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Sat Jun 16, 2012, 12:03 PM

True and documented! Google TSA and VIPR. There have actually been many posts about this on DU also

Last edited Sat Jun 16, 2012, 12:37 PM - Edit history (1)

Here's some info on VIPR and on additional expansion of DHS, TSA and Border Patrol funding and roles:
TSA rail, subway spot-checks raise privacy issues
By Thom Patterson, CNN
updated 10:05 AM EST, Sat January 28, 2012
TSA officials like to point out that the acronym stands for Transportation Security Administration, not the Airport Security Administration. And that's where VIPR comes in.
Born after 2004's Madrid railway bombings, VIPR suffered some embarrassing coordination struggles, transit officials say.
The program has 15 teams and is expanding to get access to 12 new teams to spot-check thousands of transportation depots across the nation.
VIPR teams conducted 3,895 operations in "surface modes" nationwide in 2010, according to the Department of Homeland Security (PDF).

Much more at above link.


Much info and many links at the wiki page. Includes info on budget increases:

FY2009: $30 million, 10 VIPR teams[32]
FY2010: increase of $50 million, for 15 surface transport VIPR teams [33]
FY2012: $109 million[34]
10 aviation teams
15 surface transport teams
12 new multi-modal team

They're asking for another increase for 2013:
Fund 37 Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams, including 12 multi-modal Teams. VIPR teams are composed of personnel with expertise in inspection, behavior detection, security screening, and law enforcement for random, unpredictable deployments throughout the transportation sector to prevent potential terrorist and criminal acts.

EPIC has many resources noting the increase and privacy abuses. The paragraphs below include embedded links with more info on EPIC's site:

2013 Federal Budget Limits Body Scanners, But Expands Domestic Surveillance: According to White House budget documents and the Congressional Testimony of Secretary Napolitano, DHS will not purchase any new airport body scanners in 2013. However, the agency will expand a wide range of programs for monitoring and tracking individuals within the United States. This includes the development of biometric identification techniques for programs such as Secure Communities. DHS will also seek funding for "Einstein 3," a network intrusion detection program that enables surveillance of private networks. EPIC has urged the DHS to comply with the requirements of the federal Privacy Act, and is currently pursuing several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the agency. For more information see, EPIC - Body Scanners and Radiation Risks, EPIC - E-Verify, EPIC - Secure Communities, EPIC - Fusion Centers, EPIC - Drones, EPIC - Cybersecurity, EPIC - Secure Flight. (Feb. 20, 2012)
Documents Reveal New Details About DHS Development of Mobile Body Scanners: EPIC has obtained more than one hundred fifty pages of documents detailing the Department of Homeland Security’s development of mobile body scanners and other crowd surveillance technology. The documents were obtained as a result of a Freedom Information Act lawsuit brought by EPIC against the federal agency. According to the documents obtained by EPIC, vehicles equipped with mobile body scanners are designed to scan crowds and pedestrians on the street and can see through bags, clothing, and even other vehicles. The documents also reveal that the mobile backscatter machines cannot be American National Standards Institute “certified people scanners” because of the high level of radiation output and because subjects would not know they have been scanned. For more information see EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and EPIC: EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of the Body Scanner Program). (Aug. 31, 2011)

Here's a post from me with links about TSA budget and Border Patrol budget increases and expansion that I posted to a thread about TSA bus-riding agents:

Additional links about TSA "Bus Safe" in Houston:


METRO's counter-terror intitiave draws criticism

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- One week after METRO rolled out what it called an unprecedented approach to safety, there is criticism of just what happened. It was a big operation with what critics have called questionable results.

You paid for 81 cops to saturate Houston bus stops and routes last Friday. Most were from METRO, but some were from the federal Transportation Security Administration, as well as HPD.


METRO called it a synchronized, counter-terrorism exercise, and the first ever in Houston welcoming the federal TSA to Houston bus stops.


METRO faces public backlash over counter-terror intitiave

On April 13, the METRO Police Department invited TSA to be a part of its bus-safe exercise. METRO said then and repeated for days afterwards there would be random searches of bus and train passengers' bags.

A friend of Broze took pictures of the bus-safe exercise that he says show TSA agents and METRO police asking riders where they're going as they get off the bus and how often they ride that route.

"METRO and TSA were going onto the buses and questioning people about their normal routes and their normal behavior, and it just kind of creates an atmosphere of fear," Broze said.

There's much more if you search DU2.

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