Armed air marshals on all transatlantic flights?

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Last week, officials in London announced the possibility that U.S. air marshals could soon be used on all transatlantic flights on U.S. carriers. These armed TSA employees currently fly undercover on some domestic and international flights as part of homeland security and anti-terrorism measures enacted after Sept. 11, 2001, although the program has been run on a smaller scale since 1970. (A full description of the air marshals’ history and purpose can be found on the TSA’s website.)

This announcement follows a 10-page memorandum that the U.S. sent to many E.U. capitals requesting the use of air marshals and other security measures, according to Reuters. The news wire also reported that the U.S. wants to expand the Passenger Name Record, an agreement with European carriers in which the airlines give U.S. authorities 19 pieces of information about passengers flying to the U.S. 72 hours prior to departure.

What security measures should the U.S. be implementing to improve passenger safety? Do armed marshals make you feel more or less secure? And should U.S. authorities have such unfiltered access to passengers’ personal information?

Liz Webber

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