Monday, April 19, 2010

Response to: TSA to Download Your iTunes?

The Washington Times recently ran an article with the headline: TSA to download your iTunes? The article says:

“Federal security workers are now free to snoop through more than just your undergarments and luggage at the airport. Thanks to a recent series of federal court decisions, the digital belongings of international fliers are now open for inspection. This includes reading the saved e-mails on your laptop, scanning the address book on your iPhone or BlackBerry and closely scrutinizing your digital vacation snapshots.”

Bottom line: TSA does not search files from your electronic media and will not download your iTunes or any other files. Frequent blog readers may remember an older post about a similar misunderstanding: Can TSA Copy Your Laptop Hard Drive and Search Your Files?

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

58 comments:

Andy said...

Maybe you should contact the author of the editorial and let him know that he's mistaken TSA for CBP. You know, the other airport-based, DHS agency with blue uniforms and gold badges.

Gunner said...

speaking of which...is DYWTFT a termination offense yet? If not, why not?

Gunner said...

You also ought to make sure that your people at the airport absolutely know this...give your less-than-stellar track record of poor communications to the DYWTFT crowd at the airport.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the editor already knows but doesn't care to check the facts when a nice sensational headline beating on Bob and group is going to sell more papers.

Mike E said...

The linked article makes no mention of the TSA, and clearly states several times that the electronic searching only happens at border crossings (which apparently include international airport arrivals).

All you've done is given Google a hit now when people ask it if the TSA can "download their iTunes".

Blogger Bob said...

Mike E,

Thanks for posting. The headline to the Washington Times story is "TSA to Download Your iTunes?" I just checked and it hasn't been corrected.

Also, there are well over 100 tweets pointing to this article that use the article's headline.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Spin Cipher said...

Andy ... Who cares if the story is true; makes good copy.
Bill

Anonymous said...

What's with tsa and Apple? First they question the Air, then a big stink about the iPad, and now my iTunes. I think tsa wants people to buy Microsoft.

Garveybiz said...

A digital sweep might shorten lines and indentify a bomber. Maybe some strategic ambiguity, with safeguards, is worth considering.

Anonymous said...

Mike E said...
The linked article makes no mention of the TSA...
April 19, 2010 1:58 PM

---

Did you read the title Mike?

Anonymous said...

Its getting to be the same routine. You respond to only OBVIOUS mistakes. Just about EVERYBODY realized the article was talking about CBP.

So, does that mean that the stories you do NOT respond to are true?

It still is upsetting that it now means that going out of the country removes me from the protection of the Constitution.

Chris Boyce said...

A little while ago, Bob said: "Also, there are well over 100 tweets pointing to this article that use the article's headline."

Bob, does this mean you will launch one of your officially-sanctioned denial of service attacks on Twitter just like the one you launched against the woman who claimed her child was taken from her at a checkpoint?

Competent federal agencies would write a rebuttal guest editorial (How about ghost-writing something for Gale?). Read a publication such as "Space News" or "Aviation Week and Space Technology." It happens all the time.

If the "Washington Times" doesn't publish your rebuttal, take out an ad and tell your story.

Face it, the TSA has such a low reputation with the American public that it forces you to react with yet another puppy post.

Phil said...

Bob, what's your policy for dealing with TSA staff who do perform this action that you've told us you don't do?

--
Phil
Showing ID only affects honest people.
What if the people with the power to secretly put your name on a "no-fly" list didn't like the reason for which you want to fly?

Blogging Tips said...

@Andy

Agree with you, he should contact the author of the editorial.

Anonymous said...

No, the TSA will not download your music. But they will see you naked. I would prefer them to download my music, if given the choice.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Since you are back to reacting to potentially negative press on this blog, how are you coming along with the response to "assault charges over applesauce" case that is building in the news.

As you are very well aware, this woman had her elderly and ailing mother's food confiscated at the inspection point and was eventually arrested after she had allegedly met all requirements posted numerous times here and on the TSA.gov web site.

Again, this all appears to be another case of a passenger knowing the rules better than the TSOs in the airport -- but she ended up in jail.

Comments?

http://www.burbankleader.com/articles/2010/04/17/publicsafety/blr-airport041710.art.txt
http://cbs2.com/watercooler/Woman.Accused.Of.2.1643774.html

TSOWilliamReed said...

Anonymous said...
Bob,

Since you are back to reacting to potentially negative press on this blog, how are you coming along with the response to "assault charges over applesauce" case that is building in the news.

As you are very well aware, this woman had her elderly and ailing mother's food confiscated at the inspection point and was eventually arrested after she had allegedly met all requirements posted numerous times here and on the TSA.gov web site.

Again, this all appears to be another case of a passenger knowing the rules better than the TSOs in the airport -- but she ended up in jail.

Comments?

http://www.burbankleader.com/articles/2010/04/17/publicsafety/blr-airport041710.art.txt
http://cbs2.com/watercooler/Woman.Accused.Of.2.1643774.html

April 20, 2010 9:55 AM
-----------------

If the woman supposedly knew the rules of the airport so well why was her applesauce not in 3.4oz containers in a quart size baggy since it wasn't medicinal? Also when did trying to forcefully take an item that an officer of the law has told you that you can not have become a reasonable idea? I am pretty sure that trying to forcefull remove something like said cooler from the hands of an officer is considered assualt no matter what state you are in. Also assualting a FEDERAL officer is a felony. I feel sorry for the woman and her mother, no one should have to be put through something like that especially on their way to a wedding. But the entire situation was of her own creation while the TSO's were simply doing the jobs they are paid to do and telling her the same rules that get told to all the other 2 million passengers flying that day.

And for those that didn't bother watching the footage she really was yanking the heck out of that cooler to get it out of that TSO's hands.

Anonymous said...

Since you are back to reacting to potentially negative press on this blog, how are you coming along with the response to "assault charges over applesauce" case that is building in the news.

As you are very well aware, this woman had her elderly and ailing mother's food confiscated at the inspection point and was eventually arrested after she had allegedly met all requirements posted numerous times here and on the TSA.gov web site.

Again, this all appears to be another case of a passenger knowing the rules better than the TSOs in the airport -- but she ended up in jail.
___________________________________

Ha, I just watched the video of the "case of the applesauce". It looks to me that if the lady would have acted like an adult things may have turned out ok. She was trying to rip things out of the TSA's hands and carrying on like a child. Maybe if she would have used her big girl words they could have discussed the fact that she checked ahead of time and that her mother needed these foods for medical reasons. The TSA agents were probably just going to look at what she had and maybe run some extra test on the food and that would have probably been it. As shown in the video the lady did not even give the TSO a chance to just look at the cooler and she obviously struck the TSO on the hand trying to get the cooler out of her hand. You can not touch any person like that. Why would she think that this was acceptable behavior?! And it shows the lady dumping out her own cooler. So TSA never actually disposed of her food for her mother. Like I said those foods are acceptable and they probably just wanted to look it over, but after her irrational behavior law enforcement was contacted. Looks to me that the lady over reacted and it looks like she may pay for her irrational behavior. Oh well!!!!

Anonymous said...

TSOWilliamReed said...

If the woman supposedly knew the rules of the airport so well why was her applesauce not in 3.4oz containers in a quart size baggy since it wasn't medicinal? Also when did trying to forcefully take an item that an officer of the law has told you that you can not have become a reasonable idea? I am pretty sure that trying to forcefull remove something like said cooler from the hands of an officer is considered assualt no matter what state you are in. Also assualting a FEDERAL officer is a felony. I feel sorry for the woman and her mother, no one should have to be put through something like that especially on their way to a wedding.
...


___________________________________

Mr. Reed,

Maybe she was completely frustrated by responses from TSOs like you who think medically required liquids need to follow 3/1/1 ... AFTER she says she contacted the TSA with regards to the proper method to prepare these materials.



Per your own departmental guidance:

******

Additionally, we are continuing to permit prescription liquid medications and other liquids needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions. This includes:

All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including petroleum jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes;

Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition;
Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs;
Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids; and,
Frozen items are allowed as long as they are frozen solid when presented for screening. If frozen items are partially melted, slushy, or have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they must meet 3-1-1 requirements.
However, if the liquid medications are in volumes larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml) each, they may not be placed in the quart-size bag and must be declared to the Transportation Security Officer. A declaration can be made verbally, in writing, or by a person's companion, caregiver, interpreter, or family member.

Declared liquid medications and other liquids for disabilities and medical conditions must be kept separate from all other property submitted for x-ray screening.

*****


Here is the woman's version from the press - did you read it yourself?



http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-airport-applesauce,0,1169651.story

Hayes denies striking the agent and says she brought down her hand to keep her from taking away her 93-year-old mother's applesauce, cheese and milk, which were inside a cooler.

The two were traveling to a wedding in Nashville, and Hays says she emailed TSA ahead of time about the extra baggage.

Her lawyer, Mary Frances Prevost, argues that Hays had every right to bring the items along because TSA permits liquids to people with medical conditions and disabilities, as long as they declare everything of more than 3 ounces to agents.

Agents told Hays she had to surrender the contents of the cooler. As Hays informed them of her mother's medical condition, she became "uncooperative and was yelling" at the TSA screener, according to the arrest report.

Hays says she was frustrated because she felt she had informed them ahead of time and she was concerned about her mother's well-being.




So, Mr. Reed -- if it was declared ahead of time as she claims, and follows the procedures given to her by the TSA, why should a TSO tell her she needs to "surrender" the material???

If I was in her position, I might be a bit wound up, too.

RB said...

TSOWilliamReed said...
Anonymous said...
Bob,

Since you are back to reacting to potentially negative press on this blog, how are you coming along with the response to "assault charges over applesauce" case that is building in the news.

As you are very well aware, this woman had her elderly and ailing mother's food confiscated at the inspection point and was eventually arrested after she had allegedly met all requirements posted numerous times here and on the TSA.gov web site.

Again, this all appears to be another case of a passenger knowing the rules better than the TSOs in the airport -- but she ended up in jail.

Comments?

http://www.burbankleader.com/articles/2010/04/17/publicsafety/blr-airport041710.art.txt
http://cbs2.com/watercooler/Woman.Accused.Of.2.1643774.html

April 20, 2010 9:55 AM
-----------------

If the woman supposedly knew the rules of the airport so well why was her applesauce not in 3.4oz containers in a quart size baggy since it wasn't medicinal? Also when did trying to forcefully take an item that an officer of the law has told you that you can not have become a reasonable idea? I am pretty sure that trying to forcefull remove something like said cooler from the hands of an officer is considered assualt no matter what state you are in. Also assualting a FEDERAL officer is a felony. I feel sorry for the woman and her mother, no one should have to be put through something like that especially on their way to a wedding. But the entire situation was of her own creation while the TSO's were simply doing the jobs they are paid to do and telling her the same rules that get told to all the other 2 million passengers flying that day.

And for those that didn't bother watching the footage she really was yanking the heck out of that cooler to get it out of that TSO's hands.

April 20, 2010 1:03 PM

..................

Now William are you claiming that TSO's are "Officers of the Law" now?

Really?

Aren't life sustaining items permitted after proper screening?

Didn't the lady present said life sustaining items for screening separately from any other liquids that fit in the Kippie Bag?

It is clear that the TSA employees did not follow SOP and placed a traveler at risk for no reason.

Travelers with disabilities are protected under Federal Law but I know TSA could care less about the law or people!

And again this situation demostrates why travelers should have concise rules they must comply with published and available at every checkpoint.

We are not criminals, nor prisoners and deserve to be treated like the free people we are.

I hope the case goes to trial with the TSA employees directly prosecuted for their part of this travesty of justice.

I would volunteer to sit on the jury!

Anonymous said...

Can TSA demand I surrender my property to them?

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. Reed. It looks like the judge doesn't agree with you, as he threw out the charges.

Unfortunately this poor woman is out nearly $18,000 in legal costs and replacement tickets for this fiasco.

And her 94 year old mother passed away 3 weeks ago.

But in her own words, ``The toughest part was they all wanted me to take the plea bargain, but I said no I can't do it,' ... ``And if nothing else, it's an example that I've set for my family.'

http://www.bhcourier.com/article/Local_News/Local_News/Woman_Who_Sneaks_Applesauce_Through_Airport_Gets_Off/67119

Once again, another completely unnecessary and pointless public black eye for the men and women in blue.

Anonymous said...

TSOWilliamReed said...
If the woman supposedly knew the rules of the airport so well why was her applesauce not in 3.4oz containers in a quart size baggy since it wasn't medicinal? ... the entire situation was of her own creation while the TSO's were simply doing the jobs they are paid to do and telling her the same rules that get told to all the other 2 million passengers flying that day...

******************************

Bob,

Would you be so kind as to clarify for the TSOWilliamReed and the other passengers and TSOs who use this blog for information as to what the official rules really are with regards to medically required liquids for special needs travelers?

I hate to see inaccurate information archived on this site, as it can affect other travelers in the future.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Bob, Would you be so kind as to clarify for the TSOWilliamReed and the other passengers and TSOs who use this blog for information as to what the official rules really are with regards to medically required liquids for special needs travelers?"

Simple, if you are Britney Spears you can bring liquids and ice through the check points.

If you are an old woman who is a care giver to the elderly you will be assaulted and government agents will try to take your property by force.

Anonymous said...

TSOWilliamReed please explain your "officer of the law' remark.

Do you believe you and TSA agents are LEOs?

RB said...

Bob, when are you going to correct TSO Reed's claim that TSO's are Officers of the Law?

Surely you will not let this remark of his slide by.

Anonymous said...

Here is the woman's version from the press - did you read it yourself?



http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-airport-applesauce,0,1169651.story

Hayes denies striking the agent and says she brought down her hand to keep her from taking away her 93-year-old mother's applesauce, cheese and milk, which were inside a cooler.

The two were traveling to a wedding in Nashville, and Hays says she emailed TSA ahead of time about the extra baggage.

Her lawyer, Mary Frances Prevost, argues that Hays had every right to bring the items along because TSA permits liquids to people with medical conditions and disabilities, as long as they declare everything of more than 3 ounces to agents.

Agents told Hays she had to surrender the contents of the cooler. As Hays informed them of her mother's medical condition, she became "uncooperative and was yelling" at the TSA screener, according to the arrest report.

Hays says she was frustrated because she felt she had informed them ahead of time and she was concerned about her mother's well-being.



So, Mr. Reed -- if it was declared ahead of time as she claims, and follows the procedures given to her by the TSA, why should a TSO tell her she needs to "surrender" the material???

If I was in her position, I might be a bit wound up, too.

------------------

In all the reports I read on this it never stated the elderly woman had a medical condition that required applesauce and cottage cheese. If she did however and it was stated then yes the TSO's should have let her have a REASONABLE amount of the items. An entire cooler full for probably a 2 hour flight is not reasonable. The rule itself states that liquids for medical reasons can be over the limit in REASONABLE amounts. I am just stating the rule. This incident had more to it than just this is the rule and thats what happened. If you would have watched the video you can plainly see that the woman did not simply "place her hand on the cooler". She very angrily raises her entire arm above her head and slaps it down on top of what appears to be the TSO's own hand that is holding onto the cooler. Also as I said in my previous post, trying to forcefully remove the cooler from the officers hand is assualt especially since the item has been declared a prohibited item. So the rule was stated the, woman freaked out and tried to take her prohibited items anyways, the TSO tried to maintain control of the items by not letting go, the woman tried to rip the items from the TSO's grip, the woman threw down her hand upon the cooler or officers hand to get her to release it. I have seen my niece throw similar fits when I tell her she can't have something. Whatever the rule is does not dismiss the fact that this woman angrily tried to force things out of the hands of an officer of the law therefore she was arrested. The outcome would have been the same if say I informed a passenger I had to do random screening on their bag and they tried to force it out of my hands saying they were going to miss their flight. No prohibited items involved but it is still consider assualt by the law and when done to a federal officer is, by the law, a felony.

RB said...

Anon said.....

No prohibited items involved but it is still consider assualt by the law and when done to a federal officer is, by the law, a felony.

April 21, 2010 1:25 PM

........................
What I see in the video is a person trying to protect their property from an illegal seizure by an employee of the government who did not follow SOP.

If anyone is prosecuted it should be the TSA employee.

I would hope that counsel for this lady suggest civil suits against these TSA workers.

avxo said...

Bob,

Can a TSO ask me to turn on my laptop and, if they do, do I have to comply?

Can he say that it is "suspicious" that my laptop won't turn on, pass it around amongst himself and other TSOs, before giving me a lecture that I should make sure it works next time?

Can they tell me that there is a regulation that I may carry only one battery and "do me a favor" by not confiscating (their word) the second battery?

If they cannot, may I suggest that you contact whoever runs the carnival at LAS? I suspect some "retraining" is in order.

Oh, and while I'm at it, what is the policy for your people having hypoallergenic gloves and using them when requested? This weekend I saw this woman who had her belongings searched, asking the TSO to not use latex gloves because she claimed to be severely allergic to latex. This resulted only in the TSO tell her to "stop harassing me" while continuing to pull things out of her carry-on.

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. Reed. It looks like the judge doesn't agree with you, as he threw out the charges.

Unfortunately this poor woman is out nearly $18,000 in legal costs and replacement tickets for this fiasco.

And her 94 year old mother passed away 3 weeks ago.

But in her own words, ``The toughest part was they all wanted me to take the plea bargain, but I said no I can't do it,' ... ``And if nothing else, it's an example that I've set for my family.'

http://www.bhcourier.com/article/Local_News/Local_News/Woman_Who_Sneaks_Applesauce_Through_Airport_Gets_Off/67119

Once again, another completely unnecessary and pointless public black eye for the men and women in blue.
___________________________________

I'm sorry, but it in no way makes the men and women in blue look bad! If the video is watched by anyone they should realize that this lady is completely out of line! Good she didn't get refunded anything. She should not have gotten off that easy! The way that she acted was childish and completely out of line. What kind of adult acts that way and makes this public for the whole world to see. I would be embarassed if I was her!!!! The only example that she set for her family (?kids?grandkids?) is that mom/grandma acted like a total fool in front of a bunch of people and there is a video to prove it! She should have used her words and spoke to the TSO like an adult. Instead of whaling around in such a discusting manner. I can't stress enough how rediculous this lady looked and I can not believe that people feel sorry for her!!!

Anonymous said...

So, Mr. Reed -- if it was declared ahead of time as she claims, and follows the procedures given to her by the TSA, why should a TSO tell her she needs to "surrender" the material???

If I was in her position, I might be a bit wound up, too.
___________________________________
I bet you I can guess exactly what happened. First of all, if she emailed someone, who did she email. Did she send an email maybe to washington to declare her liquids? Cause I am pretty sure that that crucial information probably would go no where fast. Liquids should be declared somewhere in the screening process. Ok back to what I think happened.... The TSO probably picked up her bag. Not knowing that the mother had a medical condition and wanting to check her liquids, creams or gels. I bet that instead of acting like an adult and saying that her mother had a medical condition and required these soft foods for the flight she probably immediately started yelling and acting out of line. Then from what the video shows the lady gets crazier and crazier and I really don't see any body language from the TSO's that says that they were antagonizing things further. This is the passengers fault. The TSO was not a mind reader she did not realize that the woman medically needed these items. One must speak up like an adult and explain.

Anonymous said...

Bob, when are you going to correct TSO Reed's claim that TSO's are Officers of the Law?

Surely you will not let this remark of his slide by.
___________________________________
WHO CARES!!!! You just pointed it out. I am sure that Reed will see that he made the mistake. I don't think he needs a smack on the hand from Daddy Bob!

TSOWilliamReed said...

I need to clarify my statement. I am guessing a LEO was there as well alongside the TSO's informing the woman that she can not take the items through with her. Even with this being told to her she still tried forcefully removing the cooler from the TSO.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the inanity!

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
Can TSA demand I surrender my property to them?
------------
The Short Answer: No
And here is the interesting part, they CAN deny you and your property entry to the sterile area.

If your "property" is a prohibited item requiring a LEO response then the LEO can confiscate the item at their discretion.

I hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

RB said...

I would hope that counsel for this lady suggest civil suits against these TSA workers.
------------------------------------

Let me just say...

A bag check was called on the item; therefore, the property must be searched. The lady actually interfered with the search by going in her property and taking something before the process was done (the soda). She isn't innocent in this matter.

Anonymous said...

TSOWilliamReed said...
I need to clarify my statement...

So you make up imaginary LEOs.

Anonymous said...

"TSO Reed's claim that TSO's are Officers of the Law"

"WHO CARES!!!!"

I care.

You will find that many of us care.

We are concerned about poorly trained, badly informed, non-compliant and egotistical TSA staff.

Reed's post sure sounded like he was cliaming TSA are LEOs.

Anonymous said...

" If the video is watched by anyone "

There were reported to be other videos.

And that the TSA would not provide them.

Blogger Bob said...

avxo said... Bob, Can a TSO ask me to turn on my laptop and, if they do, do I have to comply? Can he say that it is "suspicious" that my laptop won't turn on, pass it around amongst himself and other TSOs, before giving me a lecture that I should make sure it works next time?

Can they tell me that there is a regulation that I may carry only one battery and "do me a favor" by not confiscating (their word) the second battery?

If they cannot, may I suggest that you contact whoever runs the carnival at LAS? I suspect some "retraining" is in order.

Oh, and while I'm at it, what is the policy for your people having hypoallergenic gloves and using them when requested? This weekend I saw this woman who had her belongings searched, asking the TSO to not use latex gloves because she claimed to be severely allergic to latex. This resulted only in the TSO tell her to "stop harassing me" while continuing to pull things out of her carry-on.
April 21, 2010 4:25 PM

-----------------------------

AVXO, thanks for bringing this to my attention and sorry about your recent travel experience. I sent your comment to the Customer Support Manager at LAS. If you like, you can also send a message via Got Feedback including more details.

Our officers are not trained to turn on electronics, and are not supposed to turn on electronics.

As far as the battery, according to FAA regulations, you are allowed to have spares in your carry-on, but not in your checked baggage.

Also, as far as the gloves, if she had an allergy and stated such, the officer should have called for a supervisor. There are usually a few officers with the same allergy to latex, so there was a good chance there were non-latex gloves available.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

avxo said...

Bob, thanks for the timely answer. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

The real danger to the public is from TSA employees such as the FAM who was arrested for rape in Seattle--allegedly committed while still wearing his badge and gun.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011663160_airmarshal22m.html

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
avxo said... Bob, Can a TSO ask me to turn on my laptop and, if they do, do I have to comply? Can he say that it is "suspicious" that my laptop won't turn on, pass it around amongst himself and other TSOs, before giving me a lecture that I should make sure it works next time?

Can they tell me that there is a regulation that I may carry only one battery and "do me a favor" by not confiscating (their word) the second battery?

If they cannot, may I suggest that you contact whoever runs the carnival at LAS? I suspect some "retraining" is in order.

Oh, and while I'm at it, what is the policy for your people having hypoallergenic gloves and using them when requested? This weekend I saw this woman who had her belongings searched, asking the TSO to not use latex gloves because she claimed to be severely allergic to latex. This resulted only in the TSO tell her to "stop harassing me" while continuing to pull things out of her carry-on.
April 21, 2010 4:25 PM

-----------------------------

AVXO, thanks for bringing this to my attention and sorry about your recent travel experience. I sent your comment to the Customer Support Manager at LAS. If you like, you can also send a message via Got Feedback including more details.

Our officers are not trained to turn on electronics, and are not supposed to turn on electronics.

As far as the battery, according to FAA regulations, you are allowed to have spares in your carry-on, but not in your checked baggage.

Also, as far as the gloves, if she had an allergy and stated such, the officer should have called for a supervisor. There are usually a few officers with the same allergy to latex, so there was a good chance there were non-latex gloves available.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

April 22, 2010 1:26 PM
/////////////////////
More of those well trained employees you keep telling us that TSA has Bob?

Seems the reports from travelers indicate that they are not so well trained.

Want to reconsider your previous statement?

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for a long time and it constantly amazes me how many so-called "civilians" know the standard operating procedures of the TSA better than the TSA Agents who so often seem to take themselves so seriously. It also amazes me that basic problems continue to occur, such as TSA Agents not knowing procedures regarding laptop batteries and acceptable forms of identification.

However, I can say that the thing that amazes me most is that it takes a video being recorded or someone turning using their cell phones to record video or audio for the agency to admit a mistake was made.

The advise that I would give to the traveling public is to use your cell phones and record the audio and video of the situations that are encountered. Even more, record the events that occur around you after leaving the security checkpoints. This will quickly accomplish much more in the way of changes at checkpoints than any messages left on this blog or any letters sent to the TSA.

HappyToHelp said...

avxo said...
"Oh, and while I'm at it, what is the policy for your people having hypoallergenic gloves and using them when requested?”

At SMF, Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) only use nitrile gloves (contain no latex proteins). This is just a FYI for anyone who is departing SMF or at least going through the checkpoint.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

So, Mr. Reed -- if it was declared ahead of time as she claims, and follows the procedures given to her by the TSA, why should a TSO tell her she needs to "surrender" the material???

If I was in her position, I might be a bit wound up, too.

------------------

In all the reports I read on this it never stated the elderly woman had a medical condition that required applesauce and cottage cheese…

her mom was 93 years old, she was traveling with a caregiver, SHE DIED THREE WEEKS AGO, and there was enough concern that her daughter pre-communicated the following: “In an e-mail sent to TSA officials before they embarked on the trip, Hays informed the agency that she planned to take the snacks and milk onboard, asking them to “please advise, as I do not want to have complications at the airport.”


TSA officials responded five days after her arrest with a form letter that the agency permits certain liquids needed by people with disabilities and medical conditions. More than 3 ounces are also acceptable as long a passengers declare them at the gate.”

http://www.glendalenewspress.com/articles/2010/04/21/publicsafety/gnp-hays042110.txt


If she did however and it was stated then yes the TSO's should have let her have a REASONABLE amount of the items. An entire cooler full for probably a 2 hour flight is not reasonable…


Shame on you. You and your brethren are not doctors, and there is no need for you to have anyone prove a medical case to a TSO. If this flight was stranded for hours, as frequently happens, there could have been a serious outcome. All a passenger has to do is claim a medical issue, and you are required to perform additional screening on said items. End of story. No TSO power/ego trip required.

So the rule was stated the, woman freaked out and tried to take her prohibited items anyways, the TSO tried to maintain control of the items by not letting go, the woman tried to rip the items from the TSO's grip, the woman threw down her hand upon the cooler or officers hand to get her to release it. I have seen my niece throw similar fits when I tell her she can't have something.

Whatever.

This woman TOOK THE EFFORT TO EDUCATE HERSELF AND CONTACT THE TSA before travelling to assure that she “would not have complications at the airport.” Because your organization cannot effectively train and manage their own employees, as travelers, we have to guess what the “TSO random rule of the day” is, and whether or not we will be able to arrive at our destination with the same amount of property we departed with, regardless of what is published.

The probability is very high that the TSO in this incident took a firm stance that these materials were not allowed, and the lady needed to surrender them, regardless of prior communication, DYWTFT, etc.

This thread is a perfect example of why people get so frustrated with the TSA! Each and every event like this creates another group of people who will never trust the TSA again when they travel. The TSA has earned their public reputation one mistake at a time.

TSO Tom said...

As per a question from a blog reader, Bob responded as follows:

Also, as far as the gloves, if she had an allergy and stated such, the officer should have called for a supervisor. There are usually a few officers with the same allergy to latex, so there was a good chance there were non-latex gloves available
***********************************
At PHL we have NOT used LATEX gloves since I became employed in 2005. We have used Nitrile gloves only as the outer most glove when searching property and person.

Anonymous said...

RB said
What I see in the video is a person trying to protect their property from an illegal seizure by an employee of the government who did not follow SOP.

If anyone is prosecuted it should be the TSA employee.

I would hope that counsel for this lady suggest civil suits against these TSA workers.
-----------------------------------
RB what you also see is that the property wasn't cleared at that point. Just because it goes through the x-ray doesn't mean it's cleared for travel. Exemptable liguids still need to undergo a liquid test before they are cleared to enter the sterile are of the airport.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

RB what you also see is that the property wasn't cleared at that point. Just because it goes through the x-ray doesn't mean it's cleared for travel. Exemptable liguids still need to undergo a liquid test before they are cleared to enter the sterile are of the airport.


-----------------------------------

Except, per the news reports, the TSO was refusing to execute any further liquid tests, and was demanding that the liquids in the cooler be "surrendered", notwithstanding the SOP and published guidelines.

Looks like poor training and/or execution of job responsibilities to me.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...

RB what you also see is that the property wasn't cleared at that point. Just because it goes through the x-ray doesn't mean it's cleared for travel. Exemptable liguids still need to undergo a liquid test before they are cleared to enter the sterile are of the airport.


-----------------------------------

Except, per the news reports, the TSO was refusing to execute any further liquid tests, and was demanding that the liquids in the cooler be "surrendered", notwithstanding the SOP and published guidelines.

Looks like poor training and/or execution of job responsibilities to me.

April 27, 2010 8:23 AM
.............
Really supports Bob's claim that TSA employees are well trained, eh?

Anonymous said...

We are Transportation Security Officers or TSOs for the correct accronym. We are Federal employees. That would make us by definition Federal Officers. Nothing was stated that we were Law Enforcement Officers, or LEOs for the correct accronym, until the comment was posted by someone other than TSO Reed. Assault of a Federal Officer regardless of what government branch they serve is a felony. End of story.

Hang in there TSO Reed our job is a thankless task of never ending negative public opinion that's reported to make those in the wrong look victimized. Never mind the TSO who helps find lost property or a missing child. Forget those who assist lost passengers or those with a heavey load. Oh and please for those TSO who stop what they are doing during their breaks or lunches to answer a simple question or show a passenger personally where to find some facility or where the ever elusive exit is, we can give them bad press about making the passenger walk three extra feet. Lets forget the good things done daily and only focus on how bad things happen to those who feel flying is a RIGHT and not a priviledge.

Chin up TSO Reed remember we are here to protect and serve even those who do not like us.

Anonymous said...

Anon said:

"Nothing was stated that we were Law Enforcement Officers"

Wrong.

TSOWilliamReed specifically said the elderly woman was ...

"trying to forcefully take an item that an officer of the law..."

Every report agreed that this encounter was with TSOs.

In his post TSOWilliamReed did not say they were government agents or federal officers.

TSOWilliamReed said "officer(s) of the law".

Jim Huggins said...

Anonymous writes (sarcastically):

Hang in there TSO Reed our job is a thankless task of never ending negative public opinion that's reported to make those in the wrong look victimized.

Funny ... that doesn't look like the purpose of this blog, as posted right on the front page:

This blog is sponsored by the Transportation Security Administration to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process.

How can we discuss "innovations" without discussing what's wrong with the current checkpoint screening process? After all, if you were already perfect, there'd be no need to innovate, right?

Anonymous said...

TSA does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those Web sites that may be reached through links on our Web site.

Anonymous said...

"Hang in there TSO Reed our job is a thankless task of never ending negative public opinion that's reported to make those in the wrong look victimized."

Thankless?

You are incredibly well compensated, with excellent benefits, and you get to use your badge to steal pizza from convenient stores. That's not good enough for you?

Anonymous said...

"TSA does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those Web sites that may be reached through links on our Web site."

Not true.

By allowing commercial links in names this web site does promote them. They rise in their search engine ratings.

This is why people keep doing it.

avxo said...

Anonymous wrote: "Forget those who assist lost passengers or those with a heavey load. Oh and please for those TSO who stop what they are doing during their breaks or lunches to answer a simple question or show a passenger personally where to find some facility or where the ever elusive exit is [...]"

Interesting. Interesting.

Let's also NOT forget that none of those acts (nice as they may be) are part of your job description.

Be nice if you feel so inclined. Help the old man with the heavy load; or the single mom with the two children and the 3 carry-ons; help the beleaguered old lady who is not quite sure where to go.

But don't expect those things to excuse poor job performance or distract from legitimate criticism.

Anonymous also wrote: "Lets forget the good things done daily and only focus on how bad things happen to those who feel flying is a RIGHT and not a priviledge."

In other words, those people what had they had coming to them and what they deserved. That had me puzzled for a while and I pondered how to answer it. But I think I finally understand you.

You see yourself as a feudal lord, the checkpoint as your own domain and those who dare enter as your serfs; you demand respect and you will punish those who don't give it to you.

You, sir, represent everything that is wrong with the TSA and are the reason why TSOs aren't respected.

Anonymous said...

TSOs have stolen pretty much everthing else, so why not your tunes?