Man Arrested For Trying To Record His TSA Screening
We knew already that there were charges that could be filed for refusing to go through with the TSA’s body scans/invasive pat downs at airport security. That’s outrageous in and of itself as, prior to instituting these new screenings, the TSA did next to nothing to inform the public of their implementation. Meaning that if you were among the first travelers faced with a nude body scan or a genital rub-down by a TSA bureaucrat you could have been charged as a criminal for not going through with it.
But now comes news out of San Diego where one traveler was charged with (among other things) attempting to record the screening process:
Planning on filming any “minimally invasive” TSA pat-downs this travel week? Think again. After trying to film his over-the-top stunt at a San Diego TSA checkpoint, Samuel Wolanyk was arrested and charged with refusing to complete the security process and trying to videotape the event.
On Friday, Wolanyk opted out of the advanced imaging screening at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field. When told he would need to get a pat-down, he instead stripped down to his underwear, the NBC San Diego affiliate reports. …
“Harbor police also confiscated his iPhone and the video camera used by his companion, who was also charged with unlawful recording within the airport without permission,” Wolanyk’s attorney told the San Diego Union Tribune. “He was handcuffed and paraded through two airport terminals in his underwear to the Harbor Police office.”
Wolanyk, given his strip-down stunt, was clearly intent on baiting the TSA into making an arrest. But even stipulating that fact, why should it be illegal to refuse to turn back from screening at airport security? And why in the world should it be illegal to record the TSA’s screening practices?
Is the TSA worried that the resulting recordings, sure to populate YouTube and blogs around the country, would show abuses on the part of TSA screeners? We’ve certainly heard plenty of abuses being reported by the public over the last several days, but pictures speak louder than words and video doesn’t lie.
That the TSA doesn’t want you recording the sort of screening tactics being deployed speaks volumes about their confidence that said tactics are appropriate and won’t be abused, doesn’t it?
We’ve dealt with this issue before with cops threatening and even arresting citizens who record them during traffic stops or other interactions with the public. But there is no good reason to prohibit the public from recording law enforcement up to and including airport security.
Far from being discouraged, it should be encouraged. Transparency is important. I like the idea of our law enforcement/security forces operating in an environment where every one of their public moves could very well be recorded for viewing by a potential audience in the millions. It might make them refrain from doing something they wouldn’t want on YouTube.Tags: airport security, tsa