The TSA document is gone. Or is it?


It is amazing how time can flow in the federal government.  The TSA Screening Management SOP document that I posted about yesterday had been online since March.  Sure, apparently not many people knew about it and even fewer knew that it actually contained the content that was assumed by TSA’s legal department to be redacted.  Once that was noticed, however, the proverbial cat was out of the bag.  Apparently having the document online actually wasn’t that big a deal.  Properly redacted it was no longer considered SSI and was useful for the purpose of its original publishing – to allow contractors to bid on providing screening services for airports in Montana.

But once the lack of redaction was exposed the gears of government started to turn with great speed.  Just hours after the reports started circulating on the internet the file was gone.  From a Department of Commerce website.  On a Sunday evening.

Who says that the government is glacial?

Seriously, though, apparently they are concerned about the general public knowing the correct procedure for TSOs washing the table and changing gloves following a positive reading on the ETD machine.  Or the frequency with which the black-light and loupe are supposed to be used in the screening process (here’s a hint: it is WAY higher than what I’ve ever experienced at an airport).  Or the list of folks exempt from the selectee screening even if their boarding pass is noted as such?  Actually that last one is a pretty good read (Section 4.3.15 (B)).

The good news is that plenty of people have copies of the document, including WikiLeaks.org and Cryptome.org.  The version available from the latter is actually quite nice since it has the black boxes removed for easier reading.  So the original link I shared is dead but there are plenty of other sources out there.

I’ve put in a call to the Office of Public Affairs for a comment on the release and have thus far been stonewalled.  I’m planning on calling back later this afternoon in an effort to get something – anything – from them.  We’ll see how that goes.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

3 Comments

  1. What do you expect them to say? They're obviously not authorized to release whatever is redacted so I assume they're fixing it.

  2. Guess what! The file is STILL available on the fbo.gov website (if you're just the least bit creative)!

    Do a google search for: screening management, and limit it to fbo.gov. At the moment, it's the first match. Click on the cached link. On the right of the cached page there is a link next to "Amendment 2" to download the ZIP file. The redacted (rediculous) file is still in the ZIP!

    Geez! Talk about morons!

  3. Awesome. I saw that they took the entire contract offline which was reasonably effective in stopping folks. But having the cached page and the attachemnt still on the server somewhere is rather entertaining.

    In the end they went overboard to remove the document but still managed to not do it correctly. About what I expect from my government.

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