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Old Apr 3, 09, 3:31 pm   #61
  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1,438
TSA re: airport photography policies: LaGuardia (LGA)

Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 08:54:26 -0400
From: "Lainis, Guy" <Guy.Lainis%AT%dhs.gov>
Subject: RE: Got Feedback : LaGuardia (LGA)
To: Phil Mocek
Cc: GotFeedback <Gotfeedback%AT%dhs.gov>

I'm not aware of any local ordinances or laws that specifically prohibit photographing within the public areas of LaGuardia Airport however I would suggest that you contact the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey or the Port Authority Police. Since they are responsible for law enforcement at the airport, they will be able to give you a more definitive answer.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
LaGuardia Airport
PA Administration Building / Hangar 7C
Flushing, NY 11371
718-533-3400

Port Authority Police
718-533-3900

If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Guy Lainis
Stakeholder Manager
Transportation Security Administration
LaGuardia Airport / Westchester County Airport
Email: guy.lainis%AT%dhs.gov
Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 06:27:49 -0700
From: Phil Mocek
Subject: Re: Got Feedback : LaGuardia (LGA)
To: Guy Lainis - TSA <Guy.Lainis%AT%dhs.gov>
Cc: GotFeedback <Gotfeedback%AT%dhs.gov>

Thank you, Mr. Lainis. Are there any particular people at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Port Authority Police that you suggest I contact for questions of this nature? I'd like to get an authoritative answer, one that photographers could print and carry along with them to show in case they are hassled by someone at the airport who has a mistaken view of the public's right to photograph that which they can see with their own eyes.

I note that photographer Duane Kerzic was arrested for photographing public areas of New York City’s Penn Station in December of last year, though he seems to have been within his legal right to so:

<http://carlosmiller.com/2008/12/27/amtrak-police-arrest-photographer-participating-in-amtrak-photo-contest/>

--
Phil Mocek
Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 14:27:55 -0400
From: "Lainis, Guy" <Guy.Lainis%AT%dhs.gov>
Subject: RE: Got Feedback : LaGuardia (LGA)
To: Phil Mocek

I checked with the Port Authority and they suggested that you contact Mr. Ralph Tragale in their Office of Government and Community Affairs. His contact information is below.

Ralph Tragale
225 Park Ave South
New York, NY 10003

212-435-3730

Guy Lainis
Stakeholder Manager
Transportation Security Administration
LaGuardia Airport / Westchester County Airport
Office: 718-803-5448
Cell: 718-702-3245
Email: guy.lainis%AT%dhs.gov
Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 11:41:12 -0700
From: Phil Mocek
Subject: Re: Got Feedback : LaGuardia (LGA)
To: Guy Lainis - TSA <Guy.Lainis%AT%dhs.gov>
Cc: GotFeedback <Gotfeedback%AT%dhs.gov>

Thank you for your assistance. This is helpful.
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Old Apr 3, 09, 3:32 pm   #62
  
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TSA re: airport photography policies: Chicago Midway International (MDW)

Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 10:49:13 -0400
From: "Devona, John" <John.Devona%AT%dhs.gov>
Subject: RE: Got Feedback : Chicago Midway Int'l Airport (MDW)
To: Phil Mocek
Cc: GotFeedback <Gotfeedback%AT%dhs.gov>

Photography requests for Chicago Midway International Airport should be directed to the airport manager's office. That phone number is (773) 838-0608. They can also provide any additional information you need concerning the policies themselves.

Regards,

John Devona
Customer Support Manager
TSA - Chicago Midway International Airport
Phone: (773) 498-1308
Email: john.devona%AT%dhs.gov
Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 08:06:03 -0700
From: Phil Mocek
Subject: Re: Got Feedback : Chicago Midway Int'l Airport (MDW)
To: John Devona - TSA <John.Devona%AT%dhs.gov>
Cc: GotFeedback <Gotfeedback%AT%dhs.gov>

Thank you, Mr. Devona, for confirming that TSA does not bar photography of public areas of Chicago Midway International Airport. There tends to be confusion over whether it is allowed, particularly at security checkpoints.

Can you provide an e-mail address (or alternatively, a postal mail address) for the airport manager's office? Information tends to get lost when people try to talk on the phone and take notes at the same time, and an e-mail or letter would allow staff at the office to respond to my question at their convenience.

--
Phil Mocek
Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 12:48:07 -0400
From: "Devona, John" <John.Devona%AT%dhs.gov>
Subject: RE: Got Feedback : Chicago Midway Int'l Airport (MDW)
To: Phil Mocek
Cc: "Burns, Curtis Bob" <Curtis.Burns%AT%dhs.gov>

Dear Phil,

Just for the record, I did not say that that "TSA does not bar photography of public areas of Chicago Midway International Airport." If you attempted to photograph any X-ray monitors or checkpoint operations, there is good chance that you would be stopped.

However, photography in the airport is controlled by the Department of Aviation. To contact them, you may write in care Ms. Erin O'Donnell, Managing Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Midway International Airport, 5757 S. Cicero Avenue, Chicago, IL 60638. You may also send an email to Rose Thompson (rthompson%AT%cityofchicago.org) or phone the number that I gave you previously.

Regards,

John Devona
Stakeholder / Customer Support Manager
TSA - Chicago Midway International Airport
Phone: (773) 498-1308
Email: john.devona%AT%dhs.gov
Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 10:03:22 -0700
From: Phil Mocek <phil-2009-tsa-comment%AT%mocek.org>
Subject: Re: Got Feedback : Chicago Midway Int'l Airport (MDW)
To: John Devona -TSA <John.Devona%AT%dhs.gov>
Cc: GotFeedback <Gotfeedback%AT%dhs.gov>, Curtis Bob Burns - TSA <Curtis.Burns%AT%dhs.gov>

Mr. Devona, I apologize if it seems that I put words in your mouth; I did not intend to. I'll try to clarify.

Yesterday, Bob Burns at TSA published information indicating that TSA does not prohibit photography of publicly-accessible areas of airports. He wrote, "while the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might. Your best bet is to call ahead and see what that specific airport's policy is. I suggest you use the Got Feedback program to directly contact the Customer Support Manager at the airport you're going to be traveling through. They will have an answer for you and if they don't, they can connect you with somebody who does."

Upon his suggestion, I contacted TSA via TSA's "Got Feedback?" form. I later received a response from you via e-mail. You did not refute Mr. Burns' claim, so I assumed that you were in agreement. You did not mention any local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances that apply to people who wish to photograph publicly-accessible areas of your airport, so I assumed that you were unaware of any. Are my two assumptions flawed?

I understand that you are not the authority on the matter, I simply want to know what policies regarding photography and video recording in the airport you, as TSA's Customer Support Manager for Chicago Midway International Airport, are aware of.

Ms. Erin O'Donnell
Managing Deputy Commissioner
Department of Aviation
Chicago Midway International Airport
5757 S. Cicero Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638

Rose Thompson
Airport Manager's Office
Chicago Midway International Airport
rthompson%AT%cityofchicago.org
773-838-0608

--
Phil Mocek
Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 13:10:04 -0400
From: "Devona, John" <John.Devona%AT%dhs.gov>
Subject: RE: Got Feedback : Chicago Midway Int'l Airport (MDW)
To: Phil Mocek
Cc: GotFeedback <Gotfeedback%AT%dhs.gov>, Curtis Bob Burns - TSA <Curtis.Burns%AT%dhs.gov>

Not a problem. I just wanted you to understand that the application and enforcement of airport photography restrictions is the responsibility of the airport authority. They would also be the experts on those policies. The names and addresses that you have are correct.

--
Phil Mocek
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Old Apr 3, 09, 3:33 pm   #63
  
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TSA re: airport photography policies: Raleigh-Durham International (RDU)

Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 16:01:02 -0400
From: "Humpherson, Amy" <Amy.Humpherson%AT%dhs.gov>
Subject: 04.01.09 TSA RDU - Got Feedback : Mocek
To: Phil Mocek

Mr. Mocek:

Thank you for your inquiry via the TSA Got Feedback website.

The publicly accessible areas of Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) are controlled by the RDU Airport Authority. As such, these airport departments may be able to provide direction about taking photos at the airport: RDU Media Communications <http://www.rdu.com/news/mediaguide.htm> and RDU Law Enforcement <http://www.rdu.com/aboutrdu/police.htm> .

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any other questions or need additional information.

Regards,

Amy Hatcher Humpherson
Customer Support & Quality Improvement Manager
Raleigh-Durham International Airport / Eastern NC Spoke Airports
RDU / FAY / ILM / EWN / ISO / PGV / OAJ / SOP
Transportation Security Administration
919.337.9762 office
8.5826 fax
www.tsa.gov/blog

This communication, along with any attachments, is covered by federal and state law governing electronic communications and may contain confidential and legally privileged information. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, use or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this in error, please reply immediately to the sender and delete this message.
Quote:
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 13:15:01 -0700
From: Phil Mocek
Subject: Re: 04.01.09 TSA RDU - Got Feedback : Mocek
To: Amy Humpherson - TSA <Amy.Humpherson%AT%dhs.gov>
Cc: GotFeedback <Gotfeedback%AT%dhs.gov>

Thank you for your reply, Ms. Humpherson.

Yesterday, Bob Burns at TSA published information indicating that TSA does not prohibit photography of publicly-accessible areas of airports [1]. He also wrote, "while the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might. Your best bet is to call ahead and see what that specific airport's policy is. I suggest you use the Got Feedback program to directly contact the Customer Support Manager at the airport you're going to be traveling through. They will have an answer for you and if they don't, they can connect you with somebody who does."

[1]: <http://www.tsa.gov/blog/2009/03/can-i-take-photos-at-checkpoint-and.html>

I took his suggestion and contacted TSA via the TSA "Got Feedback?" form. You replied via e-mail. You did not refute Mr. Burns' claim, so I assume that you are in agreement. You did not mention any applicable laws, statutes, or local ordinances, so I'll assume that you are unaware of any. Please correct me if either of these assumptions is wrong.

Mr. Burns also wrote that if you at TSA's "Got Feedback?" program did not have an answer to questions related to his blog post, you could connect us with someone who does. I want to be sure I contact someone who is an authoritative source for the information.

Can you please advise me of a specific person to contact (via e-mail, postal mail, or telephone, in that order of preference) regarding the information that your colleague Bob Burns said people could get via "Got Feedback?"

--
Phil Mocek
Quote:
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 10:02:51 -0400
From: "Humpherson, Amy" <Amy.Humpherson%AT%dhs.gov>
Subject: RE: 04.01.09 TSA RDU - Got Feedback : Mocek
To: Phil Mocek

Mr. Mocek:

Yes, the Bob Burns' blog post regarding photography provides accurate
information.

As I mentioned in my earlier email, the RDU Airport Authority is in charge of the airport facilities so my response to you gave links to contact RDU directly for information. The Airport Authority is a governmental body responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of the airport. They would be the "subject matter experts" regarding its applicable laws, statutes, or local ordinances.

The RDU website links I had provided will give you the direct contact information to the media communications office and the law enforcement office along with general RDU contacts per your inquiry. (Also, I have listed that info below in case you had trouble accessing the links.) If this doesn't answer your questions, please give me a call so we can cut to the chase and I can better assist you.

Take care,

Amy

Amy Hatcher Humpherson
Customer Support & Quality Improvement Manager
Raleigh-Durham International Airport / Eastern NC Spoke Airports
RDU / FAY / ILM / EWN / ISO / PGV / OAJ / SOP
Transportation Security Administration
919.337.9762 office
919.388.5826 fax
www.tsa.gov/blog

This communication, along with any attachments, is covered by federal and state law governing electronic communications and may contain confidential and legally privileged information. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, use or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this in error, please reply immediately to the sender and delete this message.
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Old Apr 3, 09, 11:21 pm   #64
  
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TSA blogger Bob refuses comments about this project; contradicts his photo policy

This afternoon at 2009-04-03 14:57 -0700, I submitted a comment to the TSA blog with links to the above posts detailing my interaction with Blogger Bob Burns' colleagues at TSA. An hour and seven minutes later, I posted a comment about blog commenters' misunderstanding of Bob's statement about TSA's discouragement of people photographing TSA X-ray equipment that is visible from public locations. The comment about this airport policy survey has not yet been approved, but the later one has been. About five hours later, Bob posted the following comment:

Quote:
Phil, for Pete's sake, I was trying to be friendly with my language, but if you really need me to spell it out:

Y O U
M U S T
N O T
T A K E
A N Y
P H O T O G R A P H S
O F
T H E
M O N I T O R S.

Now here is something that I probably could have explained a little better: X-rays, Explosive Trace Portals, Explosive Trace Detection Machines, and Explosive Detection Systems all have monitors and must not be photogrpahed.
The response I submitted this evening includes:

Quote:
Bob, please cut the folksiness. This is a matter of restricting people's freedom of movement and their ability to document the actions of their government, not the rules at local swimming pool. Please don't try to be "friendly" if it means being inaccurate. Just show us the rules you require us to follow.

Assuming that your later statement takes precedence over your earlier one, could you be more specific? Is it unlawful for us to do so, or is it simply a condition that you place on our ability to cross your airport checkpoints? If it is unlawful, please cite the law. If it is simply a rule that applies to someone who wishes to cross your checkpoint, then it should be lawful to take photographs, then leave before crossing the checkpoint, right?

Also, why have you refused to admit my followup comment with a reference to the location of details of the survey of airport policies that I conducted upon your suggestion?
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Old Apr 4, 09, 8:03 am   #65
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Quote:
Phil, for Pete's sake, I was trying to be friendly with my language, but if you really need me to spell it out:

Y O U
M U S T
N O T
T A K E
A N Y
P H O T O G R A P H S
O F
T H E
M O N I T O R S.

Now here is something that I probably could have explained a little better: X-rays, Explosive Trace Portals, Explosive Trace Detection Machines, and Explosive Detection Systems all have monitors and must not be photogrpahed.
You mean like this Bob? http://www.dsxray.com/auto_explv_detect/examinersx.htm

I know the picture isn't the greatest, but fortunately the company provides a 'request information' link if you scroll down & I'm pretty sure what they send in their glossy marketing materials will have a much better image.

Bob, for crying out loud, why would the tewwowist need a picture of the monitors when your own, repeated & ongoing, Red Team test failures have shown how easy it is to get just about anything thru the checkpoints anyway??

Last edited by txrus; Apr 4, 09 at 9:13 am Reason: Added picture of a TSA certified EDS system complete w/monitor courtesy of N830MH in this thread http://www.flyertalk.com/for
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Old Apr 4, 09, 11:17 pm   #66
  
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No, txrus, Blogdad Bob did not just mean something like this is A-OK:

He meant a photo of a monitor display like this is A-OK:

http://www.tsa.gov/graphics/images/press/tsif_6.jpg

Yup, from TSA's website, a photo of a monitor display.

Also, please be sure to drop in at about 0:37 of Blogpal Paul's YouTube tour behind the scenes. Thanks for the peek at monitor displays, Paul, for devices that are still in the testing phase! This should allow the tewwowists to stay one step ahead of the game.

Quote:
3.27.2009
Blogger Paul's Visit to the TSIF

What’s a “TSIF” you ask? Well, it’s one of several hundred acronyms I’ve had to learn since I’ve been here—but this one is special. The TSA Systems Integration Facility is a newly renovated 128,000-square-foot test facility located at Ronald Reagan National Airport. Here’s a little tour through the facility. Enjoy!



http://www.tsa.gov/weekly/033009_tsif.shtm

Last edited by triehle; Apr 6, 09 at 2:01 pm
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Old Apr 6, 09, 1:57 pm   #67
  
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TSA still refusing comments linking to this thread because of PR contact info here

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmocek View Post
This afternoon at 2009-04-03 14:57 -0700, I submitted a comment to the TSA blog with links to the above posts detailing my interaction with Blogger Bob Burns' colleagues at TSA. An hour and seven minutes later, I posted a comment about blog commenters' misunderstanding of Bob's statement about TSA's discouragement of people photographing TSA X-ray equipment that is visible from public locations. The comment about this airport policy survey has not yet been approved, but the later one has been.
After more prodding to explain why he won't allow my comment that contains links to this FT discussion, Bob at TSA posted the following comment to the TSA blog (you must load the post's main page first in order to browse directly to the comment using the link I provided):

Quote:
Phil said... Also, why have you refused to admit my followup comment with a reference to the location of details of the survey of airport policies that I conducted upon your suggestion?...

The comment violates none of your EoS comment rules. April 6, 2009 2:30 PM
-------------------------------
Per the comment policy: In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. Phil, the comments you are trying to link to all have phone numbers and e-mail addresses that are not posted publicly elsewhere. In one attempt here, you even attempted to post one of our CSM's work addresses. This is not acceptable.

Bob

EoS Blog Team
My response:

Quote:
I wrote:

"why have you refused to admit my followup comment with a reference to the location of details of the survey of airport policies that I conducted upon your suggestion? You told us that information you left out of your original post could be found by contacting TSA via your "Got Feedback?" program. I did so, posted a comment here stating such and promising to follow up here with results. I have submitted the comment with links to results gathered so far three times now (at 2009-04-03 14:57 -0700, 2009-04-04 07:30 -0700, and 2009-04-06 09:03 -0700). The comment violates none of your EoS comment rules."

Bob at TSA responded:

"Per the comment policy: In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers."

Bob, the comment you have repeatedly refused to allow here contains nothing of the sort. It simply contains links to various points in a discussion on FlyerTalk Forums titled, "PV Alert: Can I Take Photos at the Checkpoint and Airport?" That discussion is very relevant to this post. The information there -- that with which you take issue -- is included in the signature lines of your TSA airport "customer service" and public relations representatives -- the ones that each and every person who contacts TSA via "Got Feedback?" will receive.

It's as if someone took letters received from TSA's public relations department, made copies, and posted them on community bulletin boards, then you disallowed any mention of the bulletin board locations because that person neglected to white information on the TSA letterhead that was used. What's the big deal?

Bob continued:

"Phil, the comments you are trying to link to all have phone numbers and e-mail addresses that are not posted publicly elsewhere. In one attempt here, you even attempted to post one of our [customer service manager's] work addresses. This is not acceptable."

There are no e-mail addresses in the FlyerTalk thread. I obfuscated all of them because someone suggested that posting the addresses there might increase the likelihood of your staff receiving unsolicited commercial messages at those addresses. If the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of these people are so secret, why do those people include those addresses and numbers in their e-mail sig lines so that this information will be sent to everyone who contacts TSA? Setting aside the bizarre situation of an organization who has no customers employing "customer service managers," why was it unacceptable to publish work contact information for TSA's "customer service" managers for your "customers" to see?

Why is it unacceptable to link in a comment on the TSA blog to places where people can read e-mail I received from TSA customer service managers and public relations staff after contacting them upon your suggestion? What are you trying to hide? Would you prefer that everyone who is interested in the information you neglected to gather be required to contact TSA to receive this information instead of simply reading the copies I received?

Also, Bob, you never answered the question about photographing your monitors. First, you told us it was discouraged. Then you told us it was prohibited. Is it unlawful to do so, or will doing so simply disqualify someone from being allowed to cross your airport checkpoints?
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Old Apr 6, 09, 2:29 pm   #68
  
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Blogger Bob responds

Sorry for the cross-posting, but I really want to draw attention to this.

Bob's response:

Quote:
Anonymous said... Bob, if Phil is sharing the same information he is on FlyerTalk, shame on you for insinuating that he's posting SSNs, which are in a completely different category from the work contact information of public employees whose job is to serve the public. Shame on you. April 6, 2009 3:42 PM

Anon, I simply quoted the comment policy. Phil is posting phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses. He may have changed the format of the e-mail addresses (since I complained to the mods)but the numbers and addresses are still there. Shame on me? Hahaha. I am not ashamed of attempting to keep my coworkers in-boxes spam free, their phones prak free, and their offices stalker free.

Bob

EoS Blog Team
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Old Apr 7, 09, 9:45 am   #69
  
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So you're all in favor of picture taking at the checkpoint?

Even during the screening process?

Maybe while a loved one is getting patted down or while your bag is being searched?

How about a pervert photographing kids?

I mean, it's all on the table, right?
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Old Apr 7, 09, 9:52 am   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmocek View Post
Sorry for the cross-posting, but I really want to draw attention to this.

Bob's response:
I wonder if Bob is getting grief from those who are being contacted & that's why he's being this way? After all, he's the one who essentially told you to do this & put all of them on the hot seat, forcing them to make statements we all know they don't want to make & maybe even stand by them @ some point!!
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Old Apr 7, 09, 9:59 am   #71
  
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Why take TSA Bob's word that something is forbidden?

Quote:
Originally Posted by We Will Never Forget View Post
So you're all in favor of picture taking at the checkpoint?
I can't speak for anyone but myself, but yes.

Quote:
Even during the screening process?
Yes. Especially during the time when TSA staff search us and our belongings.

Why would I care about someone photographing what he can see anymore than I would care about him remembering the same thing?

My latest reply to Bob Burns at TSA, posted earlier but not yet approved, follows, and sums up my position nicely:

Quote:
Uh... anonymous person: If you had checked it, you would have found that like the other policy that has been published, the one to which you directed me does not say anything about the content of sites targeted by links in reader-supplied comments.

Bob has yet to provide any evidence other than his word that the comment he refuses to allow violates any TSA policy. Can anyone else? I'll describe the comment I tried to post: First, I quote my earlier comment describing my taking Bob's advice and contacting 50 U.S. airports via TSA's "Got Feedback?" program to ask for local policies related to photography in airports. Then I note the number of responses I have received and the number for which I received the information that was requested. I note that I am publishing my findings on FlyerTalk Forums, then I list 19 airports, each of which is hyperlinked to a different post of a thread that was created to discuss Bob's "Can I take photos at the checkpoint and airport?" EoS post. Each of those posts contains the text of e-mail I received from TSA to my "Got Feedback?" query and those I sent in response, modified in the following ways: I list my full name but not my personal e-mail address, I trim quotations from each message (because we have only top-posted, so the quotes convey no additional information), and I change the @ symbol in other people's e-mail addresses to something that is invalid in e-mail but easily recognizable by humans, "%AT%".

That's it. That is what Bob refuses to allow here. For each of these airports, I have published information that anyone who contacted TSA via the "Got Feedback?" form and asked the same question I asked would receive. There doesn't even have to be a human asking the question. Someone could write a computer program that could set up a new e-mail address, submit a question to the "Got Feedback?" form, then display the response that is sent in e-mail on a Web site. Would that, the result of a computer-generated query to TSA, be private information? It would be the same information that Bob not only refuses to allow me to post here on the EoS blog, but that when found on an outside Website at a location I reference in a comment posted to the EoS blog, causes Bob to send my comment to the delete-o-meter.

Why is Bob so concerned with me posting a link to this information that his colleagues sent to me in cleartext e-mail without even knowing who I am?

Not only is the information contained in the bodies of the published messages available to anyone who writes TSA with the same question, but the information Bob has expressed concern about is in every response to any question or comment (not just the ones about photography) that people send in to "Got Feedback?", because it's in the signature blocks that these TSA airport representatives attach to every e-mail they send. There's absolutely nothing private about the information. It includes office contact information -- not personal -- for people who work for our federal government. 90% of them have "customer service manager" in their job titles (most in combination with something else, but one is a "stakeholder manager" and one is an "administrative supervisor"). Of course, TSA has no customers, but I believe when they speak of customer service, they mean to refer to the act of fielding questions and concerns about TSA from the public, so in this context, we are their "customers" and these people who respond to the "Got Feedback?" queries are paid to talk, e-mail, and write to us.

Bob claims it's bad to publish information about how to contact these customer support managers via phone, fax, e-mail, and postal mail, or to simply make an appointment walk in to the office and talk to someone like you can at any other government office that deals with the public. What would be bad about publishing work contact information for these people whose job is to be in contact with the public?

Bob, what's the problem? Publication of work phone numbers of your TSA airport customer service managers? This is all in a public directory somewhere, right? And if not, anyone can call in, get a switchboard, and have someone connect him with the TSA customer service manager, right? And if someone wants the names, he can just call the airport and ask who the TSA customer service manager there is, right?

Maybe it's not the contact information that Bob is really bothered by, but the messages showing the variety of TSA reactions to the possibility of someone doing something as harmless as photographing things that thousands of people can see in airports. Admittedly, the ability to photograph things in airports is not a burning priority, but it's still ridiculous that so many of us feel compelled to ask permission or simply assume that it is not allowed, and the fact that there's confusion among TSA airport managers is a strong indication that there is confusion among all TSA airport staff. Let's clear it up now, before it causes anyone difficulty.

I understand that many people reading this wonder why I'm making such a big deal of it. I'll try to explain.

It's becoming increasingly common for people to be hassled or even arrested by security guards and police who think the public should not be allowed to photograph things they can see with their own eyes. On the bright side, it's also becoming increasingly common for allegations of police misconduct to be caught on video because so many people carry video recorders in their pockets in the form of a mobile phone.

These airport photography policies affect our ability to document the actions of our government employees' interaction with us. Not just any goverment employees, but those of an agency whose public image is quite poor, whose airport staff have a reputation for bullying people, whose staff refer to the seizure of our belongings based on arbitrary restrictions (typically as an alternative to restriction of our freedom of movement) as "voluntary surrender", and whose staff say they have the right to prevent us from traveling about our own country based on rules we are not allowed to read. That agency is giving mixed messages about whether or not we are allowed to photograph or video record their activities.

Those mixed messages lead me to believe that there is a strong possibility that many people at airports who might otherwise record information that would be useful to the rest of us will be bullied into not doing so by TSA staff who do not know or care that the person has every right to photograph or video record as he wishes. I think we need to establish that TSA has no right to stop us from documenting the actions of its staff in this manner so that it will be crystal clear to any TSA staff who might otherwise threaten people who try to do so.

When someone working as part of our government tells me I'm not allowed to do something, but refuses to provide anything other than his word in support of his claim, I become very suspicious. Others should, too.
pmocek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 09, 10:08 am   #72
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Originally Posted by We Will Never Forget View Post
So you're all in favor of picture taking at the checkpoint?

Even during the screening process?

Maybe while a loved one is getting patted down or while your bag is being searched?

How about a pervert photographing kids?

I mean, it's all on the table, right?
Are you talking about a pervert taking pictures at a TSA Checkpoint?

If so aren't you just as concerned about a pervert feeling up some kid under the guise of a pat down?
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Old Apr 7, 09, 10:48 am   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by We Will Never Forget View Post
So you're all in favor of picture taking at the checkpoint?

Even during the screening process?

Maybe while a loved one is getting patted down or while your bag is being searched?

How about a pervert photographing kids?

I mean, it's all on the table, right?
Welcome to the public.

The First Amendment does not disappear at the checkpoint, much as Comrade TSA might like it to.

Do we bar cameras when the police are frisking someone in public? Or when the police are tossing someone's car? The only difference is that these actions are being performed by non-law enforcement personnel with NO probable cause to do so. All the more reason to record these disgusting actions on film. Perhaps someday these recordings will come in handy for a criminal trial against TSA...
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Old Apr 7, 09, 11:05 am   #74
  
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As long as we are talking about it.

If you attempt to photograph in an airport you may run into an over zealous cop that does not know the law. (hard to believe I know)

If a cop demands to see your photos, you have the right to refuse. The cop has the right to seize your camera if he feels a crime has been committed and you may destroy the evidence of that crime. The cop must be able to articulate what crime he feels was committed.

The cop does NOT have the right to search the camera without your consent or a warrant. Require they get a warrant.

The cop does NOT have the right to delete the image or to require you to delete the image.
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Old Apr 7, 09, 11:13 am   #75
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by We Will Never Forget View Post
So you're all in favor of picture taking at the checkpoint?

Even during the screening process?

Maybe while a loved one is getting patted down or while your bag is being searched?

How about a pervert photographing kids?

I mean, it's all on the table, right?
My understanding is that a request may be made for a private screening of one's person and belongings. So if anyone is uncomfortable with being on display, that is the option. Are TSO's instructed to communicate that info to those pax prior to secondary screening?
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