Former TSA supervisor revealed major security lapses at Nashville Airport
Nov 29, 2012
Nov 29, 2012
A former TSA supervisor who alerted a news team to potentially dangerous security lapses at Nashville International Airport is now officially “under investigation” by the federal agency, which has accused him of revealing too much information.
As reported by WSMV news, Gerald Smith supplied the Channel 4 I-Team with information detailing how TSA screeners were routinely bypassing security checkpoints throughout the airport, and rarely having bags checked when passing into secure areas.
Smith also alerted the news team to the fact that TSA employees at the airport have continuously failed tests on identifying suspicious items in luggage.
Following WSMV’s expose, in which Smith appeared on camera, the former supervisor received a letter from the TSA warning him that he is now under investigation for supplying the news station with details on TSA training materials and other information pertaining to security screenings and personnel.
The letter identified several “violations” and warned Smith that he could face an $11,000 fine for each one.
In response to the threat, Smith told the news station “I guess if you’re the government and have unlimited resources, you can go after whoever you want to, but that doesn’t make it right.”
“When I was contacted about coming forward, I did it for one sole purpose. The question I was asked was, ‘Do you have any security concerns at the airport?’ And my answer was yes,” Smith said, adding that he felt it was his duty as an American citizen to speak out.
WSMV’s Channel 4 I-Team has refused to confirm whether Smith is their primary source for the materials and documents they received on the TSA’s security lapses. The news team is also protecting the identity of another TSA worker that helped them during the expose.
The original video report from the Channel 4 I-Team, filed back in October, can be viewed here.
As we recently documented, the TSA has recently renewed an effort to crack down on what it has termed as “insider threats” from whistleblowers within the agency.
Last week, TSA reissued a purchase order for a vendor to develop spyware that will enable the agency to actively spy on its own employees without them knowing or consenting.
The agency has asked for software that is capable of monitoring the emails, the web browser history, and even the keystrokes of TSA employees. It also required the ability to track the movement of documents and feed all the information through a central command center.
The order states that “The end user must not have the ability to detect this technology,” and should not be able “to kill the process.”
Despite demands from ranking members of the House Homeland Security Committee and the Transportation Security Subcommittee to halt attempts to acquire such technology, the agency, which has declared itself above congressional oversight, has pressed ahead with the move.
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