Can I Take Pictures Of TSA Employees?

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Old Apr 22, 08, 11:43 pm
  #1
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Can I Take Pictures Of TSA Employees?

If I am outside of screening or sterlie (or whatever you call it) area and take picturess of TSA employees, would I be arrested?

Last edited by KDHawaii; Apr 22, 08 at 11:49 pm
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Old Apr 22, 08, 11:47 pm
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I can't think of any basis for arresting you, though that wouldn't stop TSA from calling over a LEO and trying.
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Old Apr 23, 08, 7:18 am
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At BWI, apparently, it's against the law. Signs posted. I've seen cops hassling people there before.
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Old Apr 23, 08, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by Global_Hi_Flyer View Post
At BWI, apparently, it's against the law. Signs posted. I've seen cops hassling people there before.
Prohibited or against the law?

My very basic understanding is that you can take pictures as much as you want of or inside of airports. Still, you are not allowed to take pictures in immigration or customs, so it does not seem out of the realm of possibility that the TSA would try to extend that same coverage to their facilities.
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Old Apr 23, 08, 8:31 am
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Certainly not encouraged, but I wonder WHY you would want to take a picture of such unpleasantness, unless you're going to go all Maplethorpe on it and display it as shocking public art.

I'd think that if they did agree, you'd have to make sure not to include certain things they might consider sensitive...like screener faces and monitor screenshots.
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Old Apr 23, 08, 8:36 am
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If I remember correctly, the signage at BWI refers to Code of Maryland Regulations 11.05.07.04 which says the following about photography:
C. Film, videotape, or other image-retention media used on a terminal to capture images of security sensitive sites, restricted areas or other critical infrastructure regulated by 33 CFR, 105.260 and that the MPA Office of Security or the MdTA Police, in its sole discretion, determines to constitute a breach of security, shall be subject to confiscation. Confiscation and retention of property under this section shall be performed in accordance with MdTA Police procedures.

D. Except as provided in C of this regulation, and only with advance notice to the MPA Office to Security, photography, filming, or video camera use is permitted by:

(1) Law enforcement officers or employees of other government agencies including but not limited to the United States Coast Guard, United States Department of Homeland Security, MdTA Police, and the Baltimore City Police Department for law enforcement or homeland security purposes;

(2) MPA employees within the scope of their employment;

(3) Exclusive representative of employees under State Personnel and Pensions Article, Title 3, Annotated Code of Maryland, to protect the health and safety of employees;

(4) Ocean carriers, rail carriers, lighter operators, motor carriers, custom house brokers, independent contractors, stevedores, freight forwarders, shippers, consignees, or other users of port facilities, including but not limited to agents, servants, employees, tenants, subtenants, customers, and any commercial or social invitees of any of the aforesaid parties or entities as part of their legitimate business activities on MPA property; and

(5) Members of the news media or others persons who have received advance written authorization from the MPA Office of Security.
Be advised, this is a Maryland Port Administration regulation, which is not the actual agency that regulates the Airports in Maryland; that function is assigned to the Maryland Aviation Administration.
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Old Apr 23, 08, 8:55 am
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No in their culture, much like the Amish or Natives, they believe it steals their soul.

As others have noted some local laws will vary, but don't be surprised if you get hassled or asked to delete the picture (if digital) or even destroy 38mm film. I have seen this on occasion in some more "tropical" airports. Wouldn't surprise me to see it in the USA. While ignorance of the law is not a defence, you could say you didn't see the prohibition signs, apologise and leave area if LEOs or private "goons" try and stop you.

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Old Apr 23, 08, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingHoustonian View Post
No in their culture, much like the Amish or Natives, they believe it steals their soul.
They have nothing to worry about.
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Old Apr 23, 08, 3:34 pm
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I've been hassled for taking pictures of MTA Maryland light rail, which is apparently covered by the document above, or at least the same cops enforce those regs.

In most airports you should not have problems.
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Old Apr 23, 08, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by DevilDog438 View Post
If I remember correctly, the signage at BWI refers to Code of Maryland Regulations 11.05.07.04 which says the following about photography:

...
D. Except as provided in C of this regulation, and only with advance notice to the MPA Office to Security, photography, filming, or video camera use is permitted by:

(1) Law enforcement officers or employees of other government agencies ....
Am I missing something here?

"Except as provided by X, and only with advance notice to MPA Office to Security, photography, filming, or video camera use is permitted by 1,2,3.."

Does this mean that United States Coast Guard and other Federal agents/agencies can only photograph after providing advance notice to the MPA Office to Security?
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Old Apr 23, 08, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by DevilDog438 View Post
If I remember correctly, the signage at BWI refers to Code of Maryland Regulations 11.05.07.04 which says the following about photography:

C. Film, videotape, or other image-retention media used on a terminal to capture images of security sensitive sites, restricted areas or other critical infrastructure regulated by 33 CFR, §105.260 and that the MPA Office of Security or the MdTA Police, in its sole discretion, determines to constitute a breach of security, shall be subject to confiscation. Confiscation and retention of property under this section shall be performed in accordance with MdTA Police procedures.
The law doesn't specify how the MPA Office of Security (or is it the MPA Office to Security) or the MdTA Police should determine what constitutes a breach of security. How is someone supposed to know without assuming that everything is a breach of security or getting advance permission for everything? Oh, that's the point, isn't it?
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Old Apr 23, 08, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by DevilDog438 View Post
If I remember correctly, the signage at BWI refers to Code of Maryland Regulations 11.05.07.04 which says the following about photography:


Be advised, this is a Maryland Port Administration regulation, which is not the actual agency that regulates the Airports in Maryland; that function is assigned to the Maryland Aviation Administration.
But BWI is owned, IIRC, by the Port Administration.

Originally Posted by ralfp View Post
The law doesn't specify how the MPA Office of Security (or is it the MPA Office to Security) or the MdTA Police should determine what constitutes a breach of security. How is someone supposed to know without assuming that everything is a breach of security or getting advance permission for everything? Oh, that's the point, isn't it?
Exactly. The point is that they ASSUME that everything is a breach of security. Then again, many compare Maryland to a socialist state.
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Old Apr 23, 08, 8:01 pm
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According to the Maryland Aviation Administration page, BWI is owned by MAA.
Welcome to the Maryland Aviation Administration's (MAA) web site. The Maryland Aviation Administration is the owner and operator of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Martin State Airport.
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Old Apr 24, 08, 8:03 am
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At JFK last month, I saw a family getting hassled by a security person for trying to take photos of the plane from which we just disembarked. It was a NW flight from MSP and we pulled into one of the gates that has the glass walkway down to the jetbridge, so it was a good vantage point from which to take photos. I think they got one off before the security person shoo-ed them away saying "no pictures, no pictures". Crazy times.
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Old Apr 24, 08, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by dchristiva View Post
At JFK last month, I saw a family getting hassled by a security person for trying to take photos of the plane from which we just disembarked. It was a NW flight from MSP and we pulled into one of the gates that has the glass walkway down to the jetbridge, so it was a good vantage point from which to take photos. I think they got one off before the security person shoo-ed them away saying "no pictures, no pictures". Crazy times.
FWIW I had a similar experience in the '90s, so that isn't completely new. I ignored them then and would do so now.
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