TSA Agents Could Be Spying On You At The Airport In A Creepy Way

A new report reveals that TSA agents may be monitoring passengers in a pretty creepy way.

We’re all used to having our baggage screened by agents of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), but a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union states that a covert surveillance program has TSA agents in plain, unmarked clothing scrutinizing passengers in all areas of the airport without their knowledge.

These “behavior detection officers” mill around the airport without their uniforms and look for signs of stress or deception in individuals. They watch for body language such as yawning, whistling, rubbing hands together or even being late for a flight. They also look for passengers wearing “improper attire” or those who avoid eye contact. Agents may also “chat up” passengers to get more information about them.

Perhaps most alarming, if undercover agents think a particular individual is displaying suspicious body language, they will “follow the travelers, subject them to additional screening, and at times bring in law enforcement officers who can investigate them further.”

The TSA has confirmed this program exists and that it is called “SPOT,” or Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques. SPOT has been in use since 2007 in security screening lines, but the TSA expanded the program to the rest of the airport in 2009.

So the next time you’re stuck in the airport for a seven-hour overnight layover, try to keep the yawning to a minimum.