Balbirnie on

You are 100% correct. The Air Marshals were doing just fine without the TSA, and this public relations officer is awkward to put it politely.

Submitted by You Are A Liar on

This is a dishonest and disingenuous attempt to spin the fact that you are, in fact, surveilling and stalking citizens illegally. Shame on you and shame on everyone who works at your disgusting and un-American agency.

Submitted by Funny Thing Abo... on

They think this program is an idiotic, illegal waste of time, too.

Submitted by Rick on

I don't have a problem with it at all

Submitted by Anonymous on

Keep up the good work.

Submitted by Kerry on

Pure fact where’s your proof to the contrary

Submitted by Ashley on

I agree with you more on this new and improved program that has existed for years, this improvement in the program will allow for the federal air marshals to be able to continue on with their missions in and around all things related to and within the security of all areas of aviation to keep everyone safe. Thank you TSA(United States Department of Homeland Security/TSA for always continuing to find ways to "improve" current ways on and how to help keep our nation safe.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I was checked once and I don't mind. They are doing their job to protect us. Thanks and God bless you.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think the TSA are the terroists.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think the TSA are the terroists.

Submitted by Public Protection on

Get a clue Susan. This article has nothing to do with Air Marshals

Submitted by Angela Bermudez on

Thank you for the continued effort of keeping our freedom safe. No one understands the reality of threat until they are faced with attending 137 funeral services of friends, family & colleagues. America the Beautiful. There is always the bus to Canada, which may I remind everyone is still empty and waiting at the borders to take you to greener pastures (clearing my throat).
God Bless all those that put their lives on the line everyday, every minute. Stay safe.

Submitted by Peter on

We know about Air Marshals , plenty of media coverage professional training and respect shown to the travelling public, they are continually aware of their responsibilities and duties. The training schedules are in going. Now TSA that leaves a lot to be desired. Yes it was a services dreamed up overnight a bit on overreaction to a situation that even to day is still open to discussion, no dot one day the truth will spill out and some bright spark will walk? TSA was conceived at a minutes notice so to speak, the authorities being seen to be responding to the then situation. For getting one important point. TRAINING TAKES TIME ABD EVEN LONGER TO BE PROFESSIONAL CURTIOUS AND CONSIDERATE TO ALL TRAVELLERS, EVEN DIFFUCULT ARE TO BE TREATED WITH DIGNATY. And to recruit those professionals who will need an expert to instil those qualities takes time. Like Services boot camps? It's the NCOs that lead and show what's expected , TSA had none of that forward training the poor recruits from all walks of life were thrown in at the DErP end and yes they made BIG Mistakes, the biggest being they for got they were dealing with the public , WHO HAVE RIGHTS. TSA should be thankful to You Tubers for exposing the humiliating practises that their staff seemed to think you could get away with. The public in the other hand were olso at fault for not complaining more and were necessary prosecute offending Over the top TSA staff. They still need training in man management , though common sense has at last begun to sunk in, but management still have to instill into their staff they are not COWBOYS AND GIRLS. EMPLOYEES WHO TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT.

Submitted by Jeff on

I wish the marshals would have been available during 911.

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

There is so much in the article posted on the TSA Blog that is just flat not true. It's full of lies and shows how desperate TSA and its employees are to illegally influence public opinion. I would rather not believe that TSA's Blog Team would stoop so low as to post the pile of garbage. (I'd call it what it really is but TSA can't handle the truthful words!) For Bob Burns to place his name on this article tells everyone just what kind of TSA bootlicker Burn's really is. Disgusting!

So lets see what is really being said about this travesty of civil rights.

https://apps.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/graphics/2018/07/tsa-quiet-skies/

"The previously undisclosed program, called “Quiet Skies,” specifically targets travelers who “are not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base,” according to a Transportation Security Administration bulletin in March."

"But some air marshals, in interviews and internal communications shared with the Globe, say the program has them tasked with shadowing travelers who appear to pose no real threat — a businesswoman who happened to have traveled through a Mideast hot spot, in one case; a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, in another; a fellow federal law enforcement officer, in a third."

"The teams document whether passengers fidget, use a computer, have a “jump” in their Adam’s apple or a “cold penetrating stare,” among other behaviors, according to the records."

And as revealed above we see that TSA has secretly been operating a Behavior Detection program that has been discredited and defunded. Why is it that TSA continues wasting tax dollars on a program that has no benefit and nothing proving that it is effective? Why are citizens under surveillance when they are not even suspected of being involved in criminal activities?

What this program really is is illegal monitoring of citizens going about their daily lives. It hasn't provided any evidence of identifying terrorist but that's nothing new for TSA. Name one case where TSA has identified a terrorist in its history which is way longer than it should be.

TSA is not a friend of America! TSA operates like a secret police group and is a Clear And Present Danger to the United States!

Submitted by Elsa on

The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) is a United States federal law enforcement agency under the supervision of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). "The Air Marshal Service is meant to promote confidence in civil aviation by effectively deploying federal air marshals (FAMs) to detect, deter, and defeat hostile acts targeting the United States."

As you can see from the above description in WikiPedia (so you can verify it), the Air Marshall Service is part of TSA, which is part of Homeland Security - thus, they are under the same agency with TSA having oversight over the Air Marshals. So, when TSA implements activities/rules/programs, etc. by the Air Marshal Service, it is part of its assigned responsibilities/job; and when a TSA spokesperson relates information about the Air Marshal Services Program and/or activities/programs/news, etc. it is part of that spokesperson's job to do so.

I do agree that the Air Marshals are and have been doing a PHENOMINAL job, under the direct supervision of TSA, which is also doing a PHENOMENAL job! I have not googled the number of passengers that go through TSA daily, but I know, from personal observation and knowledge, that it is huge. They have a VERY BIG AND CHALLENGING JOB!!! And the incidents we hear about are an infinitesimally small percentage of the huge number of travelers. We are all as well-protected as is humanly possible; then God takes over.

As someone who travels extensively worldwide for about 5-6 months/per year, I am VERY GRATEFUL to the Air Marshals and to TSA for making sure that we fly safely from place to place. Keep up the good work, guys... and continue to keep us SAFE!

Submitted by Hamish Barrett on

Propaganda? Not at all. There are times when travelers throw things on the checkpoint, get in fights with others in line, sovereign citizens, and many others that need additional scrutiny while in an aircraft. There are many people that travel to a moslem country that are either indoctrinated to kill others while there, are already willing to kill you because you are not like them, or get indoctrinated to kill others while there because they do not realize they are on the Islamist hit list too. When one is in public there is no expectancy to privacy. If there were one would not be in public.

Submitted by Hamish Barrett on

It does not matter what agency the FAMs work at. That agency would still have the whining going on too.

Submitted by Jay Robbins on

What was / is / should be done to screen out pilots/ other air crew members who are potential suicide-mass murderers and thereby avoid the horror perpetrated e.g. by the Egypt Airlines pilot and more recently the Malaysian airline pilot - and perhaps others about which I am unaware - who selfishly and cruelly used their unique positions to transform the machines and lives they were entrusted to protect against entropy into instruments of senseless - and in the case of the aforementioned two incidents- religious zealotry-gone-mad instruments of death and destruction in inhuman, criminal acts of suicide-mass murder?

Submitted by ANON on

Air Marshals are part of TSA !!

Submitted by West Cooper on

Susan sez – “Pure propaganda.”

Not in this case, it is simply stating facts about the program, in order to clear up some media outlets stating that there was no rhyme or reason to the program – this outlines the process, and the reasoning behind it.

Richard Dann Sherman sez – “I am thankful”

Richard C sez  - “Never let the misguided media deflect or interfere with what TSA determines is safest and best for our travelers.”

Gary Kwitkin sez – “Thank you for writing this post.”

GREAT PROGRAM sez – “I FEEL BETTER ABOUT FLYING KNOWING THAT A FAM MAY BE ON BOARD THE PLANE.”

To all of you, thank you for your support and understanding, we appreciate all of you. GREAT, WE APPRECIATE YOU TOO!

Susan sez again – “Pure propaganda.”

Still not the case.

You are a liar sez “This is a dishonest and disingenuous attempt to spin the fact that you are, in fact, surveilling and stalking citizens illegally.”

Actually, this is the organization putting out more information so that the public can understand it better. The premise, and ties to intelligence are clearly stated in this article, I hope that we as an organization continue to put out more information on programs that we use. It increases our transparency, and keeps the public better informed.

Anon sez – “I think the TSA are the terroists.”

Not sure what a “terroist” is, but I have not found that description in any of our publications.

Angela Bermudez sez – “No one understands the reality of threat until they are faced with attending 137 funeral services of friends, family & colleagues.”

We appreciate your understanding and offer our condolences on having to attend so many services. Please take care.

RB sez – “I would rather not believe that TSA's Blog Team would stoop so low as to post the pile of garbage.”

We printed an article giving more information on a program we use. You are always entitled to your opinion, even if I disagree with it. Have a good day.

Elsa sez – “I am VERY GRATEFUL to the Air Marshals and to TSA for making sure that we fly safely from place to place. Keep up the good work, guys... and continue to keep us SAFE!”

Thank you Elsa, we appreciate you, and have a great afternoon.

Hamish sez – “Propaganda? Not at all.”

                       “That agency would still have the whining going on too.”

Agreed on both counts.

Jay Robbins sez – “What was / is / should be done to screen out pilots/ other air crew members who are potential suicide-mass murderers”

There are several factors in place to help screen against this sort of happening. It begins with background checks and works forward from there. If you have some suggestions for the organization, we would be happy to post your comment on them. Thanks for visiting us!

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by David Davis on

I think you're an idiot!

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Submitted by Public Protection on Thu, 2018-08-23 05:20
Get a clue Susan. This article has nothing to do with Air Marshals"

I know that, Public Protection. But I got you to click on a link that tells another horror story of the BOS TSA totally out of control. Since the TSA won't bring up subjects like this on their "blog", the public has to do so.

Let me ask you: how long have you been viewing the blog; did you just come here, perhaps at the request of an individual at DHS or TSA; do you work for DHS or TSA?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Want to know why I posted my "propaganda" statement twice, West? Because this site is NOT working properly. Surprise, surprise. This would explain the many duplicate posts we're seeing here. (BTW, why did you choose to focus on my duplicate post and not the others, West?)

This statement: "Your comment has been queued for review by site administrators and will be published after approval" that no longer appears in a timely manner or in an obvious place. For instance, after I submitted my response today to "Public Protection" the statement didn't appear anywhere - I looked for it - until I began this comment. Then it appeared.

In addition, the comment I made regarding propaganda remained on my screen after it was submitted, which naturally led me to believe that it had not gone through and therefore I submitted it again and still never got the statement quoted above.

BTW, I still believe the "Quiet Skies" thread was posted as propaganda because it received such negative PR from the two Boston Globe stories. Had those stories been well received, this thread never would have seen the light of day.

As another poster pointed out, the program uses behavior detection which the OAG said as recently as 13 months ago is basically useless:

"The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not have valid evidence that most of the revised behavioral indicators (28 of 36) used in its behavior detection activities can be used to identify individuals who may pose a threat to aviation security."

"In GAO's review of all 178 sources TSA cited as support for its revised list, GAO found that 98 percent (175 of 178) of the sources do not provide valid evidence that is applicable to the specific behavioral indicators TSA cited them as supporting."

Submitted by West Cooper on

I can offer no insight as to why you posted your comment twice.

Sometimes, there are glitches in the system, on your end, in the middle, and on our end. Sometimes this may result in multiple posts. What I can tell you for certain, is that when we get a comment in, we do not reword it, resubmit it, or otherwise modify the message in any way. We simply moderate based upon the posted guidelines, and either approve the post, or if the post violates posted guidelines, we do not approve the post.

For what it is worth, I disagree with you about Quiet Skies, not because it is a "Company line", but because programs like this work. When you use actionable and current intel to more efficiently allocate resources, it is a net benefit to the organization. We will simply continue to disagree on the efficacy of behavioral observations, as I have worked with them for over 2 decades now, and have seen positive results from them in my experience.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Awhelchel on

I am personal quite grateful for the job the air marshals do. I know a lot of people feel that their civil liberties are at risk but having an armed marshal on board a plane does nothing detrimental to anyone's rights. it is much less invasive that the pat down at the security point and a whole lot more effective.

Submitted by Awhelchel on

Well said

Submitted by Max Yost on

So, you are collecting domestic intelligence on U.S. citizens who are not under any suspicion of committing a crime? And, you didn't inform Congress? And you concealed this program after Congress told you to terminate the SPOT program? How many years will it take you to respond to EPIC's FOIA for the Privacy Impact Assessment? Finally, we are interested in examples of "positive results".

Submitted by Bia Comstock on

<3 <3 <3 " Quiet Waters " too <3 <3 <3

Submitted by Nonsense on

"For what it is worth, I disagree with you about Quiet Skies, not because it is a "Company line", but because programs like this work."

Nonsense. By what metric? At what cost? The plain and simple fact is you can't answer those questions, because you know the answer exposes quiet skies as the illegal and pointless boondoggle that it is -- the same way you pretend you've never been asked about the false positive rate on your fancy "body scanners" because you know it's 100%.

So, another question you'll be too gutless to answer: How much does quiet skies cost? How many people did you illegally stalk and surveil last year? How many of them were arrested? How many of them were involved in a terrorist plot?

Spoiler alert: The answers to the last two questions is "zero."

Correct me if I'm wrong, West.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Max sez – “So, you are collecting domestic intelligence on U.S. citizens who are not under any suspicion of committing a crime?”

The actual response above states the following:

““Quiet Skies” is another tool that allows the Federal Air Marshal Service to more efficiently deploy law enforcement resources to focus on travelers who may present an elevated risk to aviation security. Through TSA’s Secure Flight Program and by leveraging Custom and Border Protection’s Automated Targeting System, TSA’s intelligence professionals develop a set of risk-based, intelligence-driven scenario rules, which allow us to identify international travelers who may require enhanced screening. These rules have strict oversight by the Department of Homeland Security, including the privacy, civil rights and liberties, and general counsel offices. 

TSA uses this program to reduce the risk on airplanes by identifying passengers deemed to be higher risk according to certain travel patterns and other intelligence-based factors.  Contrary to some reporting, the program does not take into account race or religion, and does not designate individuals based on their observed behaviors onboard an aircraft. As trained law enforcement officers, Federal Air Marshals observe passengers in accordance with their training. When FAMs are informed that a traveler identified through the intelligence-driven scenario rules will be on a particular flight or in the airport, they are able to observe the traveler in the airport and on the flight. Passengers referred to the program may require additional scrutiny for a certain period of time; however, TSA routinely removes passengers from the program sooner than the prescribed period if we become aware of information that indicates the passengers do not represent a risk.”

According to this, the system is under the oversight of DHS in no less than 3 offices, including the Office of General Counsel. I am fairly certain they disagree with your assessment of the process, otherwise it would not be active at this time.

Bia sez – “<3 <3 <3 " Quiet Waters " too <3 <3 <3”

I wish! A pier and a rod would make life wonderful right now!

Nonsense sez – “Nonsense. By what metric? At what cost? The plain and simple fact is you can't answer those questions, because you know the answer exposes quiet skies as the illegal and pointless boondoggle that it is -- the same way you pretend you've never been asked about the false positive rate on your fancy "body scanners" because you know it's 100%.

So, another question you'll be too gutless to answer: How much does quiet skies cost? How many people did you illegally stalk and surveil last year? How many of them were arrested? How many of them were involved in a terrorist plot?

Spoiler alert: The answers to the last two questions is "zero."

Correct me if I'm wrong, West.”

Gladly.

I compared it to other surveillance programs – most of them work if done properly. It is a cornerstone of Law Enforcement/Security 101, whether you are trying to find something bad going on in your area, or whether you are using the surveillance to build a case. In a public forum (like an airplane or airport), there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, so surveillance is something that happens consistently in both planned ways, and by being in the right place at the right time- Quiet Skies is the former.

I have no idea what the program costs.

I have answered the “false positive rate” questions the exact same way since the first time it was posed to me – I do not have any of those metrics, nor do I know if the organization even keeps that sort of a metric.

I am reasonably certain that the answer to how many people did the Quiet Skies program “illegally stalk and surveil” is going to be zero.

Arrested? I have no idea, nor any information on it – nor would I expect to.

Involved in a terrorist plot? Again, I have no idea, nor any information on it – nor would I expect to.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Susan Richart on

West wrote, in part: "...but because programs like this work."

Let's have some examples, West, of how programs like this work, when the GAO (apologies for getting the acronym wrong in my prior post) says it does NOT work. You said you've seen it work, now stand behind that statement.

Submitted by So Lemme Get Th... on

This illegal program "works," even though it's led to no arrests, disrupted no terror plots, and nobody you've illegally stalked and surveilled has had a connection to any sort of terror organization. But despite the complete lack of any evidence or support for your statement, we're just supposed to take your word for it?

Dude, you can't even tell the truth on your signs about 3.4-1-1.

So why should anyone trust you after all the years of lying you've done on this blog?

Submitted by Max Yost on

These rules have strict oversight by the Department of Homeland Security, including the privacy, civil rights and liberties, and general counsel offices.

According to this, the system is under the oversight of DHS in no less than 3 offices, including the Office of General Counsel. I am fairly certain they disagree with your assessment of the process, otherwise it would not be active at this time.

"Oversight" conducted by the same department/agency as is conducting this insult to freedom is not "oversight". Your assertion is absurd.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...the “Quiet Skies” program recently. Media reports have inaccurately described it as a program through which Federal Air Marshals surveil random travelers for no rhyme or reason."

No. The Media reported, and rightly so, that the program was placing American Citizens who are/were not under suspicion for any crime under surveillance from an agency that has no such authority.

"...If your local police department had intelligence that your neighborhood was at an elevated threat for dangerous activity, you’d want an increased police presence until the threat was gone."

True. But I would NOT want those Police following just anybody because there is an increased threat. And the air transpiration business is not under threat so your increased presence is not needed nor authorized. Your authority is limited to the security checkpoints, not the airport at large. And nowhere outside the airport either.

"..to more efficiently deploy law enforcement resources to focus on travelers who may present an elevated risk to aviation security"

Who may? Who is making that determination? And what credentials do they have to make that determination? And by whose authority are they even allowed to make that determination?

"...Contrary to some reporting, the program does not take into account race or religion, and does not designate individuals based on their observed behaviors onboard an aircraft."

Because those measures were part of your SPOT program which was shut down because it was proven to be ineffective and a waste of resources. I find it funny how this new program is the same thing under a different name yet you still seem to think it accomplishes something. And the fact that you had to release a 'Fact' article in an attempt to support the program proves, again, how ineffective the program is and will continue to be.

"..the Federal Air Marshal Service is the only federal law enforcement agency dedicated solely to protecting the nation’s aviation system. "

Yes. You should be more like them. Learn from their successes and improve your organization.

"...They play an important role in protecting travelers in mid-air and are essential to our national security."

And if you actually did your part by effectively screening passengers then their job would be much less important. If you actually accomplished something even close to security then you could release an article like this crowing about how important you are instead of trying to ride their coat tails and bask in their glory.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

You're getting really desperate in your attempts to prove youself, West: "I compared it to other surveillance programs – most of them work if done properly. It is a cornerstone of Law Enforcement/Security 101, whether you are trying to find something bad going on in your area, or whether you are using the surveillance to build a case."

Law enforcement doesn't waste time surveilling people unless they already have knowledge of a crime either in progress, drug sales, or a crime about to be committed. DHS/TSA has none of this. Traveling to Turkey is NOT a crime and is NOT indicative of a crime about to be committed.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Susan sez – “Let's have some examples, West, of how programs like this work, when the GAO (apologies for getting the acronym wrong in my prior post) says it does NOT work. You said you've seen it work, now stand behind that statement.”

You want examples of how actionable intel programs have worked, and how surveillance programs that utilize actionable intelligence work? I will endeavor to give some below.

Almost every single Fortune 500 company uses actionable intel to observe the markets and their collective of industry concerns (this is a form of surveillance) for telltale fluctuations in order to shape their policy.First an article for folks that may need a basic explanation of how actionable intel can be distilled down to analytical data for business use - Actionable Intel in a business setting

INC.Com thinks so much about insights/intel, that their site has a whole section dedicated to the way it can be used for business applications - INC.com Intel

While this is not attempting to find terrorists, or prevent a terrorist attack, or some other nefarious dealings, the principal of gathering intelligence and applying it in a real world setting is essentially the same type of process.

When it comes to governmental organizations that use intelligence, and surveillance regularly in many of their programs, the CIA, FBI, DIA, DOD, US Marshals, DEA, CBP/ICE, any number of local and state law enforcement groups and in my personal experience, US Army MPs and CID.

While in the Army, we would get information from a source (sometimes really reliable, sometimes not so much), and we would take steps to try and find out if the information given to us was factual. Those steps included driving by a certain area frequently to try and deter things like public disturbances, in other cases we would run around the clock surveillance on the subjects of an investigation to either provide proof of crimes, or use the information gathered to exonerate the individual.

The practice of gathering intel, and using it to direct resources is a tried and true method that has been used by law enforcement, businesses and people in general since long before either of us were born. This intel and surveillance can sometimes be done electronically, with CCTV, with public data number crunching (predictive analytics), and finally, at the tip of the spear, with physical observation.

So Lemme sez – “This illegal program "works," even though it's led to no arrests, disrupted no terror plots, and nobody you've illegally stalked and surveilled has had a connection to any sort of terror organization. But despite the complete lack of any evidence or support for your statement, we're just supposed to take your word for it?

Dude, you can't even tell the truth on your signs about 3.4-1-1.

So why should anyone trust you after all the years of lying you've done on this blog?”

Already outlined that it is not illegal per the DHS General Counsel.

I do not know if it has led to any arrests or not, I am not in the loop on that information.

I do not know if it has disrupted a terror plot, again, I am not in the loop on that information.

Still not stalking, still not illegal per DHS Counsel, and I have not read anywhere that none of the individuals were not connected to terrorism organizations – please provide a link where DHS Officials have made that statement, and I will adjust my information accordingly.

I have never lied on this blog, ever. I have been wrong about some things, I have not been able to give information out because of security regulations and organizational policies, but I have never lied on this blog.

Max sez – “"Oversight" conducted by the same department/agency as is conducting this insult to freedom is not "oversight". Your assertion is absurd.”

My assertion is backed by the published statement of the organization, I am reasonably certain that they will disagree with you, as I do.

SSSS sez – “"...Contrary to some reporting, the program does not take into account race or religion, and does not designate individuals based on their observed behaviors onboard an aircraft."

Because those measures were part of your SPOT program which was shut down because it was proven to be ineffective and a waste of resources. I find it funny how this new program is the same thing under a different name yet you still seem to think it accomplishes something. And the fact that you had to release a 'Fact' article in an attempt to support the program proves, again, how ineffective the program is and will continue to be.”

This is too broad of a statement to be considered factually accurate. Quiet Skies does not take into account race or religion, nor does it designate people based upon behaviors observed onboard an aircraft. Your statement makes it sound like they are using SPOT to add people to the Quiet Skies program, and that is simply not true – in addition, the SPOT program was designed to be used in a live environment for active detection, and Quiet skies is not operated that way. Per the original post “to more efficiently deploy law enforcement resources to focus on travelers who may present an elevated risk to aviation security” – which means that the program tells the FAMS what to do, not FAMS adding someone because they observed some behaviors.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by DD on

Me too

Submitted by Susan Richart on

You are grasping at straws, West. This has nothing to do with business "intel". Further, if law enforcement came up with as many zeros as TSA is coming up with on its fishing expeditions, there would be hell to pay. There should be hell to pay for the TSA for wasting taxpayer money on a program the GAO has said is worthless.

Thankfully, the ACLU is looking at this program.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Submitted by West Cooper "...Per the original post “to more efficiently deploy law enforcement resources to focus on travelers who may present an elevated risk to aviation security” – which means that the program tells the FAMS what to do, not FAMS adding someone because they observed some behaviors."

Right. You focus on citizens who have broken no law first, then you tell the FAM who to watch. So you are (still) proactively violating the law and citizens fourth and fifth amendment rights, good to know. Even better to get it straight from the proverbial horses mouth.

You did not address the following outstanding questions:

From which US Code did you derive the authority to observe and create dossiers on citizens who have committed no crime?

Who sets the criteria on what qualifies as someone worthy of being watched? And what are their credentials for making that criteria? And from where is the authority to set that criteria found?

None of these questions are SSI, all you need to do is cite existing US Code, Section, and Paragraph. (I already looked on line through the entire USCs and found no answers but you should have no problem correcting me because you are already following the USC, aren't you?)

Submitted by West Cooper on

Susan sez - "

You are grasping at straws, West. This has nothing to do with business "intel". Further, if law enforcement came up with as many zeros as TSA is coming up with on its fishing expeditions, there would be hell to pay. There should be hell to pay for the TSA for wasting taxpayer money on a program the GAO has said is worthless.

Thankfully, the ACLU is looking at this program."

Are they at least the cool winding straws that loop around?

As I clearly outlined in my previous post - there is a clear difference in what DHS does, and what businesses do in terms of intel and the way they use it (seriously, here is the quote "While this is not attempting to find terrorists, or prevent a terrorist attack, or some other nefarious dealings, the principal of gathering intelligence and applying it in a real world setting is essentially the same type of process.").

I clearly delineated the difference, while pointing out that many of the principles, and application are actually the same.

I am certain that there will be much discussion at all levels of DHS about Quiet Skies in the days to come - as there should be, all of our programs are reviewed consistently to see if there are ways to improve them, or if they are effective. I look forward to seeing what those discussions bear out.

TSA Blog Team

Pages