The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a U.S. government law enforcement agency that was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. The TSA was originally organized in the U.S. Department of Transportation but was moved to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on November 25, 2002. The agency is responsible for security in all modes of transportation.
TSA facilitates the security and freedom of movement of the nation's air, surface, and maritime transportation systems. This requires coordinating or overseeing the security of highways, buses, mass transit systems, railroads, pipelines, ports, and approximately 450 U.S. airports. More than 40,000 TSA employees stationed throughout the world interact daily with the public or collect, use, and disseminate PII about the public.
In accordance with ATSA, all passengers, their accessible property, and their checked baggage are screened pursuant to TSA-established procedures at more than 450 airports presently regulated for security by TSA. These procedures generally provide, among other things, that passengers pass through security checkpoints where they and their identification documents, and accessible property, are checked by transportation security officers (TSO), other TSA employees, or by private-sector screeners under TSA's Screening Partnership Program.
- 49 U.S.C. §114(d).
- Homeland Security: DHS and TSA Face Challenges Overseeing Acquisition of Screening Technologies, at 3.