back to article Passenger cleared after TSA checkpoint stare-down

A Seattle man has been acquitted of all charges brought against him when he refused to show ID to TSA officials and videotaped the incident at an airport security checkpoint. Prosecutors' case against Phil Mocek was so weak that he was found not guilty without testifying or calling a single witness, the Papers, Please! blog …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3 cheers to the man!

    Excellent demonstration of why everyone should video all their interactions with official-dumb these days. What a bunch of numptys.

    There are a lot of cheap 'spy' cameras available these days .. built in to watches, pens and ipod shuffle lookilike mp3 players .. they work brilliantly .. although I guess the officious officials won't spot them so you won't get as much hassle to start with.

    1. PerfectBlue

      Wiretap laws

      Well, in a number of places (Mostly in California, I think), cops have charged people with wiretap violations for recording cops abusing their powers.

      In the UK they have also repeatedly detained people who try to photograph police badge numbers.

      1. Ayrshore


        Yes, they've threathened to arrest me for taking pictures in public places (and often not even of them), many times. Never actually done it though (of course).

        Nothing winds a copper up more than knowing his job better than him.

    2. patrick_bateman

      umm ooook..

      Yes officer that is a wire you can see coming out from my coat. Or, yes officer that is an electrical device you have found hidden on me and not its not my phone.

      One sure way to get your flight ontime without increasing hassle...not

  2. Robert E A Harvey

    Good man

    There are signs up prohibiting photography at uk passport control. What's the validity of those?

    1. irish donkey

      Would love to know the answer to this

      Security guards in this country (UK) are such pricks!

      1. Matthew Robinson


        If it's private land so they can decide. If the TSA had a sign up they'd be able to switch his camera off too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          The TSA...

          There are signs up in the airport in question stating that photography is not permitted.

          The jury decided that they were incorrect. Putting up a sign does not make it illegal and photography in the publicly accessible areas of the airport is perfectly legal with some specific provisos regarding the photography of security scans etc...

          The airport is public property so they must abide by the local laws, not on any cock and bull story that the TSA wonks make up to suit their own prejudices and ego.

          1. Bill B

            Airport public property?

            Different in the US then.

            In the UK the airports are owned by private companies (e.g BAA) who then allow the public on their property for the purposes of business.

            We've already had incidents in the UK where people were photographing the chaos at airports over winter and were asked not to. I think it was established that the airport was within its rights to do this unfortunately. *They* can say what goes on on *their* land.

            Bit surprised to find that that airports in the US are public property.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              No No No......

              Signs mean NOTHING on private property. In public places they must adhere to set standards and follow set procedures.

              Otherwise you could stick up a sign saying "All fit girls must strip upon request" and it would be "LAW".

              Same as the "We accept no repsonsibilty for loss" signs. They mean nothing.

              1. ThomH

                @No No No......

                There's an exception to this; per the relevant Occupiers' Liability Act, signs on private property that direct you as to the required behaviour in order to be safe absolve the owner of liability if a person ignores the signs and is injured as a result. Though they have to give you actual, workable instructions (like "keep all limbs within the vehicle") rather than just warning you about a danger (like "bridge unsafe" without a safe bridge or other crossing being available).

            2. Blake St. Claire

              By, for, and of the people

              > Bit surprised to find that that airports in the US are public property.

              Boston's airport is owned by the Massachusetts Port Authority (MASSPORT), a state owned private corporation.

              I expect most other major US airports are similar.

              IANAL. I don't know that it's "public" property like the square in front of city hall or the various parks, but my tax dollars are paying to build, maintain, and expand it; in a sense it's as much mine as it is everyone else's.

              1. Adrian Midgley 1

                in what is not publicly owned

                "a state owned private corporation."

                State=public, no?

        2. Lee Dowling Silver badge


          It's private land, so they can *eject* but even the UK police can't seize films / destroy photos / remove your property without going through an awful lot of paperwork (if at all). Hell, be too rough when ejecting them or damage that property even in a minor way and you'll be before the court, not them. The police can't even ask YOU to delete the images, technically.

          I can put up "No filming" signs in my street. Poke the camera into my house and you have a privacy violation and I can call the police who may well arrest you (sign or not) but I can't take that equipment from you (necessarily). Film unobtrusively and without invading my privacy and neither I nor the Police can do anything without arresting you first (and then you have to prove they did something illegal, like here, which is very difficult).

          If I own a nightclub, with a "no-filming" rule, I can ask you to leave if you film. I can call the police if you've been filming up girl's skirts. But *I*, nor anyone but the police, can legally seize your camera or make you delete the photos except in order to detain you until the police arrive (and if you *haven't* technically committed a crime, that could be seen as unlawful imprisonment).

          Basically, nobody is allowed to touch someone else's personal property (or person, technically) except in the process of arrest (possibly "citizen's arrest") on suspicion of a crime. You can't just put a sign up and make your own private laws. You can eject, if you do it within the agreed legal parameters. You can ask for them to be arrested. If it's serious enough, you can "arrest" them and call the police who will probably end up having to let them go anyway.

          But you *can't* seize their camera, make them switch it off, switch it off for them or get them to delete photos. You can only refuse entry to people with cameras and / or eject people from the property if they use cameras against your "rules". In this case, the airport was classed as public property and, as long as there wasn't a *genuine* security reason, the airport was deemed wrong in demanding that they guy turn off the camera. It's also *NOT* illegal to film your child's school play, no matter who's in the photo, but you *could* be ejected from the school (there is a quote from a senior ministry about stopping such "nonsense rumours" going around - it's not illegal, it's just a per-school rule that makes people THINK it is illegal). It's not even illegal to film in a public street whether you ask people's permission or not. But it's considered polite.

          The law is surprisingly liberal in this area. Whenever someone comes to you claiming 1984 is occurring, have a look at what a private citizen is *allowed* to do. You might still be harassed by police but the last few times they got the law wrong on the street, photographers held a protest in London and the police chief had to send around "guidance" to police officers across the country.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            Where a person's life may be put at jeopardy then they can confiscate your recording equipment and under court order delete your recording material for reasons I've said in another post.

            Also Immigrations/Passport Control in UK airports is on private land and not in a public area.

          2. Alan Firminger


            If an authority decrees no filming can you deploy a camera without recording?

          3. PerfectBlue

            yes ... but ....

            Most people don't know this, and they hand over their memory cards\delete images believing that they have no choice but to comply.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Robert E A Harvey

      Totally legit in the UK as it's private land and they've posted notice. Also this is one zone where you photos/video can be legally confiscated/destroyed as immigration officers do go under cover and on raids (with Police who do the actual arrests) and so recordings of their faces could put them in danger.

      Reason I know this and have also posted anonymous - no it's not me but a very good friend of mine went from being an Immigrations Officer at Heathrow to joining the monitoring and raid squads (which mainly went in to brothels and ethnic restaurants).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        The same squads that are on British TV all the time going into restaurants and safe houses?

    3. Andy Hards
      Thumb Up

      I'm preeeeetty sure

      That in the UK as they are privately owned lpaces it's up to the owners and just like anywhere in the UK you can ask someone to leave. Yuo don't have to have them in your airport if you don't want them there. During the recent snow chaos there were reports of some people being told not to film on threat of being kicked out into the cold rather than the nice warm floors of the airport but the mgt then backtracked and said it wasn't a problem. I think it's just in certain areas though.

    4. Ayrshore


      Perfectly valid. You're not in a public place.

    5. g e

      Probably not valid but...

      You can expect to miss your flight while arguing you're correct, giving Them the smug satisfaction of another private citizen well-fucked-off

  3. bubba-bear

    Site with good analysis of this event and the trial

    1. Anomalous Cowturd

      Thanks Bubba-Bear...

      That was an informative view, and read. Have a pint on me.

      And on a side note, again, I was told by a UK Immigration Officer, whilst helping in the building of their shiny, new, loadsamoney, eco-friendly, green roof (imported from Holland), grey water re-cycling, solar water heated, PIR switched, architectural award winning, Folkestone office, (Fuck knows how much it cost), that you DON'T need a passport to travel within the EEA "IF" you are a legally resident citizen of said, and as long as you have Government issued photo ID (E.g. Photo driving licence etc.)

      Would any EEA or UK bureau-type care to comment... Before I book this years holiday to the Vendee for me and the sprog... Could save eighty odd quid on a new passport...

      Or maybe I'll just go to North Wales to show her some big pointy hills (with clouds/fog) and some rain.... Or is that exactly how they want us to think??? Fuck! FUCK! Hoist by my own petard...

      Interested of South East Kent...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: photo ID

        I don't know about the rest of the EU, but here in The Netherlands a photo driving licence is NOT accepted as a means of ID. You need a national ID card, or a passport.

        1. Nev

          Yup, driving licence is not an officially accepted piece of ID...

          ... in France either.

          (Something to do with it not being compulsory to keep the address up-to-date....)

      2. Tim Spence

        @Anomalous Cowturd

        I'm speaking with great authority here (avid watcher of Airport, Airline, etc), and legally I believe you are correct, but I think the issue comes with what the individual airline's rules are - some may allow you on with just a drivers license, for example, but some may require a passport.

        You may argue that the law says you only need official photo-ID, but the fact is it's their airline, and if their rules require a passport, you won't be granted permission to fly on their airline.

        Wow, can't believe I just stuck up for the corporation. Okay, scrap that, f$&k the airlines!

      3. Steve Brammer

        Schengen agreement

        I think this is only true for EEA member states that have adopted the Schengen Agreement...


        Which the UK has not. What you say is completely true if travelling from, for example, Sweden to Spain. But travelling from the UK to anywhere or from anywhere to the UK requires a valid passport as I understand it.

      4. Number6


        The travel may be true within the Schengen area, but the UK is outside that so you'd need your passport to get to France but once there, you should be able to travel more freely. However, I know someone who went from Germany to Holland and got stranded because the Germans wouldn't let her back in without her passport.

      5. Anton Ivanov

        Depends on country

        All countries allow national ID if there is one. Some countries (Italy if memory serves me right) allow anything up to and including a fishing license though some airlines do not like the idea (Ryanair).

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thanks Bubba-Bear

        You don't need a passport.

        On my way out of the UK the check-in girl wouldn't accept my passport because it was falling to pieces but I was able to use a Spanish ID card. Not sure how it would work now that your ID has to match the details already provided. Which raises another point, even if a driving licence can be used it may not be possible to pre-register it with the airline and I doubt they would change their application just for you.

        Can't be any more helpful because I stopped travelling by air long ago as the experience became just too much hassle.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        EU is your friend...

        See here

        and here

      8. rjf


        you can fly within Schengen area with just an ID but not the EEA (PS UK is outside schengen). I've seen on ryanair a lot of italians who fly with their national ID and not their passports

        cameras are only banned in UK airports at the point of the immigration officers but i've not really seen them enforce it. They also ban phones. I suspect it's more for politeness and efficiency than anything

        If you examine the way airports work.. you need valid ticket to enter airside, security does not check your ID/passport at that point but airlines in the EU seem to have final responsibility for confirming that the person named on the ticket is the person flying on the ticket.

        I hate security actions that are just for looks - eg the banning of liquids onto the plane. there's been no successful recombination liquid bombs on aircraft.

        1. Ben Bawden


          "I hate security actions that are just for looks - eg the banning of liquids onto the plane. there's been no successful recombination liquid bombs on aircraft."

          + lots.

          A piece of elaborate theatre to make it look like they are doing something effective, and to keep is vaguely frightened.

          See also sending the tanks to Heathrow.

          1. BongoJoe

            I always wondered

            ...what the point of that was.

            "See also sending the tanks to Heathrow."

            I can't really imagine a Challenger crashing through Terminal Two's Duty Free in chase of a suspected terrorist without causing a few quids worth of damage.

            As for those very large shell things; lobbing them around an airport with big shiny planes, smooth runways seems a trifle daft to me.

            Then again, I have had the priviledge of running a country so I simply have to rely on common sense.

            1. nematoad

              Think that they were Scimitars

              The "tanks" that were referred to were, to the best of my recollection Scimitar Light Tanks, not Challenger Main Battle Tanks. Still it WAS a very silly stunt as I cannot think of any way they could have prevented a hijacking or whatever. Except to try and shoot the plane up which sort of destroys the puported "security" reasons given.

        2. John Stirling


          Ah then since there have been no liquid recombination bombs then clearly the 'no liquids' rule isn't just for looks. I have elephant repellers in my garden, and indeed have not seen an elephant since I started using them - clearly they work.

      9. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I am an EEA country citizen and have been flying in at out of the UK with my ID card only with no problem whatsoever. Mind you, ID card is not a Driving licence.

        Too bad you guys in the UK scrapped your ID card scheme. It is so much easier to just have your ID in your wallet next to your credit cards and not have to go through the awkward shit-have-I-forgotten-my-passport-again experience.

        That said some EEA contries have gotten a step further - their ID cards have a chip that enables them to be used both as credit cards and store their X509 cert for online authentication... way to go there

        1. Ben Bawden

          ID cards

          Can work in some countries - liberal ones. But the proposed UK ones were the wrong solution for the wrong problem.

          They were talking about using the ID card to hold tons of information on you, and then make accessing public services conditional on that card.

        2. Da Weezil


          "Too bad you guys in the UK scrapped your ID card scheme. It is so much easier to just have your ID in your wallet next to your credit cards and not have to go through the awkward shit-have-I-forgotten-my-passport-again experience."

          Sure we will all happily fork out for ID to help out a few traveling airheads who cant remember to take the documentation needed for their journey! Make no mistake.. the ID scheme was going to creep to a compulsory scheme with the added tax of regular photo updates every few years like the photo licence.. (anyone care to tell me why an updated plastic card with a photo costs almost 20 quid?.)

        3. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

          No need for an ID card

          What we do need is a plastic card version of the passport - simple enough to issue one at the same time as a regular passport.

          No new database, no data creep, no problem.

      10. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

        On a practical note.

        (as you're in south-east Kent this mught be of use)

        Two mates I was travelling with forgot their (UK) passports on a day-trip to France on the tunnel last month. We went anyway and getting in to France they didn't even look. On the way back, we were pulled over and had to wait while their passports were checked on the computer. Delayed us about 20 minutes.

      11. Dapprman

        @ AC 04:54

        He was correct, but as the scheme has been scrapped you won't be able to use the National ID card much longer.

        In theory you only actually need the ID to get in to the UK from another EU country, you don't need it going out, however the photo drivers licence does not count. Please also note that while this all works if you're using a ferry, airline checks may require some form of ID on going out.

      12. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Anomolous Cowturd: RE: travel documents

        I have flown from East Midlands to Glasgow on a UK photo drivers license. There was no problem at all in using it for ID.

        I have never tried to fly abroad with one though.

      13. Andy Hards

        I'm cabin crew

        and most Europeans (not Brits) only use their id cards for travelling about the EU. You can do the same with your UK driving licence as long as it's only round the EU but we're indocrinicatuled to always take our passports.

      14. JohnG

        Driving license as ID

        Taken from

        "Please note that the only valid ID is the one delivered by national authorities. Driving licences, post, bank or tax cards are not accepted as valid travel documents or proof of identity."

        However, the UK does accept a photocard driving license as valid ID for the purposes of entering the country as a British citizen (because you have to provide a valid passport to get one and the photocard driving license shows your citizenship). I actually did this once when I found I had left my passport at home when I turned up at Frankfurt airport. On return to Germany, I used my German residency permit to gain entry (not possible now as the Germans don't issue them to EU citizens any more).

        1. Anonymous Coward


          JohnG, you said: "UK does accept a photocard driving license as valid ID for the purposes of entering the country as a British citizen (because you have to provide a valid passport to get one and the photocard driving license shows your citizenship)"

          I don't know what sort of driving licence you've got but it's not true on mine. I am a British citizen, but was born in Canada. My driving licence only lists 'Canada' as my place of birth, but nowhere does it mention that I am a British citizen. I also applied for it before I had British citizenship, I was on a work permit at the time.

          How can UKBA know that I am a British citizen with my driving licence? Maybe I am a resident or something (in that case, I would be subject to UK and EU immigration controls when travelling).

      15. peter 45

        Not official policy....but

        you jut try getting onto a ferry with just photo ID and I can guarantee you will not be allowed on board. I have tried with a government issued photo ID card, and got given the 'you must show me a passport or you are not getting on theis Ferry'.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not official policy....but

          I have, more than once in recent years, and you can.

      16. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Government issued photo ID

        @ Anomalous Cowturd

        I imagine that you would have no problems unless things got serious. In France at least, a driving licence is not a full blown identity document.

        And an Englishman abroad without his passport? C'est foutrement louche!

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    I wonder if the security wonks in question will now be hauled before the court for

    - false imprisonment

    - false arrest

    - disturbing the peace

    - assault

    - theft of property that they had no right to obtain

    Wow, the list is endless....

    1. Tom 38

      Nice idea, unfortunately...

      To prove some of those things, you would (IANAL) have to show that the arrest was not just false, but that the arresting officer knew it to be false, and arrested him anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Precisely the problem

        For citizens, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Unfortunately, for police ignorance of the law IS a perfectly valid excuse! What incentive then to the police have to actually know the laws they are sworn to enforce?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        Agreed, but it is worrying in itself that the officers in question believed that they incorrectly understood the law. Either way, it is a shocking indictment that they either acted improperly or didn't understand the law.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Johan Bastiaansen
    Big Brother

    Quite, but would you?

    Quite, but would you want to be on a plane, knowing one of the other passengers has exercised his right to fly without providing ID?

    1. Charles Manning

      Id faking

      has been going on forever.

      Do you really think that a BagGuy(tm) will fly using his terrorist cell membership card as ID?

      All this business with lots of uniforms, IDs, taking shoes off etc etc is to help give the great unwashed the feeling that their overlords are being thorough.

      I feel much more safe when the security is covert. Much more likely to pick up real threats.

    2. CADmonkey

      Quite, but would you...

      ...get on a plane knowing that one of your fellow passengers may have a fake ID? Or even a real ID, and still want to kill you all?

      Can you even get a bus or a train, thinking like that?

    3. Syed

      Re: Quite, but would you?

      Erm... so how did Richard Reid (shoe bomber) get on the flight? With or without ID?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. pmocek

      identification checkpoints do nothing to improve safety

      Johan wrote, "would you want to be on a plane, knowing one of the other passengers has exercised his right to fly without providing ID?"

      My desire to be on a plane is unaffected by whether or not the U.S. government asked the names of people prior to boarding.

      What difference would it make if the airport security guards asked and attempted to verify the names of the people next to you on the plane or if those people boarded anonymously?

    5. Alex 14
      Thumb Up

      Wouldn't care

      Not that paranoid.

    6. Penguin herder

      RE: Quite, but would you?

      "Quite, but would you want to be on a plane, knowing one of the other passengers has exercised his right to fly without providing ID?"

      Well said. The TSA is completely out of control, should be shut down, and should have no power to stop this man from flying. The airline should offer him a choice: show ID or take a bus. Private airport security should be able to stop him (lethally if necessary) from going through the checkpoint without showing ID, but if he wants to refuse and leave the airport, he should be free to do so.

      1. peter 45

        But how does this help?

        Can you please explain how showing ID stops a terrorist bombing?

        Does the issuing authority check each person being issued ID is not a terrorist?

        Does the carrying an ID automatically prevent you carrying a bomb as well?

        Does the checkpoint personnel check every ID against a database of terrorists?

        If you have ID, does that prove you are not a terrorist?

        The answer is no to each of those questions, so how does just the act of showing of ID help?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      As long as the security people have been concentrating on the real job of ensuring that he's not carrying any weapons or explosives on board.

    8. Anton Ivanov

      Nearly all terrorists board with a valid ID

      There was a rather enlightening documentary on the Beeb about how easy it is to obtain a valid fake passport:

      Or a valid non-fake passport for a fake identity.

    9. The Fuzzy Wotnot


      As any "fule kno" the terrorists never have access to document forging services or equipment, so all ID, no mater where from, HAS to be genuine!

      Give me be break!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Quite, but would you?

    "Quite, but would you want to be on a plane, knowing one of the other passengers has exercised his right to fly without providing ID?"

    It wouldn't bother me, but then again I'm not a complete coward.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You shouldn't have to be brave to fly.

      1. Robert E A Harvey
        Thumb Down

        oh come on!

        >You shouldn't have to be brave to fly.

        30,000 feet up without a parachute in a thing with only just enough fuel to get there and only two engines? It's not a walk to the bottom of the garden, you know.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          In the UK, you hear about pretty much every passenger air crash worldwide and there are basically none - considering there are something like a million people globally in the air at any one time - so, I don't think you need to be brave to fly.

          I don't need to be brave to drive or walk near a road and there are thousands of deaths on the roads. Cars, after all being metal boxes propelled at great speed by very basically trained operators who have no refresher courses and many of whom seem to think it's their God-given right to break those few rules that do exist to govern them.

          It's all about understanding risk, which you don't apparent.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        RE: Err

        "You shouldn't have to be brave to fly."

        Just because you're too scared to get on a plane doesn't give anyone the right to treat me like a criminal.

        If you're that scared of terrorists then stay at home. But you wont do that will you, you would rather force your cowardice on society and in consequence take away all my freedom.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Err, what? You're miles off what I said, I'm not scared to get on a plane, like I also said I'm not scared to walk next to the road, which is statistically far more dangerous. I do, however, think that there are certain precautions that should be taken, such as knowing who you are shipping round the country/world by methods which have been used to instill terror time and again.

          1. Galidron
            Thumb Down

            @AC 20:20

            Like cars and vans? They have used for far more bombings then airplanes so I assume it would be best to have someone standing at the end of everyone's driveway to ID them before they go out on the road.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Some bravery required

        "You shouldn't have to be brave to fly"

        If you want to be a citizen of a free country, you should be brave enough to accept that freedom limits safety.

        No doubt someone, commenting on this article, has already cited the well-worn Franklin (or possibly Richard Jackson, or some other geezer) quotation about liberty, safety, and deserving neither. It still applies.

    2. Johan Bastiaansen

      I forgot

      Oops, I forgot on the world wide web, everybody is a hero.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    in the words of the immoral bard

    Fuck you, TSA goons!

    You and your officious kind are what make me reluctant to visit your fine country.

    There is much to to be complimentary about in the US or A. You are not included.

    That is all.

  8. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The more you check the same id the safer it is.

    Show passport to check in to get boarding pass - this is nothing to do with security but just to stop me buying/selling tickets.

    At the entrance to security show id and boarding pass. In theory I suppose this is to check that the names match, but since the boarding pass is printed out on my computer at home from my email this isn't exactly mil spec.

    Show id + boarding pass to person deciding which security line to go to, then to person pushing my stuff along the belt through the machine, then to the person working the metal detector, then to the person taking my stuff off the belt. That's 4 people all with 15 feet of each other all wanted to check my id and boarding pass!

    Could these people be doing something better for security?

    Like checking baggage handlers, cleaners or food carts?

    Perhaps for improved security each of these people could ask to see my boarding pass twice - then it would be twice as secure!

    1. Anton Ivanov

      They check your boarding pass thrice

      Once on security control, once on boarding and once on board.

      ICAO rules. That is mandatory for any airline.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        @They check your boarding pass thrice

        Perhaps they do where you live, but I've never had to show it once on board, only at security and when boarding through the gate.

      2. Jim Morrow

        what ICAO rule are you talking about?

        Yes, ICAO rules are mandatory for airlines.

        Which of these rules say boarding passes must get checked three times? The check by airport goons is usually because of local law. Only passengers get to enter the security screening area. It used to be possible to go to the gate without any ticket or boaring pass. The check at the gate is obvious: is everyone on board and all check-in baggage accounted for? I have travelled with many airlines who do not check boarding passes as you step on to the plane. KLM and Aer Lingus don't. Bastard BA do

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Dave Mitchell
    Big Brother

    UK airport security staff and rights

    Who employs the security personnel at UK airports (i.e. the people who man the security screening section before you get on the plane, rather than customs and immigration when you arrive)? Is it the UK Border Agency, or the airport owner (e.g. BAA), or what? And what powers (if any) do they have? It seems that here in the UK we know a lot more about our rights under the TSA in the USA than we do at home.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      UK airport security staff

      Check-in and security staff are typically employed by the airline or the airport operator or a private company contracted to the airline or the airport operator.

      P.S. If you piss of the check-in staff, they might put a mark on your boarding card which gets you a more thorough search.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Using a pen in many cases. It is as secure as people later in the chain are able to distinguish whether that secret mark was changed to an innocent one (like 'heavy luggage') or not.

  10. BillG
    Thumb Up

    Hear, hear!

    Look, we are videotaped by the government every place we go. Isn't it right that we should videotape the government in return?

    As far as I know, TSA personnel have no official status. They have no right to detain me. I wonder if this guy could press charges against the TSA guys for false arrest or something like that?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's really no problem here

    If the guy doesn't want to present a proper I.D. he can take the bus. There is no God given right to fly. In the U.S. you are required to present a proper I.D. If that's unacceptable then take the bus. No I.D. required. if you want to fly however, I suggest you present a proper I.D.

    1. hplasm

      Bla bla bla

      Present your ID- says Anonymous Coward.

    2. flying_walrus
      Thumb Down

      In the U.S. you are required to present a proper I.D

      >In the U.S. you are required to present a proper I.D

      No, actually, you're not. that's the point of the article.

      as someone else posted above, checking that the ID matches the boarding pass is so that the airline can keep you from giving your ticket to someone else -- or rather, so that they can make sure to charge the other person extra.

    3. Keith_C

      Showing ID

      Clearly that's not the case and he doesn't and didn't have to show ID.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Did you read the article and the comments?

      The law says he does NOT need to show ID. God may not have sanctioned it, but there is constitutional and international law that says he DOES have a right to fly if he has a valid ticket.

    5. The Commenter formally known as Matt


      Dude read the article (and original article),

      The “public right of freedom of transit” by air is guaranteed by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978

      You do have the right to fly.

      "In Gilmore v. Gonzales (decided at 435 F.3d 1125), a case involving the same airline, lawyers for the TSA swore to the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals that no Federal law or regulation requires airline passengers to show any evidence of their ID in order to fly."

      You are not required to present ID to fly.

      If you don't approve of these laws, fair enough, however you don't get to rewrite the law as you see fit!

    6. bazza Silver badge

      re: There's really no problem here

      Indeed. Given that your credit card company, your bank, the airline, whichever website you booked it through, probably the whole of your Facebook landscape if you're that way inclined, your company if it's a works trip, the rental car company, the hotel you stay in, Skype if you use it, definitely your mobile phone company, the duty free shops either end, any advertisers on websites that you browsed whilst waiting in the lounge, probably Google, Hotmail, etc, your spouse/mistress (delete as appropriate), and maybe all the people all of them are friends with or do business with already know where and when you're going and probably why, what's the big deal with telling which ever government has the thankless task of trying to keep everyone alive, safe and well that you're an ordinary citizen who'd just like to get from A to B with a minimum of fuss?

      Having said that, a minimum of fuss would include less officiousness from everyone in a uniform. The single best ever border crossing experience I've ever had was, amazingly, going through the non US channel at Dulles Washington DC. Witty, pleased to see me, a friendly chat and best of luck. Maybe they'd just got laid.

      Let me see now, got it here somewhere, gathering dust at the back of my LP collection...scratch, scratch...

      >While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,

      no not that one, wait a minute, wait a minute,

      >Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,

      Hmm, maybe that one, but how about this?

      >Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,

      Yes that's beginning to sound about right,

      >As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

      Well if that's what floats your boat sport, carry on, but how about this?

      >God Bless America

      Yes, yes, carry on,

      >Land that I love.

      Well who doesn't, eh?

      >Stand beside her, and guide her

      Yes, it's all very well asking for devine assistance and all that, but that doesn't in anyone's prayer book absolve one of some personal responsibility towards one's fellow men, what, old chap?

      >Through the night with a light from above.

      >From the mountains, to the prairies,

      >To the oceans, white with foam

      Yes alright old chap, we all know it's a jolly big place. Quite like New England myself

      >God bless America, My home sweet home

      >God bless America, My home sweet home.

      That's the ticket, by jove I think he's got it!

    7. Andrew Barratt
      Thumb Down

      steeped in irony...

      Did you completely miss the point AC.

      Or are you still looking for a God to steer your every decision. "Thou shalt carry ID".....

      Maybe you should stick with an ark from your old friend Noah, apparently that had 2 of everything and none of them required ID.

    8. Sleepalot
      Black Helicopters

      Slippery slope?

      "There is no God given right to fly. In the U.S. you are required to present a proper I.D. If that's unacceptable then take the bus."

      Is there a right to ride on the bus?

  12. ratfox

    Hurray, he won!

    So instead of going in his flight, he had the great pleasure of hiring a lawyer to defend himself! What fun!

    ...And the next time he tries this, the TSA goons will act exactly the same as before. Score one for freedom.

    1. LateNightLarry

      Hurray, he won!...

      "...And the next time he tries this, the TSA goons will act exactly the same as before. Score one for freedom."

      Actually, no they probably won't... They will simply tell him he's on the "no fly" list, and his ticket is non-refundable. "Have a good day!"

      Ka-BOOOOOOOM! Hope his job doesn't require any air travel.


      1. The Jase


        "Actually, no they probably won't... They will simply tell him he's on the "no fly" list, and his ticket is non-refundable. "Have a good day!"

        Ka-BOOOOOOOM! Hope his job doesn't require any air travel."

        And then they will get sued, and they will lose and it will cost them a lot of money. And the person who made that decision would get fired.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      till he files for damages.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Surprised the Reg, a UK website, assumes we should all know what this Merkin "TSA" thing stands for.

    Ah, Acronym finder: TSA - Transportation Security Administration (US Department of Homeland Security).

    1. Ben Bawden

      Not an acronym

      TSA is an initialism. For it to be an acronym you have to be able to say it as a word.

      RADAR, NATO, AIDS are all acronyms.

      CIA, FBI, DNA are all initialisms

      Sorry for the pedantry, but I am compelled.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        TSA acronym?

        The poster only said he found out using an acronym finder, not that TSA was an acronym.

        I don't understand the thumbs-downs on it. I found it useful...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: TSA acronym?

          >I don't understand the thumbs-downs on it. I found it useful...

          Probably because there have been numerous, possibly runninng into the hundreds, TSA related articles and unless you are very new you should already know what it means, if you don't then google it.

          Would you expect an explanation of FBI, CIA or DNA everytime they were mentioned?

      2. Anonymous Coward



        1. Ben Bawden


          I said I was a pedant in my post, what's your point?

          In my experience, pedant is a term used by someone who doesn't know something to describe someone who does.

          1. Anonymous Coward


            Yeah, ok. You keep on believing that see.

            In the real world, pedant's are about as welcome to any discussion as a yellow scorpion in your underwear.

            1. Ben Bawden

              Possessive apostrophe

              Shouldn't that be pedants, not pedant's?

    2. mego

      Titles suck

      TSA... Testicle Spooning Alcoholic...

  14. Steen Larsen

    ID madness after 911

    Much of the "show ID" madness began after 911 which is amazing since none of the 911 plotters used any fake ID!

    In Europe they have removed the requirement to show ID before boarding a plane. So whenever I fly with Lufthansa from Frankfurt to France I show no ID anywhere - passport control has also been abolished within the Schengen area. The lack of ID check greatly speeds up boarding which is now done by a machine which opens the gate after scanning your boarding pass.

    No need to take the bus! :-)

    Elsewere within the Schengen area I find that airport or airlines want to see you passport 90% of the time - probably to stop you using somebody elses ticket.

    1. TimNevins
      Thumb Down

      Totally Wrong

      1) 7 of the 11 hijackers used stolen ID's and Passports.

      The 7 are still alive and well. However the USA have not removed them from the list. Why???

      2) The passport of the lead highjacker survived the fireball and subsequent collapse. It was found a day later on top of the rubble intact.

      3) Footage for all highjackers boarding have never been aired.

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        No surprise on point 3!

        No doubt it shows incompetent security staff just waiving people through and not checking ID properly!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    9/11 was caused, at least in part, by the general "treat 'em like buses" attitude in America to flying. I can't think of anywhere else in the world where someone would be able to fly without showing ID. You can't even buy an alcoholic drink in America without showing ID, but you can get on an aeroplane, it's nuts.

    I don't buy the "but the ID may be fake" argument because any half competent ID isn't easily fakeable, and you may as well say that ID shouldn't exist at all because it may be faked at some point. We all need to prove our ID from time to time, this is not an ID cards type liberty, it's a simple practice method to make sure that you know who is on your plane.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Okey dokey

      I agree ID is a farce. I need an ID to rent a DVD or pay money into my own bank account, but I can fly thousands of miles without needing anything more than a ticket. Bit daft but there you go, some very intelligent people came up with these ideas, so don't mock them!

      If you don't like it get a petition up and change the law, until then there's nothing you can do about it!

    2. Shell


      Well, actually, in the UK I've never taken photo ID. You can fly internally with BA and not show ANY photo ID at all. You're simply not asked to present an ID unless you use a check-in desk. I always check-in online, and only have a carry-on back. I flew countless times last year between Edinburgh and Heathrow, and once this year.

    3. Paw Bokenfohr

      Wrong way round

      Aside from your opening asertion that "9/11 was caused" by anything to do with the American attitude to flying (which is an amazing comment) you make a good arguement, but are argueing it from the wrong "end".

      It's *right* that you *shouldn't* need ID to board a plane (you don't in order to board a train or tube train or bus or concert venue, all of which have as many or more people in/at them than a plane that you could kill if you chose to) because it's *not* the ID that protects other passengers against actions you might take.

      If there are credible threats against aircraft, then the government should take reasonable and effective steps to stop the threat (some screening, though not the security theatre we have today, will need to be performed for example).

      What's not right is the requirement to show ID when buying alcohol or renting DVDs; *that* is the silly thing!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Hey, I put some new shoes on...

    Richard Reid got on the flight because some official in a suit flashed ID at the boarding staff and ordered them to let him on the plane according to eye witnesses.

  17. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    “Annoying the TSA is not a crime,”

    Somehow I doubt that that notion will catch on. TSA agents have (apparently) dark uniforms, just like USA police. The public always reacts the same to people in dark uniforms - they obey.

    It's nice to know that someone had the balls (and the willpower) to go through with his idea and be vindicated by a court (it really is high time this "security" nonsense at airports was brought to a stop), but you won't be able to do that in a bank, my friend, however much you're willing to.

  18. Pete 2 Silver badge

    First of all, the guy did NOT win

    He missed his flight. That's not "winning". He got off the charges brought but that's a small consolation for being detained and inconvenience he went through. Even if he successfully sues or gets compo, that's purely retrospective and his freedoms were still denied. In order to have "won" the encounter, he he would have to have been challenged by the gourds, presented his counter-arguments and persuaded them by means of the clarity and eloquence of his replies ..... 'scuse me, I've just stopped laughing at the thought of that ever happening.

    Secondly (disclaimer: I've only flown in/out of Albuquerque a couple of times), but it's a shared civilian airport and airforce base. Apart from commercial flights, there were (when I was there, anyway) a lot of fighters buzzing around, taking off and landing and easily visible from the area where the guy was filming.

    If security guards at "ordinary" airports are touchy, I would expect them to be even more so at ABQ for that reason.

  19. Bill B

    So the next step ...

    As I read it this means that internal flights in the US can be anonymous. The ticket does *not* need a name on it because no ID is required to check that the name on the ticket matches the person who is carrying it. Puts the airline on the same footing as a bus or train.

    That means the only tickets that need a name on it are international ones, which can be checked by airline staff.

    Be interesting to see how this pans out.

  20. JaitcH

    I like those security types dressed like Filipino Plod with those huge badges

    I saw this goon at a checkpoint in Toronto International and a woman had her sweater bulging from the top of her carry on.

    Big Badge tells her she can't board. Woman passenger puts sweater on and her bag passes under the baggage frame. Big Badge satisfied.

    Woman, after passing through the baggage check gate, takes the sweater off and stuffs it partly in to her carry-on bag. Big Badge yells at her she is 'illegal' . Woman, obviously undeterred by a big badge, carries on and Big Badge loses face!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I think the point of the big badge is to try fool the public into thinking they're part of the police force. Just like those playclothes you buy your kids I might add..

  21. Flybert

    I have a right to freely travel within the USA

    as a USA citizen ..

    the government should do proper investigation , find potential terrorists / criminals, not randomly nor always subject the citizenry to unreasonable search .. it is unreasonable to search an individual without reasonable suspicion that said individual is going to, or is in the process of committing a crime

    I will not be treated as a criminal when I am not .. I will not take off my shoes so I may fly

    so I will not fly .. and no airline will be getting my money

    still .. a determined terrorist will find a way to kill those they wish to .. with or without your submission

    you are certainly free to be sheep .. just recognize it erodes everyone's freedom to do so

  22. Steve 13

    Right to fly with no ID

    This statement presupposes a 'right' to fly in the first place. nobody has a right to fly, the airline sell you a ticket. If one of the conditions of boarding is photo ID then that's the condition (contractual, not criminal).

    You can certainly fly in the UK without a passport though, I've never tried going through any foreign [b]passport[/b] control without a passport when landing from the UK. But you can certainly cross EU land borders without them, most of the time they don't even check.

    Good on the guy for standing up to them though, pretending they have legal powers that they don't!

  23. Isabello

    TSA: Passengers Bad, but gunrunners are OK

    Apparantly the TSA are great at harrassing innocent passengers, not so good at actually catching bad guys running guns:

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd buy that man a pint

    The TSA are just security guards, they have very little real power and they know it, that's why they called in the real cop as soon as they realised the guy wassn't going to be pushed around by their bully tactics.

    It does demonstrate however, that if a person is provided with even just a perception of authority over their peers, it's only a matter of time before they view their equals with contempt and turn against them using their "authority".

    I wonder how many terrorists those TSA employees have come accross? I would be willing to bet, none at all.

    How many law abiding citizens have they oppressed? Lots I would imagine.

    The question is, in view of the fact that they have to disregard the rights of their equals and intimidate law abiding citizens, is the service they provide still of benefit?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    a single comment does not have a title, it's not a book!

    I cant wait for the video of his next trip to the airport....

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      No need to wait

      there are plenty of colonoscopy videos on youtube already

      1. Anonymous Coward


        That is so not what I meant!

        It would however be funny if one of those real cops was on duty when he goes back, the grunts do the usual and pull him again, and call in the uniforms, but this time the uniform tells the grunt he isn't breaking the law and can go on his way. I would pay money to see the grunts face!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Anomolous cowturd

    Either the immigration person you spoke to was wrong or you misunderstood what he said. Its correct that you don't need a passport to travel around Europe ... however the alternative is a Government issues ID card that meets certain common standards in particular it has to be linked to nationality status. We did have a card like this for a couple of years recently but we don't anymore. Clearly a driving license can't be used since any adult living/driving in the UK can get one irrespective of whether they have rights to travel in Europe (I have an Indian work colleague who had to apply for a Shengen area visa before he could travel to a meeting at one of our sites in France)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steve 13

    > But you can certainly cross EU land borders without them, most of the time they don't even check

    That's because of Shengen ... most of the EU has signed up to a scheme where passports/ID is checked when you enter from outside but once you're in the area they don't (routinely) you move from country to country within the area. Fly from the UK into Europe then you'll almost certainly have to show a passport. I think if fly to Portugal and drive from there then the next passport check you'd get could be the Ukraine or Belarous border!

  28. Rhiakath Flanders
    Thumb Down

    Sorry, I disagree

    A guy walks up to you. He doesn't do anything. He just starts taking pictures of you and following you around. When you confront him, he says that coincidentally, he just happens to be taking pictures of the view behind you. It's a coincidence you appear on all pictures. Do you just say "oh, ok then" or do you try for the guy to stop following you and stop taking pictures?

    Has he no right or liberty to take pictures of whatever he wants, or go wherever he wants?

    He has the same right as you of not wanting to be on his pictures, or having him follow you on some way that makes you uncomfortable.

    I agree that police-officers, or security officers, or whatever (you get the point) sometimes push it. They do, I know it. But THEY ARE the first line of security when you get on that plane. They are there not only to keep the plane intact, the insurance companies happy, but also for your safety.

    Legally, they might not have the power to do anything. Then again, did your school teacher have any power?

    They did punish you, did they not? Do you not agree with that now? Bouncers at clubs, disco, etc, have no legal powers. But sometimes you're really happy they're there, are you not? When they turn some a**hole who has drunk to much and starts harassing your wife, into a paste OUTSIDE the club, you're grateful, are you not? It was illegal for him to do so.

    Why on earth do you want to be there just picking them off? Yes the passenger had the right to be filming. Legally, he can just say "I won't do anything that you say, la la la la la" and dress as a rabbit. Does he have the right to be annoying?

    I think the law is there to serve as a base, as a guideline. Not to be taken 100% rigid, or literal.

    If he does everything he wants to annoy the hell out of other people, as long as it's legal, we have to shut up, and sit tight?

    If someone gets close to you and just starts puffing away smoke at your face on purpose, in the middle of the street. Legally, you just walk away, he has the right to smoke.

    Is this right for you??

    Take the law and officer's rights, power, etc with a bit of salt, ok?

    Theres a comedy clip here in Portugal that is somewhat akin to this. Guy1 walks up to Guy2 and keeps his hands and fingers about 1 cm of Guy2's face, and keeps running around him. Guy1, obviously, gets mad at this. Guy2 rightfully says "It's my right! It's everyone's space, and everyone's air!". And the whole clip is Guy2 annoying Guy1 without touching him.

    It's legal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Oh wow! That Portugese comedy sounds hilarious....

    2. umacf24

      No, I disagree

      1) The law absolutely is not a guideline. It's the law. It can be enforced by the state using means ultimately backed by its monopoly of violence. That's why it's important that laws are clear and understood, and written by the people or their representatives rather than by ministers or civil servants. A law that is a vague definition of roughly the right thing to do is a bad law for that reason indendently of what it purports to mandate or prohibit. There is a great deal of bad law like this, and it's our duty not to put up with it.

      2) People being extremely annoying in public is behaviour likely to lead to a (further) breach of the peace and can be dealt with as such by the police. Annoying public officials, or security people shouldn't pass that test because they should not be provocable while they are doing their duty properly.

      3) Bouncers: ejection from private property -- fine; pastings -- obviously wicked and obnoxious! What's WRONG with you?

    3. /dev/rant

      @Rhiakath Flanders

      Both examples you gave falls under harassment (& even public disorder). Don't know about Portugal but in UK, police will arrest (if necessary ) the person harassing.

  29. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
    Thumb Up

    Flying within the borders of the UK...

    And that includes the IOM and the Channel Islands you don't need a passport. For the last year or so I have been using my drivers license. When going beyond UK borders I always use my passport though as I don't want to miss my flights on a technicality.

    1. Steve Renouf

      Not Quite..

      The UK doesn't include the IOM and the Channel Islands. The Channel Islands have never been part of the United Kingdom (which comprises: Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland). They are, however, part of the "British Islands". That's why our passports do not mention the UK anywhere. It is: "British Islands: Bailiwick of Jersey" (or Guernsey, as the case may be).

      [url=" "]Constitutional Relationship[/url]

  30. Melanie Winiger

    A simple reason to show some kind of ID

    If the aircraft goes down, then it's generally helpful to know who was on-board.

    Yes, I truly detest removing my shoes and those of my children and ditching my Toothpaste to get through Airport Security, but surely showing a basic ID is not so difficult.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      A ticket requires a name.

      BUT there is no legal requirement for ID in the airport. The airline can request proof of ID but that is a different company and a different set of employee, to the TSA, who legally have no grounds to request ID.

      1. bubba-bear

        Ticket may require a name, but that is no reason to require ID.

        The manifest probably should have the passenger names, but there is no real need to have to prove that you are who you claim to be for the manifest. It might get tricky if you give a false name and lose your luggage, because then they might want ID to make a lost luggage claim.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          but that is no reason to require ID.

          Correct. But you fly at their discretion, If they want proof, you have no choice in the matter it is not a legal issue.

          TSA on the other hand, have no remit to know who you are at all. Their only remit is screening at the securtiy gate.

    2. Jim Morrow

      id? what id?

      >> If the aircraft goes down, then it's generally helpful to know who was on-board.

      This is why airlines maintain a list of passengers prior to each flight. It's called the manifest. It's one of the vital pieces of paperwork that's required before any commercial flight takes off.

      If you've died in a plane crash, I don't see how a burnt-out copy or your passport or melted ID card will be any use.

      1. Steve Renouf


        It probably wouldn't but they would already know who it was by virtue of having checked the ID before you boarded!?!

  31. Matthew Collier

    Perhaps he was filming...

    ...because the time before, when I refused to show ID he wasn't required to show, they gave him a hard time, and this time he wanted to record the reaction, make a point, and publicise the problem?

    Just sayin'

  32. The BigYin

    Whilst I applaud the chap...

    ...does anyone else find this a bit odd?

    "passengers have the right to fly without providing ID"

    Really? WTF?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      NO NO NO.

      TSA is not an Airline!

      Airline can request what they like TSA cannot.


      1. The BigYin

        Ah... the airline can ask for photo-id (or whatever) to check that you are the authorised flyer, the TSA can't do much (maybe check you have an actual boarding card or soemthing).

        OK, thanks. Makes sense now.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crime or rule breaking?

    The issue concerning photography, is whether (a) A crime is committed (b) a rule is broken. On public land, I would argue that only the latter occurs, and on private ground, the only option is to prohibit the rule-breaker and ask them to leave.

    English Heritage recently tried to claim that public photos of Stonehenge required a licence. It doesn't. If you do take a photo on English Heritage land of Stonehenge, all they can do is ask you to leave. You do NOT require a licence, and copyright of the image is owned by the photographer.

    Likewise Is withholding your ID ever a crime? Is there every a public order defence that requires an airline to know who you are? I don't need ID to travel by bus, so why should I on a plane?

  34. Harry

    "It's also *NOT* illegal to film your child's school play"

    That's breach of copyright -- and the companies that own the performing rights will usually prohibit even the school itself from making its own video, unless they pay extra.

    Even if they write their own script, the school still owns the copyright to it, so can forbid recording if they wish. But its probably only the big companies that can afford to sue.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunately as Capt. Sheridan observed in an episode of B5,

    that will only work once. Now they'll go back up the chain of command and get the correct authorizations so they can arrest people.

    I think the more interesting challenge is likely to come from (of all places) Jesse "The Body" Ventura. He's suing because he's got a hip replacement and gets the special pat down every time he goes through the scanners.

  36. Tempest

    I wonder which ...

    watch list this guy is on now.

    Use Canada to cross between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts - they're nothing like as crazy as TSA/Homeland Security ... although they do think peanut butter is a security risk.

  37. Jacqui


    Was it sony that was granted the patent to turn off cameras by a wireless signal in places such as airports and cinemas?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to Move

    It is going to get worse in the US. Time to check out other locations to live.

  39. Patrick 8
    Thumb Up

    The two most disgusting militarised/police countries I had to ever process through.

    UK and USA.

    At least in Hong Kong they may carry military weapons but don't put you through the same shit as UK and USA does.

    Seems to me the countries doing wrong behind the scenes are getting a tad paranoid these days and it has to be for a reason no?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      So true, But he US gov't is doing a lot more than harassing us

      It seems that even if you were in NY on 9/11 you likely had a better chance of getting knocked off by the CIA than a supposed pack of idiots with stolen IDs and box knives.

      Here is a quote for you, followed by its source...

      [The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that 6 million people had died by 1987 as a result of CIA covert operations, called an "American Holocaust" by former State Department official William Blum. ]

      So who knows how many have been killed by the CIA as of 2001; odds are the "terrorists" were trailing by at least 6 million.

      If the TSA was REALLY there to protect us they'd make sure no CIA operatives/agents were anywhere near us.

  40. Kev99 Silver badge

    4th Amendment is vindicated

    FINALLY! A court has upheld the legality of the 4th Amendment to US Constitution. I know Europe is still living under the national socialist policies of the 40s & 50s when paranoia reigned supreme. The US didn't fall into the same paranoia until reactionaries got into positions of power, i.e. Sen McCarthy and King, I mean, President GW Bush.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Paranoia is justified

      We haven't had any skyscrapers knocked down here in Europe.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @Paranoia is justified

        Yeah. But then we don't go around walking on holy ground and kicking the shit out of natives for participating in their own religion. Even if they're satanists dedicating human sacrifices to their god, this gives no right to the US to go to ANOTHER COUNTRY and stamp all over their holy places. Christ, they even pose US law on European citizens who have never set foot on their soil.. arrogance is the mildest term you could use.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I'd rather socialist policies ...

      than what you have. A 'political' system more aligned for the good of rich businesses and people than anything else would be hard to find (and that's saying something with this country included).

      But I digress ...

  41. D. M
    Big Brother

    Don't worry

    What ever US can do wrong, UK can do "better", and our (OZ) gov will out do you all.

    Good to know there are still people out there who will stand up and fight.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sounds more like ....

    another variation of the 'look at me' syndrome (see reg articles about the 'swearing' toy puppy and the 'enraged' mother of the child whose details were on a stolen pc).

    If you want to assert these sort of things, all well and good, but lets be honest what was he hoping to achieve? Exactly what he got. Some publicity and everyone looking at him.

    As has been said before, if people like this really want no interference, no security checks, no proof of identity, let them have it. Just make sure that THOSE people go on different aircraft to the rest of us reasonable people (oh and good luck finding a pilot who will fly it btw).

  43. Steve 13


    There are a lot of down votes for anyone who has questioned the 'right' to fly without ID.

    I'm guessing these are coming from people who don't really understand what a right is and where they come from.

    You have no right to fly, an airline can refuse to take you because they don't like the look of you. Or because they want to see ID from everyone who flies. At the very least checking a photo ID is a form of fraud prevention (stopping you paying with a stolen credit card and using that name for the ticket).

    The TSA have no right to demand the ID, and good on the guy for refusing to comply. But equally if you want to fly and the airline want to see ID, you need to either show your ID or go and catch a train, coach or ship to your destination.

    Vote this down by all means, it won't alter your contract with an airline that requires the production of photo ID before they let you on board.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    And was it worth the hassle?

    Idiots. For crying out loud. The TSA and the like are there to keep us safe. Just let them do their jobs.

    If you don't like the way airports are operated then simply don't fly. Don't go on holiday. Don't take a job where travel is a necessity. Change YOUR life, don't disrupt the lives of the rest of us that know look at the bigger picture.

    Clever terrorists blend in. Anyone who distracts the airport security officials in this manner and stops them from doing their job is simply making it easier for terrorists to slip by.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'm sure they're doing a good job. Using printed lists of terrorists names for example. Those rascally terrorists won't ever think about using a fake ID, no sir they're too technologically defunct to think of that!

      Truth is, all they're doing is providing a false sense of security; while perpetuating fear and uncertainty amongst passengers. Unless you force people to fly naked, with no bags, you'll find terrorists can find a way of getting a bomb onboard. Actually.. even then.. they just swallow the bomb then. Or worse, use a SAM missile when they fly over a certain area.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    security theater

    "This statement presupposes a 'right' to fly in the first place. nobody has a right to fly, the airline sell you a ticket. If one of the conditions of boarding is photo ID then that's the condition (contractual, not criminal)."

    Except that in the US, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 says you do not have to show ID.

    "Idiots. For crying out loud. The TSA and the like are there to keep us safe. Just let them do their jobs."

    No they aren't, they were put in place as a knee-jerk reaction to give the APPEARANCE of security, security theater. They do not keep anyone safe. This just makes flying a slow, arduous, and inconvenient process, and is a drain on the economy. Anyone wants to terrorize, are they really going to care if they were IDed or not? They're either going to be dead or be captured (at which point they'd be IDed) anyway. In addition, I don't think TSA would like to hear it, but it seems to me there are higher concentrations of people in the TSA line, before any checkpoint, than there ever would be on a plane.

    "If you don't like the way airports are operated then simply don't fly. "

    People like you invite fascism. If you had to go through a thorough screening to get on trains, you would just say "don't use the train." If you were screened on busses, you'd say "don't use the bus." If you had to start showing inter-city passports like Soviet Union or East Germany used to have, you'd say just don't drive. If you had guys saying "Papers, please!" at every corner you would say to just not walk. No, I reject this!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: security theater

      " it seems to me there are higher concentrations of people in the TSA line, before any checkpoint, than there ever would be on a plane."

      or in Arrivals, as they sadly found out in Moscow.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all quite simple

    The TSA has a right to require proper I.D. and if you don't desire to present proper I.D. then take the bus. There is no God given right to fly. If you want to fly, present a proper I.D. or take the bus. It's all very simple.

    1. Decius

      What about where the feds have no mandate whatsoever?

      I chose not to exercise my rights recently when making an INTRAstate (not crossing state lines) flight. A TSA agent stole a personal hygiene object from my carry-on luggage, using intimidation and his position of authority to deprive me of my property for his benefit. There is no constitutional basis for the federal government to regulate any commerce that does not cross state lines.

      If they weren't so effective at being intimidating, I'd have directly challenged them long ago. I am literally afraid that I would lose my job for exercising my civil liberties. (Not in the least because my immediate supervisor has repeated the phrase "Fuck civil rights!" in discussions of similar events.)

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