So I flew into Colombia Sunday where I will stay two weeks, enjoying time with my family that lives down here.
Naturally, I would not allow a golden opportunity like this to pass without testing the photography policy at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint of Miami International Airport.
I even tested the policy on videography in the customs area of El Dorado Airport in Bogota.
Not surprisingly, a TSA official told me photography and videography at checkpoints was illegal.
We already know that´s bullshit.
In fact, if you look at the video, you will see that another airport official told me I was forbidden from shooting video before I even entered the checkpoint area (this being Miami, she had to say it in Spanish).
I told her that I was allowed and she didn´t push the matter any further, probably realizing she really had no idea on the actual policy on photography and videography.
Instead, she turned her attention to my mom who was trying to enter the checkpoint with one of those luggage carts, telling her that it was not allowed.
Then I continued videotaping as I showed a TSA official my passport. She seemed a little surprised by this, but did not say anything. However, my mom saw her pick up the phone as soon as I walked away.
A few seconds later, a TSA official whom I assume was a supervisor confronted me about why I was videotaping the checkpoint, informing me that it was illegal.
I ended up showing him the TSA blog post that confirms it is legal, which, of course, was something he had never seen.
After a few minutes of him reading over the printout, he let me go without further discussion, advising me not to videotape the monitors, which was never my intention as I explain in the video.
Then I tested out the videography policy in the customs area of the Bogota airport where a Colombian police officer quickly told me that it was not allowed. I complied with his order because I have no knowledge and no documentation that I am allowed to do so.
Besides, I didn´t want to kick off my vacation in a Colombian jail.
This was the second time I tested the TSA policy on photography at Miami International Airport. The first time was the day before Thanksgiving.
My internet access down here is sporadic and my laptop deserves to be trashed and I am being kept busy with my large family down here, so I am not sure how often I will be updating Photography is Not a Crime during the next two weeks.
But please keep sending me the tips that keep this blog going because I will update when I can.
Also, tomorrow I will be interviewed by phone on the Global Freedom Report by host Brent Johnson. I will go on between 5:17 to 5:55 p.m. EST.You can listen live on the above link.
I will let you guys decide which one out of the three PINAC entries deserves to win.
If I win this contest, I will receive a $50 gift certificate, which I will use to purchase the wide-angle lens for the Flip camera – the camera I used to shoot the two videos.