Tuesday, December 7, 2021

S 3260 Introduced – TSA 20 Year Review

Last month, Sen Wicker (R,MS) introduced S 3260, the Transportation Security Administration 20th Anniversary Review Act. The bill would required the TSA to contract with “a federally funded research and development center to conduct a comprehensive review of the missions, capabilities, and performance of the Transportation Security Administration”. The bill would authorize $2 million to pay for the study.

Wicker is the Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration. This means that there should be adequate influence to see this bill considered in Committee. I do not see anything in the bill that would engender any specific opposition, but I would expect to see amendments proposed that would address Democratic concerns about privacy and redress issues with the ‘Do Not Fly’ list and the Terrorist Screening Database overseen by TSA.

I think that there is a possibility that this bill could be considered under regular order by the full Senate sometime next year.

I think that this bill would be an excellent opportunity to have an independent agency look at the issue of whether or not the TSA is the appropriate agency to oversee cybersecurity issues in the transportation sector. To that end, I would like to see the following paragraph added to §2(b):

(21) An assessment of the capability of the Transportation Security Administration to oversee cybersecurity requirements in the transportation sector, including a comparable assessment of whether the individual modal administrations would be more capable of such oversight.

For more details about the required assessment, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - https://patrickcoyle.substack.com/p/s-3260-introduced - subscription required.

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