Hints that local police can arrest protesters using cameras at checkpoints
Nov 20, 2012
The TSA has officially acknowledged the Infowars Opt Out And Film week protest, and warned that despite the fact it is not prohibited to film at TSA checkpoints, local laws may allow police to intervene and prevent such activity.
On its official blog, TSA official Bob Burns notes:
“TSA has given passengers the option of opting out of imaging technology. If you choose to opt out, simply let the officer know you would like to opt out of the body scanner, and you will receive a pat-down instead.”
Burns then states:
“We’re also aware of the Opt Out and Film week, where some are planning on opting out of the body scanner and then filming their experience. TSA respects passengers rights to exercise freedom of speech as well as the rights of fellow travelers trying to get to their destination safely and without unnecessary delay. While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances may.”
Essentially, the TSA is intimating that they can and will have anyone engaging in the Opt Out and Film protest arrested by police should they be able to find loopholes in local laws enabling them to do so.
As we reported last month, the TSA removed from its website all references to the right to film and photograph at checkpoints, just hours after it was announced that the national campaign was underway to encourage Americans to opt out and film TSA procedures.
However, following a backlash from supporters of the campaign, the approval to film section soon reappeared on the federal agency’s website.
Filming and photography in public is protected under the First Amendment. The First Court of Appeals ruled last year that filming police officers is not illegal in the United States. However, as we have seen on endless occasions, the authorities will exploit rules to suggest otherwise. While practically every case has been thrown out of court, police have increasingly touted wiretapping laws as a means to arrest individuals filming them.
TSA agents themselves have also been known to confiscate cameras and delete memory cards at checkpoints in the past.
People who do film TSA checkpoints or TSA workers have been harassed, threatened with court action or even accused of being terrorists.
Recording police officers and TSA agents (public servants) is perfectly legal. However, Americans are still being arrested for doing so, and the establishment media is enthusiastically perpetuating the hoax that such conduct is unlawful, even though in doing so they are completely eroding protections that guarantee press freedom.
There is no expectation of privacy in public, the police are fully aware of this, which is why they have dash cams on their cars to record incidents, wear microphones and utilize other recording equipment as part of their job.
Filming TSA procedures at checkpoints is a vital expression of free speech and serves to limit the degree of humiliation, degradation and harassment metered out by TSA screeners – aggravation that has become endemic across the country.
Please be aware that since the TSA has proven itself to be a tyrannical agency, you can choose to film them at your own risk. Standing up for the first amendment is never a walk in the park and expect to be on the receiving end of official oppression in some form.
We encourage everyone planning to engage in the Opt Out And Film protest to go ahead and exercise their constitutional rights, and ignore this overt intimidation at the hands of the TSA.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.