TSA now claims checkpoint photography is prohibited

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by saulblum, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member


    See the sign posted at MCO.

  2. [​IMG]
    In clear contradiction of its own policy, the Transportation Security Administration continues to forbid travelers from using cameras at checkpoints.
    Meanwhile, a U.S. Congresswoman published a scathing report on how the agency responsible for screening terrorists from boarding planes has proven unable to screen criminals from its own ranks.
    It’s no wonder why TSA officials at Orlando International Airport have gone as far as to post a sign near the checkpoint forbidding photography and videography.
    And why TSA officials at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport recently ordered a traveler to stop recording after an alarm went off indicating a security breach.
    After all, we just never know which TSA screener has been profiled on America’s Most Wanted.
    PINAC reader Paul Sanchez said he was confronted by a TSA screener in St. Louis last week who told him he was not allowed to record because he was within a “sterile” area.
    He continued recording and was eventually confronted by Detective Sergeant Lesley F. Williams of the St. Louis Airport Police Department who threatened to arrest him for interference.
    The no photography sign at Orlando International Airport was snapped by PINAC reader Daniel Bentley.
    The “Private Screening Advisory” states the following:
    For security reasons, some screening procedures conducted in this area cannot be videotaped or photographed. Please cease any recording or photography if directed by a TSA officer.
    You have the option to have somebody accompany you during private screening.​
    However, TSA states the following on its website regarding the recording of checkpoints:
    TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors. While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might.​
    While the TSA will no doubt defend itself by stating that the sign clearly says “some screening procedures” cannot be recorded, mainly the monitors, the actual policy states that they are merely requesting travelers not to record the monitors.
    And let’s face it, it is not the monitors we want to record but how the TSA screeners conduct themselves while groping passengers and rummaging through our luggage.
    Just last month, it was discovered that a Catholic priest who was forced out of the church over sex abuse allegations is now working as a TSA supervisor in Philadelphia.
    Also last month, U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) published a scolding report criticizing the TSA for its lax hiring practices.
    The report, titled “‘Not on my watch’: 50 Failures of TSA’s Transportation Security Officers” and published May 30, 2012, states the following:
    Since its creation, the TSA has greatly expanded its authority and reach to include every transportation sector within the United States. While in the last decade TSA has employed many dedicated public servants who truly have a deep desire to serve our country, they have also hired an alarming number of individuals who in many cases would never have passed a simple background check. The individuals who are featured in this report are not only abusing their public positions but they are using their jobs to commit federal crimes against the very public they are sworn to protect.
    This problem has only exacerbated itself since 2005 when TSA administratively reclassified airport security screeners as Transportation Security Officers. To make matters worse, TSA upgraded TSOs uniforms to reflect those of federal law enforcement officers, complete with metal officer badges. Despite their new title of officer, TSOs receive zero federal law enforcement training and as you will see in this report, many TSOs have displayed little respect for the titles they hold and uniforms they wear.​
    The 59-page report lists 50 TSA workers who ended up getting arrested for child molestation, sexual assault, drug trafficking and at least one case of murder.
    Earlier today, it was reported that 43 TSA workers in Fort Meyers were disciplined for lax security.
    Less than two months ago, four TSA screeners were arrested in Los Angeles International Airport for accepting bribes in exchange for allowing drugs to be smuggled through the screening area.
    Although the TSA has always allowed the recording at checkpoints, that message never seems to resonate with the actual screeners who repeatedly lie to travelers about their right to record.
    Last year, the TSA hinted that they would start officially banning recording at checkpoints after a series of humiliating videos exposed screeners groping children but the National Press Photographers Association stepped in and the TSA announced it was all a misunderstanding.
    In the St. Louis incident mentioned above, Sanchez stopped recording after the cop threatened him with arrest. This is how he explained it in an email to Photography is Not a Crime:
    I stopped recording and about 30 minutes later the terminal was re-opened. I pulled up the TSA blog about photography/videotaping at checkpoints on my iPad and asked a supervisor screener what the policy is and why one her underlings said photography is not allowed. This did not get very far and the federal security director William Switzer then got involved. He confirmed to me that photography/videotaping is allowed and the screener was in error. At this point she was out of view and I could not point out the screener to director Switzer nor recall her name (I did not see her SIDA credentials). I exchanged cards with director Switzer.
    Just as I was going to leave the terminal thru the exit lo & behold the screener did show up in the doorway of the private screening room. Not wanting to miss the opportunity for director Switzer I photographed her & officer Smith of STL PD with my Canon ELPH 300. Officer Smith came up to me immediately and said do not take photos of the checkpoint. 100% contrary to TSA's published rules but 100% inline with Detective Sergeant Williams' opinion as well.
    After completing the refresher course on 1 June I went to terminal 2 hoping to find the original screener working so I could get her name/SIDA credentials and ask her why she thought it was not a "public area" but instead a "sterile area". Got thru the checkpoint (lanes 5 & 6) and came around to the back of the same checkpoint where I was admonished for doing something that is lawful in the state of MO. Did see the screener working so I thought I would try and get her name. I was told by one of her brethren screeners that if I wanted to file a complaint and get her name I would have to contact the STL police department. I told the screener I thought it was the TSA who knew what their screener names are and if they are working on a given day. This occurred at about 15:55 at the main checkpoint airside.​
    Please send stories, tips and videos to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com.
    I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.
    My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.
    So if you would like to contribute, please click on the "donate" button below and contribute whatever you can afford.
    Hair Transplant
    Also, in an unrelated PINAC matter, I recently went through a hair transplant operation and I'm documenting my recovery on this blog if you are interested. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I'm promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.

    Continue reading...
  3. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    dead link

    here is the link
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    "page not found"
  5. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

  7. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    I don't think this will pass muster. An administrative search must be conducted in public, right? And as such, is available to be filmed. This clearly is a policy designed to protect TSA politically and not to protect any "secret stuff" because anyone going through the process can see it, rendering it not secret. This is a very transparent attempt to suppress the First Amendment.
    Caradoc likes this.
  8. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    It's difficult to read the sign, but I believe it reads

    "For security reasons, some screening procedures......"

    Further, I believe it refers to screening in a private room as the signage refers to the victim having the right to a witness of their choosing.
  9. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    It also says "in this area", even though the sign was moved to a public area of the checkpoint.

    I have little doubt that this kind of sign has been around for a while, intended for the private screening area -- though if it's truly private, other passengers cannot see in anyway -- but a wayward TSO moved it to the public area to intimidate passengers into not filming.
  10. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Agree that it's an attempt to intimidate passengers into not filming. And that, sooner or later, this will be policy. No one will be allowed to film even in the public places.
  11. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    "Policy" won't make it legal, just as it hasn't made it legal for police departments.
    FaustsAccountant and DeafBlonde like this.
  12. Paul Sanchez

    Paul Sanchez "We already know you, Mr. Sanchez"

    Easily my best confrontation with TSA screeners or airport police ever. Keep in mind this indeed the same St Louis (STL) airport where Steven Bierfeldt was detained fro having $4700 in cash/checks for Ron Paul's political action committee. I encourage other travelers at STL to be just as confrontational.
  13. FaustsAccountant

    FaustsAccountant Original Member

    Meh. Same old dogfaced blue shirts that believe we 'wave all our rights when we buy a plane ticket.'
    They'll say anything and then their supervisors will do anything to defend them regardless of logical, reason, decency or legality.

    I have not flown in or out of MCO innerly a year now. I've had it with them. Even though it's the most convenient airport for me, I will go out of my way to avoid it. I've said this before: TSA has done more to impede and destroy my freedoms as an American than any big scary 'terra-wrist ever did.
    Lisa Simeone and Caradoc like this.

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