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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:09 pm   #1
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JFK T4 - Assaulted by TSO for filming, forced to delete

Today, I went to JFK in an effort to clear up questions about which checkpoints were using the Backscatter AIT machines. JFK isn't my usual airport, but I was in the area, had my D5000 and had some time to kill.

I started in T4, which is where I was dropped off on the bus. This terminal has a number of large signs inviting non-passengers to visit the shopping area. Instead of having all of the shops airside, there is a nice mall on the landside. I stopped and grabbed a snack, while I watched people. On the balcony, near the check-in counters, there were a large number of lounging TSOs. I found this interesting.


JFK Terminal 4 - TSA Hangout by marklyon, on Flickr

I visited both checkpoints and determined that the A gates did not have AIT, while the B gates did.

I then went back upstairs to take the air train. On my way, I had an opportunity to pass where the TSOs were lounging before - so I decided to take a few photos. Turns out, it is where they process checked baggage. I took a photo, but only got a machine with bags on a belt. I was waiting, in the public area but out of the traffic, for the TSO to come back around the machine to load more bags on the belt.


That's when I was approached by an older two-striper who started telling me I could not film. He demanded to see what was on my camera. I told him no. He told me that under no circumstances was I to film.

I asked his name and he turned so that I could see his badge. I raised my cell-phone camera up to get a shot of it. That's when he tried to smack it out of my hand.

That's right, the TSO tried to knock my camera to the floor.

I caught it, but in the process stopped the video. I yelled very loudly and called for the police. A number of TSA agents had been around me, and they started making more comments about me videotaping. When another TSO noticed I was filming, he attempted to take it away from me. He grabbed my arm to pull the phone away from me. His fellow officers told him to stop after I yelled.

I waited for several minutes and it was as I were invisible. Nobody was looking over to do anything about the angry guy surrounded by blue shirts, and there were no cops in sight. I eventually saw two officers coming in the front door, and walked toward them.

They were officer NAMES REDACTED BY MODERATOR. They demanded I stop taping. I complied. They interviewed the TSO who hit my phone and got the story from everyone that I was making things up. They refused to look at the video from my phone.

A TSA supervisor came down and told everyone that I was not allowed to film (he has a rule against it in his SOP, which I was not allowed to see), and the manager from the IAT (Terminal 4) came and said that the terminal had a rule against photography and that I needed to be kicked out, since I wasn't flying.

When the TSA supervisor addressed me and refused to show me his secret rule, I started filming again. He gave me the familiar "the website doesn't apply here" speech. He was very interested about whether I was with the media.



They talked among themselves about how I was not allowed to video. First it was a TSA policy, then it was an IAT supervisor, then it was a Port Authority rule. Even though the airport is on city land that is leased to the Port Authority, and nobody could produce a single rule that actually prohibited what I was doing (other than the TSA's "secret" rule), I was told that I had to stop because I was being ordered to do so by the police.

Officer NAME REDACTED BY MODERATOR stormed onto the scene. He demanded I stop filming or face arrest. Officer NAME REDACTED BY MODERATOR said I had two choices - delete the videos or be arrested. He did not seem rational or reasonable and had absolutely no interest in hearing or even considering my side of things. I pushed back against deleting the photos, but eventually gave in when one of the officers pulled out his handcuffs and walked behind me. I hoped that I would be able to recover things if I just used the format card option.

Once I deleted everything - supervised by two police officers and the guy from the TSA - they again forced me to show them that nothing was left on my phones or camera. During this, one of the officers activated the camera on my android phone and (I think) wiped out the recording of the TSO hitting me. I tried to show them this video before deleting it - Officer NAME REDACTED BY MODERATOR watched it and told Officer NAME REDACTED BY MODERATOR to look at it, but when I showed it to him, he just started screaming that I must "delete that too, or you're taking a ride with us now!"

I think Officer NAME REDACTED BY MODERATOR realized that the video showed exactly the opposite of what he had just been told by a gaggle of TSA officers.

Once everything was deleted, Officer NAME REDACTED BY MODERATOR calmed down and gave me a lecture about wasting his time. During this, he told me how much he and his officers hate the TSA and that he hates it even more that half-informed people like me cause him to have to back them up. He then demanded that "his guys" "run every damn database on this guy" before sending me on my way. That took about 2 hours, all of it spent standing in the terminal and near the air train. It appears that the slowest search was the FBI. As soon as that came up clean, I was sent on my way.

During this time, the police had my driver's license. In addition to their records, they allowed the TSA, the IAT people and an unknown person to copy all of my information. The TSA guy (in the red shirt from the video above) called and started a "SAR" on me, and loudly said to someone near him that "we should put that guy on the no fly list".

When I got home, I downloaded a flash card recovery tool and was able to restore a number of files, but the ones I really wanted - the assault and the encounter with Officer NAME REDACTED BY MODERATOR, do not seem to have survived. I can't get the first one to open at all, and the second one, while it reports that it should be 11 minutes, stops after only a few.

I plan to follow up with the agencies involved on Monday.

Last edited by squeakr; Aug 7, 11 at 9:18 pm Reason: names not permitted unless public figures
marklyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 6, 11, 9:22 pm   #2
  
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QUOTE WITH NAMES DELETED BY MODERATOR



In the future, get a few buddies to film you filming. You did nothing illegal. Swap out memory cards if you can. I see no reason why they even asked for your ID as you did nothing illegal and they were not investigating a crime. Good job getting their names and badge numbers. I think we can now see why the SARs (suspicious activity reports) and the no fly list are so friggin useless. I'd check out some other recovery tools, you might get the videos back, but it's never sure thing.

Last edited by squeakr; Aug 7, 11 at 9:19 pm Reason: quote with names deleted per TOS
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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:29 pm   #3
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You should contact a lawyer before doing any other thing.
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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:36 pm   #4
  
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That was a primer on how one BadGuy could (easily) distract and occupy twelve screeners and police officers at a checkpoint while the other BadGuy waltzes through unnoticed.
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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:38 pm   #5
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If you ever do anything like this in the future (applies to anyone else reading this), remove your ID before you enter the terminal. Stash it somewhere (car, with a friend).

You weren't flying, so unless they caught you getting behind the wheel of a car, you didn't actually need to have any ID on you.

They'll still demand verbal info, but they won't be able to pass the ID around to every clown who wants to take a look at it or make a copy of it.
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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:40 pm   #6
  
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You sir, are one of very few freedom fighters charging into the teeth of the monster. If you are going to continue your work, you need to be fully equipped. Please add the following to your arsenal if you're going to defend yourself from the war on cameras:

http://qik.com/
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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:41 pm   #7
  
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The items are most probably still recoverable with the right software, try a few others. Don't recover to the card though, recover to a location on your pc. A software that will do an image copy(bit by bit) of your card to scan for items is what you are looking for. When I've done this, it is hit and miss with some of the freewares on the internet, sometimes one will work one time and not well the next, so I move to another.

I suspect your phone stores your photos on the memory card, so that can probably be recovered as well. So take both of those cards out of their devices and don't use them for anything until you recover everything. Active Undelete and Acronis True image(to make an exact image of the cards for backup) would be a good combo. The link below has more ideas.


http://www.maximumpc.com/article/fea..._easy?page=0,1

For future reference, install the photobucket app to your android phone, there is an auto upload option for it that can upload photos as they are taken to your photobucket account. It will do the same for video.

Right now though, I would be contacting my lawyer! I would not talk with anybody from either organization/agency/municipality until I have spoken with my attorney.
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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:41 pm   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGolfWidow View Post
That was a primer on how one BadGuy could (easily) distract and occupy twelve screeners and police officers at a checkpoint while the other BadGuy waltzes through unnoticed.
I was not even in sight of a checkpoint. I was in the departures hall.
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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:45 pm   #9
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Originally Posted by jtodd View Post
The items are most probably still recoverable with the right software, try a few others. Don't recover to the card though, recover to a location on your pc. A software that will do an image copy(bit by bit) of your card to scan for items is what you are looking for.
I have EnCase at the office and will snag an image of both cards tomorrow before I use them. I used a couple of different recovery tools on the cards themselves, and was able to pull back what should be the video files, but they seem to have some corruption in the files themselves.
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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:51 pm   #10
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pesky Monkey View Post
In the future, get a few buddies to film you filming. You did nothing illegal. Swap out memory cards if you can. I see no reason why they even asked for your ID as you did nothing illegal and they were not investigating a crime. Good job getting their names and badge numbers. I think we can now see why the SARs (suspicious activity reports) and the no fly list are so friggin useless. I'd check out some other recovery tools, you might get the videos back, but it's never sure thing.
Exactly what I was thinking. I understand not wanting to get arrested, but someone needs to challenge the threat and see if they actually have the stones to arrest someone for doing nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGolfWidow View Post
That was a primer on how one BadGuy could (easily) distract and occupy twelve screeners and police officers at a checkpoint while the other BadGuy waltzes through unnoticed.
Um, he was not a "BadGuy" GW. Just the freaking [TSA] exercising their authority on their subjects.

Last edited by essxjay; Apr 25, 12 at 8:08 pm Reason: offensive image
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Old Aug 6, 11, 9:55 pm   #11
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marklyon View Post
I have EnCase at the office and will snag an image of both cards tomorrow before I use them. I used a couple of different recovery tools on the cards themselves, and was able to pull back what should be the video files, but they seem to have some corruption in the files themselves.
A video editing software(TMPGEnc or other) may be needed in this case to get the files to play, at least to remove corrupted frames to allow playback. WMP is terrible at playing corrupted videos. I've had good luck with the player below for videos that are not in the best of shape.

http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/

Also, for additional help and tools to fix video can be found at this site.

http://www.videohelp.com/tools
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Old Aug 6, 11, 10:12 pm   #12
  
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Port Authority of NY & NJ
Office of Inspector General
5 Marine View Plaza – Suite 502
Hoboken, New Jersey 07030

Main Office: (973) 565-4340
24-Hour Pager: (917) 788-6277
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Last edited by squeakr; Aug 7, 11 at 9:20 pm Reason: non public figure , name deleted
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Old Aug 6, 11, 10:18 pm   #13
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael El View Post
Exactly what I was thinking. I understand not wanting to get arrested, but someone needs to challenge the threat and see if they actually have the stones to arrest someone for doing nothing.



Um, he was not a "BadGuy" GW. Just the freaking [TSA] exercising their authority on their subjects.
Of course not. It was a comment on how easily distracted these folks are.

Last edited by essxjay; Apr 25, 12 at 8:09 pm Reason: quote containing offensive image
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Old Aug 6, 11, 10:20 pm   #14
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This seems a little weird though, you would think that if these LEOs really hated the TSA, this would be a perfect opportunity to fix them on charges of assault and battery.

Last edited by squeakr; Aug 7, 11 at 9:20 pm Reason: quote of post with names deleted
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Old Aug 6, 11, 10:30 pm   #15
  
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The Blueshirts are getting angrier and angrier every day. Life as a crotch grabbing prostitute is not easy.

This is a great thing. That means that Americans are getting closer to victory over the BlueShirt terrorist.

Its becoming clear that these cretins are approaching a breaking point.
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