Despite a TSA policy that clearly states passengers have the right to video record themselves getting groped by screeners at security checkpoints, Transportation Security Administration officials still insist on intimidating passengers from doing so.
And to make matters worse, local police officers, for the most part, do nothing to dissuade screeners from abusing their own policies.
The latest example took place at Orlando International Airport when a smug TSA screener accused a woman of not letting them do their job as she recorded them patting down her husband.
“You cannot stop us from doing our job,” he tells her.
But it is clear she is not doing anything to stop them doing their job except pointing a camera in their direction.
The TSA screener stops the screening process until a police officer comes to the scene.
The cop refuses to step in, acknowledging that she wasn’t breaking the law, but that the screeners still have the right to kick them out of the airport if they wished – which seems highly improbable.
Unfortunately, not all cops can do what the Albany County Sheriff’s Office did last year when they defended a pair of activists’ right to record inside an airport.
The woman eventually turns off her camera because otherwise, they would have missed their flight.
So it’s obvious we’re going to be in for another grueling summer of travel where TSA screeners are going to make up their own policies.
So what can we do about it?
- If you are traveling this summer and are not afraid to make a stand, be sure to arrive at the airport early, just in case you get delayed as will probably be the case.
- Be sure to have printouts of the TSA policy in your carry-on luggage, ready to hand out in order to educate screeners and cops on the policy.
- Be sure to get all their names. If they refuse to tell you their names, zoom in on their name tags. I was unable to catch the name of the smug screener in this video but maybe somebody can make it out from the video.
- Make sure your traveling companions also have cameras that are recording. It’s much harder to do these actions alone because at some point, you will be required to place your camera in the security bin as you walk through the checkpoint. But keep the camera turned on and pointed upwards as you place it in the bin.
- Do your best not to hold up traffic. You don’t want passengers behind you resenting you because you are causing them to miss their flight. Just step out of the way and allow them to go through.
- Try to remain calm and professional, despite the threats you may receive. The law is on your side.
- If they insist on refusing to let you catch your flight because you are recording, ask to speak to a supervisor. And if they don’t acknowledge that you are in the right, ask to speak to their supervisor.
The TSA policy “asks” passengers not record the security screens, which is not relevant to what we’re trying to accomplish anyway.
All we want to do is ensure they remain professional as they pat us down. All we want them to do is abide by their own policy.
All we want them to do is allow us to record them as they are recording us.