For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Abdullah Hasan, 646-905-8879, ahasan@aclu.org

ACLU to Demand TSA Hand Over Documents on Surveillance of U.S. Travelers

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that it will file a Freedom of Information Act request for records related to the Transportation Security Administration’s recently revealed “Quiet Skies” program. The program, according to recent reports, assigns federal air marshals to surveil and track U.S. citizens who are not under investigation or suspected of any actual wrongdoing. 

Hugh Handeyside, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, issued the following statement:

“The TSA is engaging in covert surveillance of travelers and raising a host of disturbing questions in the process. While the program’s existence is now public, the TSA has kept nearly everything else about the program secret. Travelers deserve to know how this surveillance is being implemented, what its consequences are for Americans, and for how long the TSA is retaining the information it gathers. What we’ve seen so far is troubling, which is why we’re demanding that the TSA hand over records it’s been hiding from the public. This is a much needed step towards transparency and accountability for an agency with a track record of using unreliable and unscientific techniques, such as ‘behavior detection,’ to screen and monitor travelers who have done nothing wrong.”

The ACLU’s request will be filed with the TSA this week and will seek guidelines, policies, communications, and other materials concerning the program’s implementation and any standards that govern it.

Handeyside’s blog post on the “Quiet Skies” program can be found here: https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/discriminatory-profiling/tsa-darkens-skies-secret-surveillance-americans.

This release can be found here: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-demand-tsa-hand-over-documents-surveillance-us-travelers.

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