Saturday, January 2, 2010

TSA Nominee Used Database to Snoop On Wife's Boyfriend

Another day, another Obama administration nominee in trouble:
The White House nominee to lead the Transportation Security Administration gave Congress misleading information about incidents in which he inappropriately accessed a federal database, possibly in violation of privacy laws, documents obtained by The Washington Post show...
[Erroll] Southers, a former FBI agent, has described inconsistencies in his accounts to Congress as "inadvertent" and the result of poor memory of an incident that dates back 20 years. He said in a Nov. 20 letter to key senators obtained by The Post that he had accepted full responsibility long ago for a "grave error in judgment" in accessing confidential criminal records about his then-estranged wife's new boyfriend...
Civil liberties specialists said that the misuse of databases has been common among law enforcement authorities for many years, despite an array of local, state and federal prohibitions intended to protect personal information. Studies have found that police at every level examine records of celebrities, women they have met and political rivals. Some federal authorities have been jailed for selling records to criminals.
Southers also refuses to say whether he favors allowing TSA screeners to unionize. Given the hassles at airport security checkpoints as it is, can you imagine piling crazy union workrules on top of that?

Speaking of security at airports, open borders advocate Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security secretary, announced a new international airport security initiative:
Senior Homeland Security officials will meet with leaders at major airports in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East in the coming weeks "to review security procedures and technology being used to screen passengers on flights bound for the United States," the department announced this afternoon. Napolitano said she would follow up on those meetings with her own "ministerial level" discussions.

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