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TSA Reveals Passenger Complaints … Four Years Later

Posted By admin On May 4, 2012 @ 11:49 am In Prison Planet,Tile | Comments Disabled

Michael Grabell
ProPublica [1]
Friday, May 4, 2012

From intrusive pat-downs to body scans to perceived profiling, the Transportation Security Administration always seems to be the target of complaints [2].

Here’s another one: It took the TSA almost four years to tell me what people complained about — in 2008 [3].

In my first week at ProPublica in June 2008, I filed a public records request for the agency’s complaint files. Such records can provide good fodder for investigations.

For example, amid the brouhaha over the agency’s introduction of intensive full-body pat-downs in 2004, I requested complaints and discovered an untold story of the pain and humiliation suffered by rape victims and breast cancer survivors. In one incident that I found from that request — while I was a reporter at the Dallas Morning News — a woman complained that a screener asked her to remove her prosthetic breast to be swabbed for explosives.

When I made a similar FOIA [4] request in 2008, I assumed the TSA would respond in a few months. Government agencies have about a month [5] to respond to public record requests, though they often take longer. I figured even if their response took months, I’d be able to repeat it regularly to get a timely, inside look as to what passengers were complaining about and find out about incidents that required some more digging.

Boy, was I wrong.

After waiting and waiting and narrowing my request and some more waiting, the files finally arrived this week.

The information is now four years old — but it echoes much of what people are still complaining about.

Full story here. [1]

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URL to article: http://www.prisonplanet.com/tsa-reveals-passenger-complaints-%e2%80%a6-four-years-later.html

URLs in this post:

[1] ProPublica: http://www.propublica.org/article/tsa-reveals-passenger-complaints-four-years-later

[2] target of complaints: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75727.html

[3] what people complained about — in 2008: http://www.propublica.org/documents/item/352371-tsa-complaints-3-1-08-to-12-31-08.html

[4] FOIA: http://www.foia.gov/

[5] about a month: http://www.foia.gov/faq.html#answer

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