No sooner after I had posted the story of TSA not rescinding on its photo policy, I received a call from longtime Photography is Not a Crime reader Howard Wassinger informing me that he was detained for an hour for video recording a security checkpoint at JFK International Airport this morning.

Wassinger, who used the TapIn.TV app on his iPhone to record part of the confrontation, said he was only allowed to proceed through the checkpoint after he showed authorities what he had recorded.

TapIn, which I reviewed a couple of months ago, stores the videos in a cloud, making it impossible for authorities to delete or censor through confiscation.

But it does not allow embedding, which means you have to watch the videos by clicking on these links.

And because it records in flash, it is impossible to view the videos on an iPhone or iPad, even though those are the only devices where the app is currently compatible to record video.

That means that Wassinger was forced to pull out his laptop and log on to TapIn.TV to show them his footage.

Wassinger, who was on his way to Arizona for a business trip, said he arrived early with the intent on testing out their knowledge of their own policy, which they have failed repeatedly.

I met Wassinger when I visited New York City in 2010. He’s a big biker with a soft soul. But he don’t back down easily.

He complied in showing them his footage after reminding them that he was under no obligation to do so.

“They first told me we have to look at your video, I said, ‘no way,'” he said. “But when a supervisor asked if I would mind showing them the video, I said, ‘no, not at all.'”

It sometimes seems as if the only TSA official who knows the policies when it comes to recording checkpoints is TSA Bob, who runs the agency’s blog.

But even if TSA officials are not avid readers of their agency’s blog, you would hope they would become familiar with the TSA Standard Operating Procedures, which dictates that it is legal to record checkpoints.

It also states that TSA screeners must not confiscate cameras, which is what one screener did in Puerto Rico last week.

The 93-page document, which is listed as “sensitive security information,” was leaked a few years ago and can now be found on the internet with a few Google clicks, which goes to show you that the TSA is not very apt in dealing with security-related issues.


Please send stories, tips and videos to carlosmiller@magiccitymedia.com.


I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

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