TSA has created a watch list of individuals who have engaged in disruptive or aggressive behavior at airport screening checkpoints.

The list, the existence of which TSA confirmed Thursday after it was revealed in a New York Times article, currently has less than 50 people on it, according to the agency.

"This applies no additional screening to the individual," Darby LaJoye, TSA's assistant administrator for security operations, told lawmakers at a hearing of the House homeland security subcommittee Thursday. "It's simply an awareness that somebody is going through the checkpoint that has demonstrated concerning, assaultive behavior in the past to our officers."

According to the New York Times, the watch list was established in February. A five-page directive that the Times said it obtained, and that was signed in March by LaJoye, says that behavior posing physical danger to screeners can get people listed. So can other behavior, such as loitering near security checkpoints.

The revelation of the list, which LaJoye said is the only one the TSA keeps other than the no-fly list, raised questions about civil liberties.

In questioning before the House subcommittee Thursday, LaJoye said that people aren't informed when they are put on the list.

Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.) questioned the merits of such secrecy, saying that it would serve as more of a deterrent if people did know that they were listed.

"It would be a great if they were on the list if they had the chance to appeal that in case there was some subjective determination," Keating added.

In an emailed statement, TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said that TSA published a privacy impact assessment prior to publishing the list.

"In FY 2017, there were more than 34 assaults on TSA officers," she wrote. "TSA is committed to its people and wants to ensure there are safeguards in place to protect TSA officers and others from any individual who has previously exhibited disruptive or assaultive behavior at a screening checkpoint and is scheduled to fly." 


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