Friday, June 3, 2011

Response to Phoenix Checkpoint Video

 ***Update: 6/9/2011 - There have been many different interpretations of the photography portion of this post, so I wanted to clarify things a bit. We recognize that using video and photography equipment is a constitutionally protected activity unless it interferes with the screening process at our checkpoints.  While our current policy remains the same, TSA is reviewing our guidance to officers at the checkpoint to ensure consistent application.  Our goal is to protect passenger’s rights, while safeguarding the integrity of the security process. ***

You may have seen the video of a woman at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport who was upset about her screening experience. 

TSA takes all allegations of improper screening seriously and investigates each claim to the fullest. After reviewing this passenger’s time at the checkpoint, we found that our security officers acted properly and neither the CCTV footage nor this YouTube video support any of the allegations levied. Real violations of our protocols are worth every ounce of our energy to investigate, but this alleged incident does not meet that threshold. 

This incident has also raised many questions about whether or not passengers can film at checkpoints. This topic is currently under review, but you can read this blog post on our current  policy for photography at checkpoints.  

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

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235 comments:

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Anonymous said...

I think it was very obvious this was a staged outrage. Another youtube freak looking for their 15 minutes. The only fault I have about TSA, airport LEO's and the airlines is that they tolerate this type of behavior further than should be expecte., Personally I have no desire to sit next to fools like that on a airplane. Keep up the good work TSA.

JustSayin said...

This video is extremely disturbing. It's extremely disturbing because I'm seeing a family of opportunists seeking their 15 minutes of fame by attempting to drag the TSA's reputation through the mud, without merit. Frankly, I find the whole scheme very sad.

Thankfully, a thorough investigation showed that the TSA correctly followed procedures.

By the way...I've seen better acting by Lindsay Lohan.

John Smith. said...

How do you enforce a no filming policy at a NON-Federal facility...
The only way you could enforce it legally is if the state laws prevent filming of people without their consent... Of course that would make your own security cameras suspect now wouldn't it.... Good old expressed written consent...

Anonymous said...

Neil, why don't you just move to a country that doesn't have a Constitution that protects its citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. I think you'd be a lot happier in such a place.

avxo said...

Anonymous started out thusly: "Did everyone forget what happened 10 years ago already?"

No, but with reinforced cockpit doors, more vigilant crews who won't accede to the demands of a potential hijacker and passengers willing to fight, the probability that another such incident would happen is virtually nil.

But that doesn't matter, does it? After all, all that matters it that you, scared witless, must, somehow, feel safer.

And, that's what all this security theater boils down to for Anonymous. He says: "Personally, we are safer than before"

Can you provide any actual statistics to back up that assertion? Which measures, exactly, make you feel safer, how much safer does each measure make you feel? Or is it all just your "gut feeling" and what happens at the checkpoint makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and nestled in a coccoon of safety, like your cozy blankie did when you were 5?


Anonymous also added the classic: "I have nothing to hide, only those that do have something to hide should be freaked by this."

Right! Only people who have something to hide could possibly object to this sort of thing.

Let's have perpetual surveillance, with cameras in every street corner! Because after all, you have nothing to hide, do you?

Let's have perpetual wiretapping, with a recording device in every telephone and every computer. Because after all, you have nothing to hide, do you?

And the list of things you can justify with "after all, you have nothing to hide" goes on. And on. And on.

You Anonymous Sir, disgust me.

Anonymous said...

Neil said... 'Did everyone forget what happened 10 years ago already? "

No. And to use the victims of September 11th as the excuse for doing what the TSA does now is actually a disservice to those that lost friends and family.

Neil goes on to say..." and I have nothing to hide, only those that do have something to hide should be freaked by this. "

Wrong again. Having nothing to hide is not the same as being forced to show what you have. My hiding anything is not an indicator that I am doing something wrong. Our entire legal system is based on the accuser proving guilt, not the accused proving innocence. And if you truly have nothing to hide you won't mind allowing me to inspect your computer or reviewing your last couple of tax returns. You have nothing to hide so what could you be worried about?

Neil then goes on to say..." No different than going to the Doctor. Big deal."

Most Doctors in this country are licensed, certified, trained, schooled, and a whole bunch of other things that end in -ed. And when was the last time you went to the Doctor and said I would like an x-ray please, I haven't been exposed to enough radiation today.

Anonymous said...

Neil said...
And NO ONE can argue that it doesn't protect us all, despite being slightly inconvenienced and uncomfortable.

Actually quite a lot of people have been arguing that the TSA screenings aren't protecting us.

Every study I've seen says that it isn't that hard to get weapons past the TSA.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Given that you are almost infinitely more likely to be killed by a drunk driver on your way to the airport than to suffer any impact at all from "terrorism," it's a wonder you ever leave your house."

agreed when 1.7 million people fly a day and 100s of millions drive, yes the odds are very low given the amount of possiblities by the huge amount of drivers compared to fliers.

Anonymous said...

ROLANDO NEGRIN, the TSO who was fired from TSA at Miami Airport on May 4, 2010 after beating a co-worker for sexually harass him (body scanner involved) will explain in this blog all the details from the incident. Americans will know the truth and many others TSA scandals at Miami Airport will be exposed.

Anonymous said...

I am convinced that the TSA's Leadership Team believes that their agency can only be effective at its "mission" if the public despises, reviles, and above all fears the TSA. That's the only possible explanation for continuing to regard the public as intractable enemies who need to be treated like convicted felons and shown contempt. That's the only possible explanation for the TSA's policy of resolutely defending the appropriateness of its policies and procedures, and the "proper action" of its agents, no matter how much outrage it creates.

I have to conclude that Mr. Pistole and his executive staff are privately pleased each time an inflammatory account of TSA arrogance appears in the press and the blogosphere. For the resulting disgust and hatred strengthens the TSA, presumably because it shows terrorists that the agency is an Impregnable Stone Wall that considers itself infallible, and will not hesitate to create stress and difficulty for ANYONE guilty of wanting to fly. Presumably, if they guard the "sterile" area with arrogant officers empowered to interpret vague secret guidelines in whatever arbitrary and frustrating manner they choose, it will somehow protect aviation from terrorists. If they succeed in making innocent passengers hate and fear the TSA, presumably the terrorists will hate and fear the TSA even more. Thus will aviation be protected.

I have no idea what secret strategies the TSA Leadership Team have. But what is visible can only suggest that making their agency hated and feared by the public they claim to serve (while their propagandists tout "customer service" and exhort us to "partner with the TSA") is an essential part of their "security strategy."

The only question is whether they can prevent this "beneficial" hatred and outrage from reaching the point where Congress is finally compelled to act.

IraqVet said...

The premise here is that there is an assumption that what TSSA does is legal even though their actions are in clear violation of our Fourth and Firts Amendment protections. Now, in a Police State run by elitist psychopaths who worship stone owls this would be a moot subject...It sounds like Blogger Bob and his gang of girls think we the police state is already fate acompli'.

IraqVet said...

JustSayin said...Nothing.

Are you and Bob (not the blogger) TSSA plants. It's interesting to see how the both of you try to defend the indefensible...clearly amazing, and if the subject wasn't so serious it would be almost comical.

Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of the TSA investigating itself the FBI should investigate.

Tim said...

So a woman felt she was molested by TSA officers (not all that unreasonable given that someone was grabbing her breasts), requests a police officer, and you dismiss her concerns as your employees acting properly and not meeting some kind of "threshold."

There are many problems here that have nothing to do with TSA policies for cameras. Your employees are the ones groping thousands of people every single day with a stern smug sense of satisfaction. Whatever your secret so-called "protocols" may say, thousands of travelers are leaving your checkpoints feeling victimized, attacked, and left without a shred of dignity. When this happens, you obviously do not give a damn and seem to view complaints as a waste of your time.

I know what I would have the courage to do if my boss asked me to grope and molest for a living. Shame on TSOs for not doing the same.

Anonymous said...

This is how a police state forms, little by little the public accepts more and more invasion of their rights. Then one day, the public does not have any rights left.

Curiously, with all the cameras getting installed in public places, following in the foot steps of the UK, it's only the public that can be video taped not security, not law enforcement.

If we lose our right to memorialize an event that is personally witnessed, we are in trouble.

I don't agree that we have to choose between flying and being searched. Why not do what Isael does and just put law enforcement on the planes? Put the fear on the criminals, not the law abiding citizens in this country who have to be humiliated to travel, in what once was a free country.

Anonymous said...

You have no right to molest me or put me through radiation machines that are NOT safe for frequent fliers. You are NOT police, you are NOT lords of authority. You are being used as we slip further into a police state tyranny. But hey, you're "getting paid".

Anonymous said...

"Did everyone forget what happened 10 years ago already? "

No Neil we don't, and we don't want to disgrace those peoples deaths by become a fearful police state, giving up our rights, liberties, dignity and freedoms because some of you are scared. The terrorists won, you lost with your attitude. Your safety through these TSA policies is nothing but in illusion.

Anonymous said...

The woman in that video was completely rediculous she deserves to be arrested for that gross display and i hope she was and i seriously hope she wasnt allowed to fly (cuz i wouldnt want to be on a plane with her).....and the second video on that page of the man saying tsa was the gestapo...well he wasnt even saying the word right soo that should tell u somthing and the fact that he kept talking about this is going on youtube makes it look like they all walked onto this checkpoint with the intention of making a huge scene so they had somthing good to post
neither of these people should have been aloowed to fly...really i guarentee 90% of the people walking by in the video were saying to each other...hope their not on OUR flight. both of them were disgusting and dont ever deserve to be allowed on a plane ever again.... ultimately i feel sorry for those officers they deserve a raise for putting up with that.

RB said...

We recognize that using video and photography equipment is a constitutionally protected activity unless it interferes with the screening process at our checkpoints.

Really? How about getting the word out to the supposedly well trained TSA workforce.

TSA Tries to Confiscate Video at Airport Security Screening Checkpoint


http://youtu.be/iBAIAEUdGTM

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I am convinced that the TSA's Leadership Team believes that their agency can only be effective at its "mission" if the public despises, reviles, and above all fears the TSA. ...I have to conclude that Mr. Pistole and his executive staff are privately pleased each time an inflammatory account of TSA arrogance appears in the press and the blogosphere. For the resulting disgust and hatred strengthens the TSA,

You have found the truth in the matter.... Mr Pistole is a Sith Overlord! Darth Pistole and his short apprentice Darth Napalatino.

Anonymous said...

do you not find it amazing how darling bob never responds to the negative comments. oh bob where are you..earth to bob..earth to bob..hellloooo.hellllooo...

Anonymous said...

What is it about PHX TSA that keeps them in the news?

Perhaps someone from TSA HQ needs to make a trip to PHX and frind out what is wrong at that airport.

RB said...

Still haven't heard any corrective action taken by TSA regarding the woman that TSA staff at PHX held hostage.

What is TSA doing to correct these kinds of civil rights violations?

Jim Huggins said...

Care to comment about the report that a person was assaulted by a TSO and threatened with arrest for taking photos at a TSA checkpoint? (Even though, as you say, this activity is not prohibited?)

RB said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njJHh0JC2B0

JFK Terminal 4 - TSA Agent Assaulted Me - Police Encounter

In the video a person who identifies themselves as a TSA Terminal Security Manager states TSA SOP prohibits photography.

So Bob, what is TSA's real policy regarding photography? Is it prohibited in the SOP or not and if not why are people being harassed and assaulted by TSA employees for doing something that is not prohibited?

If photography is not prohibited why are senior TSA employees giving police false and illegal statements and if photography is prohibited why did you post an article that is clearly false?

I see some JFK TSA staff going to jail on this incident.

Lisa Mann said...

http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/10-1764P-01A.pdf

Glik Vs Cunniffe

LIPEZ, Circuit Judge: Simon Glik was arrested for using his cell phone's digital video camera to film several police officers arresting a young man on the Boston Common. The charges against Glik... were subsequently judged baseless and dismissed. Glik then brought this suit, claiming that his arrest for filming the officers constituted a violation of his rights under the First and Fourth Amendments.

In this interlocutory appeal, the defendant police officers challenge an order of the district court denying them QUALIFIED IMMUNITY on Glik's constitutional claims. We conclude, based on the facts alleged, that GLIK WAS EXERCISING CLEARLY ESTABLISHED FIRST-AMENDMENT RIGHTS in filming the officers in a public space, and that HIS CLEARLY ESTABLISHED FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS WERE VIOLATED by his arrest without probable cause. We therefore affirm.

San Antonio Photographer said...

Lisa, you make a great point. Plus, if it does not interfere with the screening, it is actually safer for everyone. I know I would be more willing to get a pat-down if the officers are willing to be filmed while they are doing it. On top of that, if the TSA or I do something wrong there is additional video proof to add to the case.

Dave Fotoboek said...

I think security is an important issue these days, especially in the last decade. So many things happened which demand a better security. I agree with San Antonio Photographer and Lisa, "if it does not interfere with the screening, it is actually safer for everyone".
Of course, privacy is also an important issue, but overall everyone wants to feel safe isn't it?

Atlanta Wedding Photographers said...

I do believe security and safety are important matters at present, particularly in the last decade. A lot of things happened which call for a better security.I saw the video and its so alarming, TSA should do something about it. I know they need some privacy too, but I think the more important here is the safeness of the passengers, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

thank for your post

Yucel said...

Who is the final arbiter in an on location situation? The guy shooting w the camera, or the guy with the gun saying yes or no?

On the one hand, it's sometimes a legitimate 'security' issue, where one may or may not film. On the other, 'security' issues keep photos from being taken, by treat of law/force in any number of situations, in any number of countries, or any number of attrocities.

Anonymous said...

I heard another TSA screener was assaulted yesterday at the Phoenix airport. If TSA has federal law enforcement officers, why do we never see anyone taken to federal court for assaulting federal employees? You take TSA screeners who steal to federal court, but it seems you do not take those who assault TSA employees to federal court. Why?

Anonymous said...

Most people who work for the TSA do a fine job. People like to jump on a band wagan and cry.Read the signs and follow directions. I fly once a month and have never had a major problem. If you did not know this almost half the people who work for TSA are VETS or ex LEOS.

Anonymous said...

The photography link provided no longer works. Do you no longer want people to know their rights?
http://www.tsa.gov/blog/2009/03/can-i-take-photos-at-checkpoint-and.html

Anonymous said...

The link to " this blog post on our current policy for photography at checkpoints." is not found.

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