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Old Apr 14, 17, 7:15 am   #1
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Loudoun County (VA) 1st Amendment Case -- TSA Implications??

I figure this is headed to Bad OMNI before sundown, but I figured I would start it out here because some of us have been banned from Propaganda Village and various TSA-related social media sites by government employees in a similar manner to this court case. Sorry for the length, but there are a lot of moving parts.

Federal Judge Sides with Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney in First Amendment Suit. The title is somewhat misleading because the judge didn't entirely throw the Constitution in the shredder. Also, the Commonwealth's Attorney (Elected DA most everywhere else) backed off in a couple of key areas. There was also a cheap shot thrown at the plaintiff by the CA worthy of any TSA "blame the victim" tactic.

Let's start right in... I've bolded what I consider to be key points relevant to how the TSA has treated some FTers:

Quote:
Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman (R) did not violate the First Amendment by deleting the Facebook comment of Lansdowne resident Brian Davison, U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris ruled in late March.

Cacheris's decision brings to a close a contentious civil rights suit against Plowman, who deleted Davison's critical comment and later blocked the local resident from his official Facebook page.

Over the course of the last year, as the lawsuit unfolded, Plowman eventually restored Davison’s ability to comment. Plowman and county officials have updated a Loudoun County social media policy that used to say public officials have the right to delete comments they deemed “clearly off topic.” The revised county policy states public officials are no longer allowed to delete “off-topic” comments.

<snip>

Davison also believes that, had he not taken Loudoun’s top prosecutor to court, Plowman would have never restored his right to post on his official Facebook page.
Apparently, a lot of the litigation in this case had to do with whether or not the plaintiff's comment was "off topic" or not. This was ultimately never tested again because the County changed their policy on "off topic" comments.

Almost forgot the cheap shot:

Quote:
The commonwealth's attorney also noted that Davison's suit cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars.

“It’s unfortunate because as fiscally conscious as [Davison] seems to be with government spending, he wasted tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money, which is a bit of an irony in this whole thing,” Plowman added.
Are you listening, Blogdad Bob? Lisa Farbstein? AskTSA? Although this case stopped short of a ban on deleting public comments because Loudoun County changed their policy, it demonstrates that at least one level of government backed off when pressed.

For further reading:

DHS Social Media Comment Policy

Loudoun County Social Media Comment Policy (Post-lawsuit)

Interestingly, Loudoun County's policy is that the moderator of a county site cannot delete a comment or ban a person by themselves. Also, Loudoun has a stated appeal process. As yu might expect, none of this internal oversight exists in the DHS and component units.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 1:01 pm   #2
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Information for Those of Us Blocked By Various TSA Social Media Accounts

Basically, a federal judge ruled that it was illegal: Davison vs. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

Quote:
Defendant’s offense at Plaintiff’s views was therefore an illegitimate basis for her actions—particularly given that Plaintiff earned Defendant’s ire by criticizing the County government. Indeed, the suppression of critical commentary regarding elected officials is the quintessential form of viewpoint discrimination against which the First Amendment guards. By prohibiting Plaintiff from participating in her online forum because she took offense at his claim that her colleagues in the County government had acted unethically, Defendant committed a cardinal sin under the First Amendment.
There's plenty more in the court document. So, I am filing a complaint to the DHS IG -- more of a "class action" thing but citing the situations in which a couple of my noms-de-plume were blocked from various TSA social media sites. The federal judge clearly stated that this action was a violation of the plaintiff's First Amendment rights.

If you have had a similar First Amendment violation, go for it and file your own complaint.
petaluma1 and pa3lsvt like this.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 3:29 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much View Post
Basically, a federal judge ruled that it was illegal: Davison vs. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.



There's plenty more in the court document. So, I am filing a complaint to the DHS IG -- more of a "class action" thing but citing the situations in which a couple of my noms-de-plume were blocked from various TSA social media sites. The federal judge clearly stated that this action was a violation of the plaintiff's First Amendment rights.

If you have had a similar First Amendment violation, go for it and file your own complaint.
Is TSA going to appeal?
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Old Sep 1, 17, 3:38 pm   #4
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Is TSA going to appeal?
Wouldn't put it past them to appeal a decision for a case in which they weren't a litigant.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 3:50 pm   #5
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Could you please explain the thread title?
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Old Sep 1, 17, 5:23 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much View Post
Basically, a federal judge ruled that it was illegal: Davison vs. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.



There's plenty more in the court document. So, I am filing a complaint to the DHS IG -- more of a "class action" thing but citing the situations in which a couple of my noms-de-plume were blocked from various TSA social media sites. The federal judge clearly stated that this action was a violation of the plaintiff's First Amendment rights.

If you have had a similar First Amendment violation, go for it and file your own complaint.
Similar complaint filed with DHS OIG claiming civil rights violation by specific TSA employees.

Deaf ears, uncaring, bigger fish. Besides TSA blocks DHS OIG from TSA documents. If TSA doesn't care about its OIG why expect them to give a rats behind about mere citizens?
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Old Sep 2, 17, 6:52 am   #7
  
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Could you please explain the thread title?
There are several of us who have been blocked on various TSA twitter accounts for posting things that TSA doesn't want known.

For instance, one TSA spokeswoman blocked me when I called her out multiple times for posting PII on a passenger from whom a weapon was confiscated. TSA is a government agency and as such cannot block individuals from posting to their accounts. If TSA doesn't like what is posted, then TSA should not have social media accounts.
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Old Sep 2, 17, 8:08 am   #8
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
There are several of us who have been blocked on various TSA twitter accounts for posting things that TSA doesn't want known.

For instance, one TSA spokeswoman blocked me when I called her out multiple times for posting PII on a passenger from whom a weapon was confiscated. TSA is a government agency and as such cannot block individuals from posting to their accounts. If TSA doesn't like what is posted, then TSA should not have social media accounts.
TSA seems to think they can, are doing so, and nothing is stopping them from continuing.

So much for that dusty old Constitution.
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