Congress Seeks Answers on Air Passenger Screening Program

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The Transportation Security Administration is defending a computerized passenger screening program.

The acting TSA administrator says the agency will order airlines to turn over passengers' personal records to test a screening system that could keep dangerous people off airlines, but some members of Congress say the program is so flawed it will ultimately be canceled, and airlines are refusing to voluntarily turn over passenger data so the system can be tested.

They and passengers have concerns about government snooping and the possibility that people will be wrongly labeled as terrorists.

Acting TSA administrator David Stone told a House subcommittee Wednesday that the agency intends to hire a privacy officer and set up two oversight committees for the project. Stone says a preliminary version of a consolidated watch list will be online by March 31 for government agencies to access.