Languages
Page last updated at 00:21 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

US airport security screening processes posted online

O'Hare Airport, Chicago (25 Nov 2009)
The document reveals people from certain countries are always searched

The details of security procedures at US airports have been mistakenly posted online by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The document reveals which passengers are exempt from screening and that security can be reduced in peak hours.

Information which had been blacked out for security reasons was easily retrievable using ordinary software.

The TSA said there was no threat to security as the document was outdated, but that it took the issue seriously.

The document was posted on the TSA's Federal Business Opportunity site in March, said the Associated Press news agency.

Its existence was reported in a blog, the Wandering Aramean, on Sunday, which pointed out that the blacked-out sections could easily be read.

Those sections cover information about which passengers should always be selected for extra screening unless specifically exempted, including people with passports from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Somalia and other countries.

The document says that prosthetic devices, medical dressings, wheelchairs, scooters and surgical footwear may be exempt from screening for explosives at certain times.

It also says that at busy travel periods, screening procedures may at times be reduced to 25% of normal levels and that properly accredited flight crew are not subject to restrictions on carrying liquids and gels on to aircraft.

Clark Kent Ervin, former inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, told ABC news the document was "an appalling and astounding breach of security that terrorists could easily exploit".

But the TSA said that while it was taking the matter seriously the document itself was outdated and the public was not in danger.

In a statement, it said it had "many layers of security" to protect the public and had "appropriate measures in place to effectively screen passengers at airport security checkpoints nationwide".



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
US to reinforce airport security
30 Jun 07 |  Americas

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Telegraph Citizen of 12 countries singled out for special US airport screening - 2 hrs ago
Boston Globe TSA disciplines five for online breach - 2 hrs ago
Sydney Morning Herald TSA puts 5 employees on leave over online posting - 13 hrs ago
Guardian.co.uk US embarrassed by leaked security memo - 13 hrs ago
NPR Five TSA Workers Put On Leave Over Security Gaffe - 14 hrs ago



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific