Thursday, July 20, 2006

Just what sort of documents do you need to show and to whom to fly?

I've been trying to post some comments on Edward Hasbrouck's blog, The Practical Nomad, but it keeps generating errors. He has an update, "Dialogue with the TSA Privacy Officer", on his experience of almost being arrested for questioning who was asking him to produce ID at the Dulles Airport. He is trying to get answers from the TSA Privacy Officer who, as another blogger put it, "does his best gladiator impersonation when confronted with legitimate privacy questions".

Here's the comments I tried to leave for Edward Hasbrouck.

Thanks for posting the continuing situation.

It looks like you were subjected to a "compliance to authority" test and then harrassed for daring to question the arbitrary exercise of real or pseudo authority.

What else can it be but arbitray when "The Great No-ID Airport Challenge" showed you don't have to produce an ID to fly if you have a reporter observing and taking notes?

I'm curious why your documents were photocopied. Isn't that a seizure without a warrant? Who has the copies, the real authority or the private party contractor? And how can you be sure you won't be a victim of identity theft with copies floating around?

TSA and the others involved in this need to answer you and the American public. Keep on them until you get the answers. Maybe your Senators or Representative can intervene for answers or at least get you in touch with the TSA "Office of Inspections".

This incident sounds like something that should be on the Papers Please website. When I went there to check if maybe it was I found this interesting page.
Be A Freedom Flier
– An IDP Investigation

Help us help you determine whether the TSA told the 9th Circuit the truth. Can you fly without ID? According to what the government told the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Gilmore case, you can – you need only submit to secondary screening in order to fly anonymously.

Please try doing some or all of your travel by declining to show ID and report back about what happens to you. Our ultimate intent is to submit declarations from people such as yourself to the court and introduce hard evidence about what TSA's real policies and practices are. This would probably involve arriving an hour or so earlier in the airport than otherwise, to avoid missing planes while still determining what the rules are for ID-less travel.

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Anonymous Edward Hasbrouck said...

I'm sorry you had trouble posting your comments on my blog. They *were* received, but were held for moderation before being published -- something I've reluctantly done as one of my measures to deal with an average of about 5,000 spam comments and trackbacks per day. .

If you got a misleading message when you tried to submit comments, it's probably because I just upgraded my blogging software, and it may have overwritten some of the error and moderation messages. So it may have told you your comment was "rejected", when in fact it was merely being moderated. I'll try to get it fixed, but that may take a while.

Thanks for your feedback!

7/20/2006 10:03 PM  
Blogger Rixor said...

Ah. I'm sorry if your moderation queue was filled up with my sorry efforts to comment. I definitely was getting a server type error with arcane messages like "blah blah blah database blah blah blah at line 32 blah blah line 32" and so on.

Thank you, Edward Hasbrouck, for standing up to this creeping towards a police state in the U.S.

7/20/2006 11:43 PM  

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