Nov 20 2012

TSA spreads FUD on “Opt Out and Film” week

This week is national Opt Out and Film Week. Across the country, travelers will be documenting the TSA’s practices of groping the genitals of anyone who wants to exercise their right to travel without “voluntarily” submitting to an x-ray or RF virtual strip search.

The TSA even acknowledges Opt Out and Film Week in its official blog, where Blogger Bob sez:

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.

That looks to us like an attempt to sow Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) on clear-cut Constitutional rights.

While the TSA has a history of improperly calling local cops on photographers (for which we are currently suing both the TSA staff and the police who acted on their bogus complaints), it’s not true that  “local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances may” restrict the exercise of First Amendment rights.

As we say in our cheat sheet, What you need to know about your rights at the airport:

You have the 1st Amendment right to film, photograph, and record what happens in public areas of airports, including your interactions with TSA and screeners.  Photography and recording in airports and at TSA checkpoints violates no Federal law or TSA regulation. Any state or local laws that purport to prohibit this are likely to be unconstitutional. You have the right, for your own protection, to document what happens to you and what is done to you.

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