San Diego Airport Says Recording TSA Gropings Is An Arrestible Offense?

from the not-cool dept

We already covered the guy who was arrested after stripping down for the TSA, highlighting how one of the charges was his failure to complete the security procedure (after stripping down, he pointed out there was no need for a pat down...). However, there was a second charge that was even more troubling that actually deserves a separate post, which is that he was also charged with "illegally recording the San Diego Airport Authority." I was trying to figure out the exact rule (listed as 7.14a), and some of the folks over at Flyertalk have posted the full 7.14 rule (or you can see the full San Diego Airport Authority rules (pdf) if you'd like):
(a) No person shall take still, motion or sound motion pictures or voice recordings on the facilities and airports under the jurisdiction of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (the "Authority") without written permission from the Authority's Executive Director or his or her designee.

(b) Filming of X-ray equipment located on the facilities and airports under the jurisdiction of the Authority is strictly prohibited. Any person(s) caught filming such X-ray equipment may have their film confiscated.
I'm having trouble seeing how this rule can possibly be legal -- especially with all the stories today of TSA agents abusing (or simply not understanding) the new rules. Recording the interactions with the TSA seems like an essential step in making sure that personal liberties are respected. Making that illegal raises all sorts of questions. And while this is specific to San Diego Airport, it makes me wonder if there are similar restrictions elsewhere.

Just a few months ago, we pointed out how law enforcement and the courts were abusing wiretap laws to find people guilty of wiretapping for recording law enforcement in public places. Thankfully, some courts have pushed back on such cases, and it seems like this is a situation where declaring an outright ban on videotaping within the airport is a restriction that doesn't make any sense at all.

Filed Under: airports, recording, san diego, security, tsa
Companies: tsa

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  1. identicon
    Richard Kulawiec, 23 Nov 2010 @ 11:40am

    Re: Suprised this took this long to come up...

    I does however make sense that you don't want people filming your security process, it makes it easier to try and find a way around them, to study them. Not that they are effective, but it is what it is.

    If one's security processes are so brittle that film study will enable an adversary to defeat them, then the problem is not the film: it's poor process design.

    After all, filming is merely a substitute for the imperfect observational and recall powers of most human beings. A suitably-trained and experienced person is quite capable of making the observations first-hand and subsequently documenting them from memory. Or, perhaps, of analyzing the salient details in real time and devising a means to defeat the process.

    And even all of this presumes that it's necessary for an attacker to defeat the process. It's often not; it's usually much easier to ignore the process -- or to exploit it. In the case of this particular set of procedures, which are incredibly poor and were clearly designed by crack monkeys, either would suffice.

    Robust security measures continue to work even when everyone knows exactly how they work. This is a rudimentary lesson which MANY have failed to learn, including Pistole (see his lame explanation for why he took the futile step of not announcing the current sexual assault practice in advance).

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