Discussion in 'Photography, Law & Travel' started by KrazyKat, Jul 5, 2011.
First let's parse the writer's claim to fame & experience:
Translation: He's made one round trip overseas in the last 30 days, originating at ATL and with stopovers and/or end-points in foreign countries. He's established himself as an occasional tourist, although he tries to suggest otherwise.
Given that, if he's arriving in ATL, he's coming into the customs & immigration area in Concourse E. Cameras & cell phones are never allowed in U.S. cusoms & immigration -- no surprise there, and announcements that cell phones & cameras are not allowed are normal at that point. Once you clear customs, you are in the U.S. and normal Constitutional protections apply -- including photography. After customs & immigration in Concourse E, you pass through the reticketing/customer service counters and then on to the TSA security checkpoint (where I've met some of the nastiest, rudest TSO's in the country), but they cannot (legally) prohibit photography in those areas. Once you re-clear security (an unfortunate necessity in ATL due to the layout of the airport) you then have to pass under or through Concourses D/C/B/A/T before you leave the airport.
There's nothing to see here except wasted column space. Hopefully they didn't waste any real paper printing it.
Hmmm - you're translation is probably spot on but I don't want to be too critical of a guy who's also a TSA disparager, so I'll cut him some slack.
But we do owe it ourselves to try to analyze things critically before we repeat them. Otherwise we will end up as lacking in credibility as the guy who wrote the oped piece.
What's this business, also, about "passengers have to go through security upon arrival?"
I never did - is this new within the last 9 months?
It's already discussed in the thread right under this, to which I have already responded.
I will merge the threads.
Oh, carp. Sorry 'bout that.
Sorry folks, don't fly internationally. Didn't know if this was news or not...
Don't feel bad -- he misrepresented himself & the situation.
I got gang-banged over a similar thread at that other place with my opinions, which were twisted by some as official TSA policy. But I'm willing to give it another shot here:
1. Photography at a TSA checkpoint is legal.
2. "Interfering with the screening process" IS a subjective judgment, unfortunately. If one person obviously tries to stand out of the way of screeners and passengers to film what's going on at a checkpoint, it would appear that the individual is complying with the TSA guideline. However, if a second or third person stands in the same area, it's now difficult to argue that the two or three individuals are not interfering with the screening process just by standing there. Some checkpoints have space, but a lot of the ones I've seen are pretty tight to the point that if one passenger takes too much time collecting his or her items, it results in a logjam.
3. Taking photographs of x-ray monitors is a clear violation of passenger privacy. It is analogous to peeking through the bedroom curtains. It is NOT "public view" because the average person does not have x-ray vision. To put it another way, if we weren't so Puritanical about the body imagers, and body scan images of persons were treated in the same manner as x-ray images of their property, wouldn't privacy still remain the issue? Of course it would.
4. Taking photographs of ETD screens may or may not be an issue because there is some technical data on the screen. I don't know how much of that would have significant meaning or would result in compromising any security information, but that's the issue. It would seem that if it's that sensitive, then the machines shouldn't display the information on screen for others to view.
5. PERSONAL OPINION: I would prohibit all photography at a checkpoint just because it makes it easy all the way around; it is the path of least resistance; it avoids controversy although it would probably piss some of you off. Examples:
a. Photography of children. I understand that there is nothing illegal about photographing or filming anyone at a public place. However, I am confident that if someone was taking images of children at a checkpoint, a concerned parent would probably seek some sort of assistance or would want to file some sort of complaint. As it stands right now, there is absolutely nothing we could do about that. By prohibiting all photography across the board, we would simply be enforcing a standard policy that applies to everyone.
b. Photography of women. Call it up-skirting, down-blousing or just general photography, again, using the same rationale as above, it would be simpler to just ban photography across the board.
c. Paparazzi. Whenever celebrities process through a checkpoint, the cameras come out. Again, none of our business, but celebrities become vulnerable because they can't leave until they're finished with the screening process just like everyone else. A general ban would afford them some measure of privacy; once they leave the checkpoint, they're on their own.
I realize there are some valid counterarguments to these three points, and I respect that. From a strictly personal point of view, I believe it would be easy to just ban the photography, but I understand that will never happen. This is just my two cents based on my brief 10 years working airport security checkpoints.
Of course that would solve one of TSA's biggest PR headaches, wouldn't it? Most of those nasty YouTube videos would never have seen the light of day if such a policy were in place (thankfully, it isn't) and enforceable (legally, never will be).
Let the sun shine in, Bart, and take photos!!!!!!!!!
Personally, I think the whole thing might come to an end if it was done in some sort of sealed black box. Who'd go in there?
I agree that the YouTube videos are a headache, but not for TSA. They strike a little closer to home for TSOs, but that's the nature of working in a public location.
How would you feel about a downblouse shot of your wife as she was picking up her items at a checkpoint? You really have no recourse, and you understand that legally, there's nothing you can do about it.
But I bet you still wouldn't like it.
Not a comparable situation.
Downblouse/upskirt shots are also illegal (invasion of privacy) in many, if not most, jurisdictions.
Except of course if done by the TSA.
According to one of the resident lawyers at that other site, it's not. But that's according to that so-called expert. I'm just passing that on.
Don't believe everything a "lawyer" says. Three examples ....
wane.com: Anti-upskirt bill heads to Governor's desk
philly.com: Pilot charged with invasion of privacy for upskirt pics of girl, 15
6abc.com: Upskirt Photographer Acquitted (not guilty, but still guilty )
Even in Australia:
Townsville Bulletin: iPhone upskirt shots lands man in court
If a girl/woman walked around with her skirt pulled up so everyone could see anyway, an upskirt charge for invasion of privacy would be unlikely to stick -- all that's changed is the angle of view.
Likewise with your monitors -- if they're in the public view, they're not protected. In a layout with multiple lines, you might have to install privacy screens (e.g. folding partitions or short wall sections) behind the x-ray operators, but you could construct them such that the images are then private. Then & only then you might be able to make a case for banning their photography.
Unless, of course, you're a TSA employee. Then lying about photography being banned is second nature, and it's easy to intimidate people into putting their cameras away or deleting their images out of fear that they'll be ordered to a supply closet, handed a paper "drape," and stripped naked for their retaliatory groping by blue-shirted high-school drop-outs with no other job prospects.
In Scotland, I believe these are called "up-kilt" laws.
Separate names with a comma.