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Report: TSA Behavioral Screening Program Deeply Flawed

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About 3,000 TSA agents are specially trained to spot suspicious behavior. (Getty Images)

About 3,000 TSA agents are specially trained to spot suspicious behavior. (Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) - A Congressional report is questioning the efficacy of one of the Transportation Security Administration’s centerpiece programs.

Since 2007, he TSA has spent nearly a billion dollars training officers to pick out bad guys by looking for behavioral clues, such as expressions of fear, anxiety or deception.

A report from the Government Accountability Office essentially calls the program not worth the money.

“Available evidence does not support whether behavioral indicators … can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security.”

The TSA defended the operations, saying a 2011 Homeland Security study found the program was more effective than random screenings at identifying high-risk passengers.

The GAO countered that the study was based on flawed science and that using behavioral observation techniques was “the same or slightly better than chance” at stopping potential terrorists.

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