Some annoying “security” stories from this week

I’m just now getting back connected after my jetlag study trip (more on that to come over the weekend) and finally catching up on a few things.  It seems that there have been some developments in the “security” space this past week that deserve a bit of attention.

First up is a story out of NYC where a photographer was arrested at Penn Station for taking photographs and refusing to delete them when an Amtrak officer illegally requested that they do so.  I’m not in a position to evaluate whether the guy was trespassing or not, as there are some rules about being on the platforms, I believe, but either way the suggestion that the photographer must delete the photos or that someone taking photos today rather than just looking at the photos that have been taken over the rail beds during the past 90+ years that the tracks have been there must be a terrorist is outright ridiculous.  I’ve been harassed taking photos at one of the Federal buildings downstairs though wholly within my rights.  It certainly is frustrating that guards and officers continue to enforce rules that don’t actually exist and cite “security” as the basis when they are not providing anything of the sort.

The other story comes out of our good friends at the TSA, the department of the federal government most devoted to destroying any actual rights Americans have.  Lacking any real threats or other reason to do anything useful, the TSA has decided that their version of “security” needs to be brought to general aviation.  Apparently the TSA is convinced that the operators of these small private planes will need to check passengers against no-fly lists that don’t actually have the names of know terrorists on them, restrict what can be brought on the planes in a war against a state of matter that has no publically documented basis in science and generally try to put private operators out of business.  The TSA won’t actually provide any of the screening required.  They will require the private operators to pay someone else to perform that screening.  So they’re creating more useless jobs and adding ridiculous costs that provide no value.  But at least they are consistent in their efforts to continue to justify their existence in the absence of any legitimate need for them.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. Scared me on the GA security stuff. I’m a private pilot and hadn’t heard about it and was trying to figure out how that would work.

    Don’t think it’s necessary, but don’t think it’s necessary on commercial aircraft either. That being said, I’d like them to figure out how to do something that will improve air safety for all…just don’t think that’s entirely possible.


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