Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that it would not hear an appeal of a lower court decision making the filming of police officers who are on duty, legal and protected by the First Amendment. That appeal came from Cook County, Illinois, which wanted to, and tried to make filming police a crime punishable with up to 15 years in prison.
You can read about that here, but the main issue now is just how this will affect the filming of TSA officials and their army of jackbooted thugs who either pat you down; or run you through a machine that X-ray’s your body.
The issue at hand is that TSA agents are public servants just like police officers. They are paid with taxpayer money and receive benefits which are also paid by the taxpayers of this country; and, they perform their duties on public property, in public areas.
It would seem that if the Supreme Court stood behind the decision of a lower court on the issue of filming police, then the same scenario would fit the TSA Administrators and employees.
Recently, the TSA said that filming the TSA was terrorism and that anyone who films the TSA is a terrorist. Additionally, a reporter for Infowars was threatened with arrest because he was filming TSA operations at an airport. So, now what will the TSA do?
The decision yesterday by the Supreme Court to stand by the lower court decision about the recording of police by a citizen puts the TSA in precarious position. Apparently, the TSA Agents know little to nothing about the rules that employer has laid out for travelers and/or reporters because it is stated on their website that filming of the operations is permitted. So, with that in mind; and the recent Supreme Court standing by a lower court decision will most certainly put the TSA in a contentious position to say the least.
Their website explains:
TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors. While the TSA does not prohibit photographs at screening locations, local laws, state statutes, or local ordinances might.
Taking photographs may also prompt airport police or a TSA official to ask what your purpose is. It is recommended that you contact the TSA Contact Center to contact the Customer Support Manager at the airport to determine its specific policy. Or, if you are a member of the press, you should contact the TSA Office of Public Affairs.
That said, there will be much to do on the part of the TSA to retrain their agents about the Constitution and the rights of American’s. Once again, the Bible tells us that all Governments are ordained by God, and that is where our God given rights come from. And, when they go astray of Godly ways, then, we need to attempt to change that. (See Acts 5:27-29)
© 2012 by Jake Jones