5 TSA Employees Placed on Leave in Scandal Involving Published Document

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON – Five Transportation Security Administration employees have been placed on administrative leave in response to news that a 93-page confidential document on airport passenger screening was posted on the Internet, the agency said.

Assistant Homeland Security secretary David Heyman told senators on Capitol Hill Wednesday that a full investigation into the matter was underway, according to the Boston Globe.

The TSA has admitted that the document was posted online on a government procurement site in a redacted form. But people on the Internet were able to make copies without the redactions.

In a statement on Wednesday, the TSA said:

“TSA takes full responsibility for this improper posting and all individuals who may have been involved have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the review.”

But it also downplayed the significance of any security breach.

“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recognizes an outdated, unclassified version of a Standard Operating Procedures document was improperly posted by the agency to the Federal Business Opportunities Web site wherein redacted information was not properly protected,” the statement said. “Once we were made aware, it was immediately taken down from the Web site and a full review by TSA’s Office of Inspection was initiated.”

“This version of the document was not the everyday screening manual used by Transportation Security Officers at airport checkpoints. As TSA is constantly adapting to address evolving threats, there have been six newer versions of the procedures since the version posted was approved.”

“Thorough post-incident analysis has determined that our systems are secure and that screening protocols have not been compromised. TSA is confident that screening procedures in place remain strong and the many layers of security keep the traveling public safe.”

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