Secondary Security Screening Selection

Secondary Security Screening Selection

Secondary Security Screening Selection or Secondary Security Screening Selectee, known by its acronym SSSS, is an airport security measure in the United States which selects passengers for additional inspection. This may also be known as Selectee, Automatic Selectee or the Selectee list.

Selection criteria

Neither the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) nor the airlines publish the criteria that are used when boarding passes are issued to identify passengers who will be given extra screening or be denied boarding.

Some criteria are:

*Passengers with a one-way reservation.Singel, R: [ "How to Get Off a Government Watchlist"] , "Wired," April 16, 2007. Accessed January 8, 2008]
*Passengers who pay cash for their tickets. [ Women voice objection to intrusive searches at US airports] "DailyTimes", December 1, 2004. Accessed January 8, 2008]
*Random selection, according to TSA spokeswoman Amy Von Walter in 2004, and as suggested by a 2003 DOI newsletter. [ [ U.S. DOI Office of Financial Management ] ]

Since neither the TSA nor the airline run a background check at the time boarding passes are issued, immigration status and criminal records are not taken into consideration during SSSS. Furthermore, personal information such as a passenger's addresses, employment history, and medical records are not taken into account during SSSS and may not even be readily available to government officials to modify the process and increase its validity.

Procedure when selected

Passengers that have been selected for this secondary screening will have the letters SSSS or *S* (all capitals) printed on their boarding passes.cite web| url= | title=Associated Press: "Women complain about airport patdowns" | accessdate=2008-07-27 ] In the case of Southwest Airlines, secondary screening selectees will have a "checkerboard" pattern printed on their boarding passes.fact|date=December 2007

SSSS passengers will go through a more intensive screening process which may include puffer explosive detectors. Their carry-on luggage may be also be inspected by hand. In the case of film or other items that cannot be X-rayed, the agent may perform a test for possible explosive materials. The screener may also use a hand held metal detector to search the passenger for metal objects.Fact|date=December 2007

Randomness and Credibility

Since the process acts on the accumulation of certain criteria rather than mathematical probabilityFact|date=December 2007, it is expected that subjects may be selected more than once or more often than others. This has caused the public to believe the process is not random but instead discriminatory.Fact|date=December 2007 In reality, it is a selective process in which candidates who fall under a pre-determined category are chosen.Fact|date=December 2007 Nonetheless, the process may rely, intermittently, in randomness, when subjects do not fall under any category and this becomes the mathematical variable.Fact|date=February 2007

The efficiency of SSSS is highly questionable, since at least with British Airways and Alaska Airlines the marking happens as mentioned at check-in.Fact|date=December 2007 Thus a potential miscreant is warned and has the opportunity to leave the public area of the airport or abandon an attempt to smuggle something on board, while other passengers will be continue to be screened.Fact|date=December 2007

ee also

* No-fly list
* Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System
* Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment: the base for the Selectee List


External links

* [ ACLU of Washington: What is the "Selectee List"?]
* [ EPIC: Documents Show Errors in TSA's "No Fly" and "Selectee" Watch Lists]
* [ DHS to Launch Traveler Redress Inquiry Program]

Accounts of passengers

* [ Happening Here] – Miscellaneous posts about the No Fly and Selectee lists and being removed from them
* [ selectee | GurBlogs]
* cite web | url =
title = Another Enemy of the People? | accessdate = 2007-04-12 | date = 2007-04-08
author = Mark Graber | format = blog | work = Balkinization | publisher =
Walter F. Murphy
* cite web | url =
title = Airport InRANTation | accessdate = 2007-04-12 | date = 2007-03-28
author = | format = blog | work = KABOBfest | publisher =

* James Moore. [ Branded]

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