Feeds

Passenger cleared after TSA checkpoint stare-down

Man fought the law and the law man won

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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 reported. The Daily Conservative said Friday's acquittal was the first time anyone has “successfully challenged the TSA’s assumed authority to question and detain travelers.”

Mocek's video, shot in November 2009 at the Albuquerque International Airport, portrays a passenger politely refusing officers' request that he show ID and stop videotaping his encounter with them.

“Is there a problem with using a camera in the airport in publicly – in publicly accessible areas?” Mocek calmly asks.

“Yes, there is,” an officer answers.

“I think you're incorrect,” the passenger replies.

As the confrontation continues, one officer tells the man: “You pushing it, OK? You're really pushing it.”

Another officer says: “Buster, you're in trouble.”

But as the six-woman jury in New Mexico's Arizona's Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court made clear, Mocek isn't in trouble. They returned not guilty verdicts for charges that included concealing his identity, refusing to obey a lawful order, trespassing, and disorderly conduct.

Papers, Please! says the acquittal proves what TSA critics have said all along: That checkpoint staff have no police powers, that contrary to TSA claims, passengers have the right to fly without providing ID, and yes, passengers are free to video record checkpoints as long as images on screening monitors aren't captured.

“Annoying the TSA is not a crime,” the blog post states. “Photography is not a crime. You have the right to fly without ID, and to photograph, film, and record what happens.”

Here's hoping all the grunts in the blue shirts get the memo. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.