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ACLU Sues DHS Over Unlawful Searches and Detention

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the single-file-please dept.

Privacy 460

gavron writes "The ACLU has filed suit against DHS to stop the TSA from conducting illegal searches and detention. In the case at hand, TSA detained a Ron Paul staffer who was carrying $4,300 in cash in a metal box. The suit seeks to focus TSA searches on things having to do with increasing security on aircraft, instead of their current practice of 4th-amendment-violating searches, such as those of laptops, iPods, etc."

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Whoa... (5, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392131)

... a Ron Paul staffer with cash? I thought they all carried gold bouillon.

It was for a seminar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392351)

He was a giving a talk on a seminar on why gold is better than cash. The $4,300 was part of his props.

Re:It was for a seminar (1)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392457)

While I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, Precious Metal *is* better than cash. Cash just sits there and loses value to inflation. Precious Metals (historically) don't.

See my sig to learn more.

Re:It was for a seminar (0, Offtopic)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392535)

Precious metal is just a bitch to get change for at my local convenience store...

I-bonds or "forever" postage stamps (3, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392701)

I-bonds and other inflation-protected securities are are the nearly-perfect hedge against inflation. If the government defaults on those we've got worse things to worry about than inflation.

The face value of "Forever stamps" go up with postage rates, which are supposed to track inflation. The downside is they aren't very convenient to trade and store.

Re:It was for a seminar (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392781)

While I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, Precious Metal *is* better than cash. Cash just sits there and loses value to inflation.

There are two major purposes often associated with money, historically: as a long term store of value and as a medium of exchange. Precious metals, as a medium of exchange, are pretty inconvenient, but better than having no standard at all; cash is for superior for that purpose. Precious metals are a decent store of value. If you tend to store value by hoarding cash, you're probably better off switching to hoarding precious metals. If you use cash mainly as a liquid medium of exchange, and store value in forms other than cash -- which is probably far more common -- you may not stand as much to gain from switching to precious metals for any purpose.

Re:It was for a seminar (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392931)

Do you actually think that precious metals values don't fluctuate over time? Go look up silver prices during the period when the Brits were selling tons of opium in China. The outflow of silver caused global silver prices to fall.

This notion that somehow or other going back to metals is some sort of panacea is ludicrous, and one of the chief reasons that Paul and his merry band of maniacs are kooks.

Re:It was for a seminar (0)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392613)

He was a giving a talk on a seminar on why gold is better than cash. The $4,300 was part of his props.

And he had to use real money, $4300 worth, for the prop? He couldn't have used Monopoly money to make the same point ("would you rather have gold or worthless paper")? Does he not understand that props don't have to be real?

I hope he doesn't teach CPR. "Now, can I have a volunteer ..."

Re:It was for a seminar (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392663)

He was a giving a talk on a seminar on why gold is better than cash. The $4,300 was part of his props.

And he had to use real money, $4300 worth, for the prop? He couldn't have used Monopoly money to make the same point ("would you rather have gold or worthless paper")? Does he not understand that props don't have to be real?

I hope he doesn't teach CPR. "Now, can I have a volunteer ..."

Wait, you mean all these papers in my pocket that say "FEDERAL RESERVE NOTE" along the top edge aren't just fiat currency aka Monopoly Money?

It was a joke people (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392741)

I was making a joke. It must not have been that good if I have to explain it.

Re:Whoa... (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392373)

He was looking for one of those German, gold vending machine.

Re:Whoa... (4, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392415)

gold bouillon

That would really taste awful.

rj

Re:Whoa... (1)

belphegore (66832) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392533)

It would sink to the bottom of the soup pot though, so as long as you just scoop from the top, you'll be OK.

Re:Whoa... (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392695)

I think "gold bouillon" is another name for beer - you know, "liquid bread".

Re:Whoa... (3, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392719)

a lot of people like goldschlager. that has real gold in it.

Re:Whoa... (2, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392779)

But most of them like the schlager, rather than the gold...

What took them so long? (2, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392133)

Oh, it had to happen to someone important and/or with money.

Re:What took them so long? (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392199)

Yeah, because the ACLU is only about taking on cases of important people. Even though I don't agree with all of their positions, they are a very effective organization and have helped take down many unjust laws.

(and thank you again, Slashdot, for the five minute wait between posts).

Re:What took them so long? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392565)

Yeah, because the ACLU is only about taking on cases of important people. Even though I don't agree with all of their positions, they are a very effective organization and have helped take down many unjust laws.

(and thank you again, Slashdot, for the five minute wait between posts).

The ACLU is horribly ideological.

Ever see them helping support 2nd Amendment rights?

For the ACLU, some rights are more equal than others.

Re:What took them so long? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392789)

Some rights have more focused, specific advocacy groups which are in a better position to lobby for and defend those rights. If someone else can do a better job, why waste resources on the same thing when other rights don't have their own advocacy and lobbying group?

Re:What took them so long? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392887)

Ya, because gays dont have their own advocacy groups already do they?

Re:What took them so long? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392239)

Oh, it had to happen to someone important and/or with money.

Actually, it took someone with evidence; FTFA: "Bierfeldt recorded the audio of the entire incident with his iPhone."

Re:What took them so long? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392443)

It also doesn't hurt that he was traveling in connection with a political campaign. That helps raise other issues directly to the court, such as 1. interfering with a business (so the densest conservative can understand it) 2. creating a chilling effect for those who wish to work on a political campaign (so the densest liberals can understand it) and 3. it was someone who can clearly prove where the money came from and where it was going (so the densest independent can understand it).

Based on the recent Supreme Court ruling concerning DNA, it seems you really have to get all the pieces together so that a judge with a particular political axe to grind won't just ignore their duties and pull the case in a wrongheaded direction.

mod parent up please! (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392763)

standing is the other primary obstacle to getting your case heard other than evidence.

Good thing it wasn't O'hare (2, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392839)

FTFA: "Bierfeldt recorded the audio of the entire incident with his iPhone."

That's a felony in Illinois, and the recording would have been inadmissable in court. Yes, my legislators are liars who don't want to be caught doing something dishonest because of recorded proof. Of course, my previous Governor is headed to court (then hopefully prison) and the guy before that is sitting in prison right now.

And people wonder why our country is in such bad shape...

Re:Good thing it wasn't O'hare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392897)

Uh, no.

Read your laws a bit. It's illegal to record audio over the phone without the other party's consent. In person, not so much. It might be hard to get admitted to court but you can easily question things related to what was recorded to essentially bring the information into the case anyway.

Or, the other route: if they recorded anything (as they are legally obligated to do so), then you also have the same right. It's not a one way street. There are finite details in this that a lawyer could correct me on and comment on, so please, lawyers, correct away.

Re:What took them so long? (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392307)

Oh, it had to happen to someone important and/or with money.

More like it happened to someone who knew they didn't have to answer a single question from some inexperienced TSA "officials." When he told them he didn't have to tell them why he had the money the Agent allegedly replied, "Well I'll tell you what. . . . You might not be legally required to tell me that but you will be legally required to tell the police officer who will come talk to you. I'm just trying to ask some questions to figure out what all this is about so I can get you on your plane. But you want to play smart ass, and I'm not going to play your f---ing game." Here's the transcript from his following detention (note that this is the ACLU's hosted complaint):

Agent: Is there a reason you're not answering any questions
Bierfeldt: I'm not refusing to answer any
Agent: I want you to see it from my -- from what we're seeing, you come in with some money but you don't want to answer any questions about how much it is that's in your possession.
Bierfeldt: I don't know.
Agent: Is it a secret why you have the money or something?
Bierfeldt: I don't know the exact amount â" you're asking where my employment is, I'm simply asking whether I'm legally required to answer
Agent: Well may I ask, the question is, why do you have this money? That's the question, that's the major question.
Bierfeldt: Yes sir, and I'm asking whether I'm legally required to answer that question.
Agent: Answer that question first, why do you have this money?
Bierfeldt: Am I legally required to answer that question?
Agent: So you refuse to answer that question?
Bierfeldt: No sir, I'm not refusing.
Agent: Well you're not answering.
Bierfeldt: I'm simply asking my rights under the law.
Agent: I'm asking you a question and in return you're asking me a question. You're not answering it.

And then later:

Agent: Why do you have all this money?
Bierfeldt: That's my, I asked you sir, am I required by law to answer the question.
Agent: I'm just asking you why you have $4700?
Bierfeldt: That's my question, I don't understand the law.
Agent: You want to talk to DEA about it? They'll probably ask you more questions.
Bierfeldt: If they can tell me if I'm required to answer by law the question, I'll answer the question. I'm just looking for a simple yes or no.
Agent: It's just a simple question. I just want to know why you have $4700 on you, that's not a usual thing. . . .
Second Agent: He's refusing to answer any questions, he don't want to answer so, we [sic] gonna have to take him down to the station.
Agent: I mean yeah, that's suspicious.
Second Agent: DEA, FBI, and all those
Agent: Every one of them.
Second Agent: So we can do that.

Sounds pretty much how I'd react if you caught me in a really bad mood.

True: this all could have been avoided if the staffer had told them who he was working for and where the money came from. False: the staffer was required by law to divulge this information. I'm sure these guys are used to civilians rolling over for them everyday but if you ask me they're too used to being able to take your shit to another room and hold you there because they are bored.

Re:What took them so long? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392547)

Oh, it had to happen to someone important and/or with money.

Yeah, because $4300 makes you rich and powerful! And it wasn't even his money.

Re:What took them so long? (-1, Troll)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392759)

I'd rather my plane not blow up or get hi-jacked. If that means someone needs to get searched then so be it. Planes are private property - if you don't like it don't fly on it. You can always drive to your destination, or take a boat ride.

Re:What took them so long? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392821)

Or, you could drive, rather than demand that my rights get trampled on.

Re:What took them so long? (5, Insightful)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392833)

I'd rather my plane not blow up or get hi-jacked. If that means someone needs to get searched then so be it. Planes are private property - if you don't like it don't fly on it. You can always drive to your destination, or take a boat ride.

Yes...they are private property. So WTF is the federal government doing getting their noses involved?

Re:What took them so long? (3, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392869)

I'd rather not be treated like a criminal when flying, and allow the government to violate my rights. Planes are private property - if you don't like it don't fly on it. You can always drive to your destination, or take a boat ride.

Re:What took them so long? (2, Informative)

timster (32400) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392877)

The current airport security regime in the US is a creation of the federal government, not the airplane owners, so I'm not sure what relevance your comment that "planes are private property" has.

Choice of cases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392179)

Why would they go after a metal box case? It's the one instance I could see the TSA legitimizing the search saying "we can't see what's in the box with the x-ray machine, could you come here an open it up for us." Seems like there'd be easier cases with the other abuses in with the TSA.

Re:Choice of cases? (2, Informative)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392225)

I know this is slashdot, but RTFA for details of how this guy was harassed. He was not kindly told to "come here an open it up for us".

Re:Choice of cases? (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392387)

DHS is just a solution looking for a problem.

Re:Choice of cases? (4, Insightful)

r_naked (150044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392597)

No, they ARE the problem and they are looking to create more problems. They are the solution to nothing...

Re:Choice of cases? (1)

rhathar (1247530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392243)

Because that's only the first step. They picked this case for the following steps. In such an instance they question the passenger as to why they have the cash and then detain them since having large amounts of currency is 'suspicious'.

Re:Choice of cases? (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392809)

Unless the metal was lead or something obscenly thick (not possible if the person carried it) why couldn't they see through it?

Why, oh why. (1, Interesting)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392219)

I hate the ACLU with a passion, however and as in this case, they have their uses.

It is not illegal to carry around large sums of money. Of course if you do, law enforcement will take it away saying it's drug related and you have to fight to get it back.

Finally, why didn't he just convert the cash to a money order or cashiers check?

Re:Why, oh why. (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392267)

Why do you hate the ACLU with a passion?

Re:Why, oh why. (-1, Flamebait)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392309)

Well, I don't like them because they keep forgetting about the Second Amendment.

Re:Why, oh why. (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392359)

They don't forget about it. They just take a neutral stance.

Re:Why, oh why. (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392449)

How can a "American Civil Liberties Union" that is really interested in protecting said liberties take a "neutral" stance on one of my liberties ... and more often than not, an anti-liberty stance, in that case?

If you are supposed to fighting for my liberties, I hope you don't take a "neutral" stance on whether or not I should receive said liberties.

The problem is, the ACLU isn't just about liberties. They have a political position, and certain things rub their political position the wrong way. They are all for liberty and freedom, to a fault IMO, with some aspects (e.g., abortion). Totally not in some other cases (e.g., homeschooling/gun laws).

Re:Why, oh why. (3, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392463)

How can a "American Civil Liberties Union" that is really interested in protecting said liberties take a "neutral" stance on one of my liberties ... and more often than not, an anti-liberty stance, in that case?

Well, they do have to pick their battles. Also, nothing is stopping you from being a member (or just supporting) both the ACLU and the NRA (other than the perhaps strange looks you would get from people in both groups).

Re:Why, oh why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392553)

Last I checked, flying on private carriers wasn't a civil liberty either. Another "chosen battle?"

Re:Why, oh why. (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392657)

Last I checked, freedom from illegal searches, regardless of the pretext for the search, was.

Re:Why, oh why. (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392567)

I am a member of both. Both organizations do an excellent job, IMNSHO, of trying to protect our rights as American citizens.

Re:Why, oh why. (2, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392645)

I know far more people with a center or left leaning political persuasion that 'bear arms' than right wingers. They refuse to support the NRA because of its political leanings and they don't support the ACLU because it does them no good. Think of how badly the NRA's support base would be undermined if a politically neutral organization was available for second amendment support. The only NRA members left would be the right wing-nuts.

Re:Why, oh why. (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392803)

What? Don't give the lunatic a reasonable solution to his problem! Hate is the source of his power! Only a liberal like you would try to rob him of his God-given right to hate.

Re:Why, oh why. (1, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392515)

The second ammendment has more than enough supporters and lobbyists, to a fault, to need the ACLU's help. Let them concentrate on the issues that don't happen to have a group consisting of over four million people (which the 2nd ammendement most certainly does in the form of the NRA) playing watchdog over them.

Re:Why, oh why. (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392651)

Well that and there's the NRA who's focus in the 2nd amendment... so perhaps they figure that right is already covered well by another group.

Re:Why, oh why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392371)

Well, I don't like them because they keep forgetting about the Second Amendment.

So, you hate the ACLU with a passion because the NRA exists. Fantastic.

They haven't forgot about the 2nd Amendment (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392403)

It's just take a number and they aren't finished defending the First Amendment yet.

Re:Why, oh why. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392469)

Yeah, if ONLY there was a well funded, powerful organization that defended second amendment rights. Oh woe are me an my fellow militia men!

Re:Why, oh why. (5, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392521)

So you would rather the ACLU divide their resources so they can spend even less time on all the 1st amendment cases to fight for the right to bear arms when there is already several organizations that devote time and money to 2nd amendment challenges?

Personally I think if you believe that's a good idea you're a fool. If you want to devote your money to second amendment challenges then send your money into one of the dozen or more organizations solely devoted to the 2nd amendment, like the NRA. It would be foolish for the ACLU to divide their limited resources to action on the 2nd when there are so many more challenges to the 1st, 4th,, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th that they need to devote money to and there are so many other organizations whose sole focus is the 2nd. There are very few organizations that spend as much effort on 1st let alone even care about the others. Only a fool would hate the ACLU for being pragmatic about distribution of their limited funds to challenges where they are the only organization working on them.

Your statement about the ACLU working on 2nd amendment challenges is as silly as someone asking the NRA to work on 1st amendment issues.

Re:Why, oh why. (5, Insightful)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392675)

If the ACLU's position was strictly, "We feel there already is a capable organisation defending this right, please see the NRA" then I'm sure the OP wouldn't have an objection. It's when they actively post a non-liberty response [aclu.org] to the amendment that the OP is complaining about. They've chose a very restrictive view of this liberty ("restrictive" == "opposite of liberty"), and that's what the OP is complaining about.

Further, they even post that, "in [their] view, neither the possession of guns nor the regulation of guns raises a civil liberties issue." The OP contends that this actually is a civil liberties issue, so takes offense that the ACLU would narrowly define civil liberties to just the ones they like - which seems to be exactly the opposite of what they purport to defend. It's the American Civil Liberties Union, damnit, not the American Civil Liberties That We Like Union.

At least, that's what I think the OP meant.

Re:Why, oh why. (2, Interesting)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392537)

The 2nd amendment is well defended. The NRA has more than enough clout to ensure that. There is no need for the ACLU to use precious resources defending it when there are so many other constitutional issues that need defending.

Re:Why, oh why. (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392843)

it'd be nice if they'd each file amici briefs for each other's cases. the one defends the bulk of our liberties and the other defends the last line of defense of those liberties.

Re:Why, oh why. (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392587)

Well, I don't like them because they keep forgetting about the Second Amendment.

The NRA and others already fight for those issues.

It doesn't require the ACLU to push for these things when you have Charleton Heston et al.

Hating the ACLU because they're not pushing for gun rights is kinda pointless.

Cheers

Re:Why, oh why. (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392615)

So you hate them because they don't fight ALL your battles for you?
This point of view never made any sense to me. You hate them with a passion because they do great good, fighting for our collective rights, but there is one area you are interested in that they do not actively fight for, so you hate them? Yeah... that makes sense.

Re:Why, oh why. (2, Informative)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392271)

Finally, why didn't he just convert the cash to a money order or cashiers check?

Well the article states that he was returning from a Campaign for Liberty event with the ticket sales, concessions, etc. so maybe he didn't have time to convert it to anything else.

Re:Why, oh why. (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392305)

I hate the ACLU with a passion,

Oh yeah, you gotta hate those guys who spend their time trying to stop the government from trampling on people's rights.

Re:Why, oh why. (4, Funny)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392639)

As a seasoned Internet tough guy and self proclaimed Culture Warrior (see:ireadorielly--notthetechpublisher) it is my duty to tell you the truth about the ACLU; they aren't interested in your rights, they're interested in aiding the Secular Progressive to turn America into an Atheist Communist Regigm with Rush Limbaugh as as brilliant comrade autocratic leader, and where Christians will be shot on sight -- except Muslims, they can teach Islam in school.

Re:Why, oh why. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392861)

BRILLIANT! Mod up +1 Funny! Best laugh I've had all week!

Re:Why, oh why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392327)

I hate the ACLU with a passion, however and as in this case, they have their uses.

I too hate groups like the ACLU who stand up for our constitutional rights. Let me guess, you're one of those right-wing fucktards who thinks the ACLU is anti-Christian even though they've defended numerous Christians against improper limiting of their right to free practice of their religion.

Re:Why, oh why. - Indeed. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392367)

Finally, why didn't he just convert the cash to a money order or cashiers check?

Unless you have an account with a bank, they won't do it.

Two, that's NOT for you to say. I agree carrying that much cash isn't the wisest thing to do, but unfortunately, the way the banks are, cash gets an IMMEDIATE credit to your account whereas a check, regardless of who issues it, means at least a ten day hold on the funds. Also, maybe this guy wanted to make a political statement and actually have grounds to sue the TSA. He actually put his ass on the line and is doing something about it; which more than I can say about your typical Slashdot pontificating whiner.

Three, I hate the ACLU with a passion.

Why?!? Did they defend a certain segment of the population that you hate? Like a black person? Or a homosexual? Or is it because they fought a town for putting up a nativity scene? Or is it because of their stance on gun rights? Even then, to hate them over that?!

You listen to AM radio, don't you.

Re:Why, oh why. - Indeed. (1)

TinFoilMan (1371973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392487)

Unless you have an account with a bank, they won't do it.

the way the banks are, cash gets an IMMEDIATE credit to your account whereas a check, regardless of who issues it, means at least a ten day hold on the funds.

A. Every grocery store in America issues money orders.
B. Cashier's checks are typically deposited immediately. Typically Money Orders are deposited after they post.
C. There are a number of banks that will give you a cashier's check even without a back account at that bank.
D. With a business account, who cares if it takes ten days to clear, that's the cost of doing business.

wrong about cashier's checks and money orders (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392747)

The Federal Reserve Board's explanation http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/regcc/regcc.htm#determin/ [federalreserve.gov] of Regulation CC "Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks" is clear that funds availability is the same for U.S. Postal Service money orders and cashier's checks.

Furthermore, banks are permitted to withhold availability of funds from a deposit until the next business day regardless of whether the deposit was a money order, cashier's check *OR* cash. But banks can use additional excuses (esp. "reasonable cause to doubt the collectibility" what with the recent spate of cashier's check scams) to delay funds availability from either cashier's check deposits or money order deposits while they cannot delay funds availability from cash deposits beyond the business day after deposit.

Re:Why, oh why. - Indeed. (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392513)

Unless you have an account with a bank, they won't do it.

Not true. I paid a security deposit with a cashier's check I got by walking up to a bank where I did not have an account and handing the teller $2800 in cash. There is a fee involved, though.

I agree carrying that much cash isn't the wisest thing to do, but unfortunately, the way the banks are, cash gets an IMMEDIATE credit to your account whereas a check, regardless of who issues it, means at least a ten day hold on the funds.

If your bank holds funds you have deposited via check for 10 days, you should get a new bank. I typically have access to funds deposited by check by the next day, two days at the most, without any holds.

Re:Why, oh why. (2, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392527)

I hate the ACLU with a passion, however and as in this case, they have their uses.

This is why I give money to the NRA. People like this guy are the first to form a mob when some demagogue starts telling them to go after a scapegoat. I hope if anything good is to come out of the recent wash of right-wing terrorism, it is convincing liberals of the danger of these kooks and the necessity of the second amendment to keep them in line.

Re:Why, oh why. (4, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392551)

Why should he have to pay a fee to transmute the money from one form to another? He was as a fund raising event where he was making a lot of small, cash transactions (selling t-shirts, etc.) He wasn't doing anything illegal and the money was obtained via lawful activities. This whole, "Assumed guilty until you pay a lawyer to prove otherwise" way of doing business in this country is a complete load of shit. I'm glad that the Ron Paul staffer stood up for his rights and I'm glad that the ACLU is championing his cause. The TSA is there to make sure that the planes are safe, and that the people boarding the planes aren't going to try to bring them down. Other than that, they need to GTFO with their wanna be law enforcement procedures.

To my knowledge, the only time you have to declare currency is on international flights and on amounts over $10,000.

Re:Why, oh why. (0, Troll)

TinFoilMan (1371973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392697)

Why mod Troll?

The parent made some good points and sparked a lovely amount of good comment.

Sometimes I think modders have their heads way up their arses and can't see the trees for the forest. They did the same thing last night to someone who posted a decent post and generated 185 responses.

Re:Why, oh why. (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392729)

I hate the ACLU with a passion

Then you hate liberty and freedom. The ACLU's entire purpose is the protection of YOUR liberty.

Finally, why didn't he just convert the cash to a money order or cashiers check?

Google "Ron Paul".

Re:Why, oh why. (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392853)

Hm absolutely wrong. If you carry more then 10,000$ then you have to show how you got the money. When you go to the bank and withdraw or deposit $10,000 or more they will ask you to fill out a form (you have to by law). You get a copy of this form. Keep it with you when you go on the plane and the TSA can suck it. Don't have this letter (e.g. you've been saving money underneath your bed) and the secret service will ask you questions. They CANNOT take your money away from you unless they have cause that you received it illegally. They can detaine you and make you miss your flight...so if it's worth it for you then argue with them.

Hmmm (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392275)

Sounds like someone was just asking for a fight at the airport.

You carry money in a money belt, not a metal box.

Re:Hmmm (4, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392459)

I don't know. I used to work for someone who sold stuff at computer shows on the weekend. We would carry cash in a metal box. It is frequently known as a cashbox. It had a lock on the front and dividers in it to separate various denominations. I can easily see someone in the situation described transporting the money in a cahsbox (which could easily be described as a "metal box",

$4,700 doesn't even require a CMIR (4, Informative)

Queltor (45517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392331)

If he was carrying over $10,000 they could have reminded him of his legal obligation to file a CMIR. But he wasn't. Carrying $4,700 isn't a reportable event and is none of the TSA's business. (In case you don't know banking regulations: 31 CFR 103.23 requires that a CMIR be filed by anyone who transports, mails, ships or receives, or attempts, causes or attempts to cause the transportation, mailing, shipping or receiving of currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000, from or to a place outside the United States. The term ``monetary instruments'' includes currency and instruments such as negotiable instruments endorsed without restriction. See 31 CFR 103.11(k).)

Re:$4,700 doesn't even require a CMIR (5, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392407)

If he was carrying over $10,000 they could have reminded him of his legal obligation to file a CMIR. (...) from or to a place outside the United States

It was a domestic flight.

Re:$4,700 doesn't even require a CMIR (1)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392755)

Wait until gold is over $10,000 an ounce...

Re:$4,700 doesn't even require a CMIR (1)

Queltor (45517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392893)

If he was carrying over $10,000 they could have reminded him of his legal obligation to file a CMIR. (...) from or to a place outside the United States

It was a domestic flight.

That just makes the TSA doubly wrong. I pointed out the CMIR regulation because IF he was traveling internationally and IF he was carrying over $10,000 the TSA might have a reason to get involved. Neither condition existed.

Re:$4,700 doesn't even require a CMIR (1)

lastomega7 (1060398) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392423)

[Citation Nee---

Er...

Shoot.

Re:$4,700 doesn't even require a CMIR (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392451)

And as you note, a CMIR only apply when you transport over $10k in or out of the U.S. Sounds like the Ron Paul staffer would have been on a domestic flight, so that should not have even been an issue.

Re:$4,700 doesn't even require a CMIR (1)

Queltor (45517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392593)

You're right. The article doesn't specifically say, but I also assumed he was flying domestically. I only noted the CMIR regulation because that's the only way I could think of that TSA has a reason to be invoved. This wasn't international OR over $10,000 meaning TSA was doubly wrong.

Re:$4,700 doesn't even require a CMIR (1)

n00854180t (866096) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392483)

He was traveling within the US, no? I know you have to file one for amounts >= $10k when traveling internationally (either arriving or leaving).

Is it still $10,000? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392489)

After 9/11 I thought they lowered it to $10.000.

OK, seriously, I thought they lowered it for international travel to something like $5,000 but I couldn't find confirmation on that.

I don't think there is a limit for domestic travel BUT it would be wise to declare it with the airlines at least 24 hours before you boarded. It's also wise from a practical standpoint to either give up your rights and cooperate with the agents asking questions you have a right to not answer, or plan your itinerary such that you can miss your flight.

The bottom line:
Unless you are deliberately out to "test the system" you will just make your life miserable with nothing to show for it. On the other hand, if you are out to test the system and embarrass the TSA then by all means enforce your rights. Bonus if you have a reporter or better yet a live microphone/broadcasting cellphone with you at the time so people can listen in as its happening.

Re:Is it still $10,000? (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392611)

Unless you are deliberately out to "test the system" you will just make your life miserable with nothing to show for it.

You can't put a stop to official abuse unless you stand up to it. And, much as I disagree with Ron Paul and his supporters on just about every policy issue, that seems to be something that he and they understand and prioritize more than most people.

Yes, it sometimes involves personal inconvenience. That people are too interested in avoiding any inconvenience to stand on their rights is exactly what people who would whittle away at those rights rely on.

Re:Is it still $10,000? (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392745)

It's also wise from a practical standpoint to either give up your rights and cooperate with the agents asking questions you have a right to not answer, or plan your itinerary such that you can miss your flight.

No, the wise thing to do is stand up and defend your rights, because if you don't, the government will continue to trample them.

What is your goal? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392813)

If your goal is to ensure future travelers won't be bothered, the wise thing to do is make a stink.

If your goal is to make it to your destination on time the wise thing to do is cooperate.

If you want to do both, plan your departure several days earlier than you need it.

Pick your battles.

Re:$4,700 doesn't even require a CMIR (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392707)

Was this an international trip? If not, according to what you stated above, he has no reason to file a CMIR even if he was carrying over $10,000. And if it was an international flight (and he was carrying over $10,000), it should be handled by customs, not by the TSA. TSA agents should be focused on preventing items and people from getting on flights that pose a direct threat to that flight.

Source of $$$ (1)

futureb (1075733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392395)

About 10 ounces of legalized [ahem] medication.

It's a sign (-1, Troll)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392477)

That the security theatre is what it is. The country that the USA thinks it is isn't that.
Since 9/11 things haven't changed for the better and Os^Hbama doesn't make change.
Of course we see green shoots so we think it's over and we don't change the system.

TSA people are not legally informed (5, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392525)

Having spent time with the TSA, I can tell you first-hand that most TSA people are completely uninformed about their jobs, the law or just about anything they are doing. A TSA screener with half a brain wouldn't have done anything more than call in local law enforcement to perform any interrogations. There are standing instructions to inform law enforcement of anything including large quantities of cash. As to the performance of interrogations? Last time I was there, such things were never instructed. TSA screeners are not law enforcement.

The whole idea of "Department of Homeland Security" is born of a paranoid consolidation of power. It has done more to harm the efficiency of law enforcement and emergency services than it has done to help. The DHS should be dismantled and the pre 9-11 condition restored.

I am okay with government security screening, but only as far as their primary mission. If they do see anything else questionable, the ONLY proper action should be to inform actual law enforcement. "To observe and report."

Re:TSA people are not legally informed (0, Redundant)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392855)

"I am okay with government security screening,..."

I am not.

Re:TSA people are not legally informed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392857)

There are standing instructions to inform law enforcement of anything including large quantities of cash. As to the performance of interrogations? Last time I was there, such things were never instructed. TSA screeners are not law enforcement.

Well, hopefully this case will more clearly circumscribe their reach.

If the TSAs job is to screen for aircraft safety, they have no business whatsoever in reporting moneys which are being legally transported by citizens within the country -- they're simply over-reaching their mandate.

A lot of people won't even consider flying into, over, or through the US anymore because of this draconian security bullshit going on there.

For a non-citizen, you might as well have landed in Iran or Burma in terms of how arbitrarily they can and will detain you.

Re:TSA people are not legally informed (3, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392917)

TSA screeners are not law enforcement.

No, but they do watch television programs like Law and Order and CSI where unconstitutional searches of the "bad guys" and roughing up suspects in interrogation are common story elements. Unfortunately, these TSA knuckle draggers are unable to distinguish reality from fantasy when the arrive back at work the next day and so proceed to "interrogate" a suspect like the crew on Law and Order or CSI might instead of actually doing what would otherwise be a boring rent-a-cop security job.

United States of America v. $124,700 (5, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392623)

On a related note, see

United States of America v. $124,700, in U.S. Currency [uscourts.gov] , United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, No. 05-3295, August 18, 2006.

Re:United States of America v. $124,700 (4, Funny)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392727)

Wow, it appears the $124,700 took the Fifth. Ballsy move there.

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