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TSA Changes Its Rules, ACLU Lawsuit Dropped

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the get-off-my-plane dept.

Transportation 285

ndogg writes "Earlier this year, there was much ado about a Ron Paul staffer, Steve Bierfeldt, being detained by the TSA for carrying large sums of money. The ACLU sued on his behalf, and the TSA changed its rules, now stating that its officers can only screen for unsafe materials. With that, the ACLU dropped its suit. '[Ben Wizner, a staff lawyer for the ACLU, said] screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep weapons and explosives off planes, not to help police enforce other laws.'"

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Maybe it's just me (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099334)

Personally, I'd have rather have a legal precedent set VS a rule that can be changed back.

Also: (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099376)

TSA spokeswoman Lauren Gaches said the new "internal directives" are meant to ensure their screeners are consistent. She acknowledged the policy on large sums of cash had changed, but wouldn't provide a copy of either document. She said the directives would not be released unless a Freedom Of Information Act request was submitted by The Washington Times.

Fuck that.

Re:Also: (3, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099642)

This seems to be another exemption from President Obama's promise of transparency in government. In fact, I'm not sure I'm able to distinguish his policies from his predecessor's.

-Peter

Re:Also: (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099686)

If you think his ability to make changes is so great that he could have changed everything by now, you are a damn fool. If you vote as if politicians will quickly achieve all of their stated goals regardless of the opposition they may face, you are poison.

(I voted for Obama, but mostly because he wasn't McCain-Palin, not because I thought he was going to be so different than his predecessors)

Re:Also: (2, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099748)

(I voted for Obama, but mostly because he wasn't McCain-Palin, not because I thought he was going to be so different than his predecessors)

I did too. I kind of wish McCain of 2000 was running in the last election instead of McCain of 2008.

Re:Also: (2, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099750)

>

(I voted for Obama, but mostly because he wasn't McCain-Palin, not because I thought he was going to be so different than his predecessors)

This is the problem with have in politics today. You do not have to be good, or compliant to win. Just not %otherparty. I have had enough of this, and that is why I did not vote for McCain. The little (r) was not enough, and I refuse to vote for people just because they do not eat babies.

(For the record, I voted Libertarian this time.)

Re:Also: (1, Offtopic)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099842)

I wasn't any more impressed with Barr than the other two (and Nader would be Obama without any of the sanity). FWIW, this is a 'voting booth' behavior for me, not a general behavior, I give consideration to each candidate prior to the election, and so forth, I would argue that party-line voters are a much more significant problem than I am.

Re:Also: (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099980)

You do not have to be good, or compliant to win. Just not %otherparty

That is the reason I chose NOT to vote. Neither side earned my vote so neither side got it.

Re:Also: (3, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100072)

Do you know that there are more than two sides? You could have voted for any of the dozens of other individuals/parties running for President. I voted for the Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr.

did not vote at all? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30100242)

The only office you consider voting for, then backed down, was for the federal office of president?

You did not vote for your federal level house rep or senators, or any state/county/city level offices?

Some white guy in a wig, now long dead, once said: "We do not have a government of the majority. We have a government of the majority who choose to participate."

Re:Also: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30100246)

Neither side earned my vote so neither side got it.

There are more than two sides.

Re:Also: (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099914)

If you think his ability to make changes is so great that he could have changed everything by now, you are a damn fool.

I don't think he can change everything, but the TSA is part of the Executive Branch.
Obama is the Executive. As Executive, he can issue "Executive Orders" telling them what to do.
Oh wait! He did! [whitehouse.gov]

January 21, 2009
...
All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.

The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. They should not wait for specific requests from the public. All agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government. Disclosure should be timely.

This isn't a problem with Obama, it's a problem with the TSA and their culture of secrecy.

Re:Also: (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099990)

Well, the fact that the TSA hasn't changed their culture is a pretty bald statement of exactly how powerful the President is (and it demonstrates that there is a difference between his legal powers and his powers to change reality).

Re:Also: (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100216)

Of how powerful he is or of how dedicated to his stated position he is?

Re:Also: (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100026)

This isn't a problem with Obama, it's a problem with the TSA and their culture of secrecy.

Sure sounds like it. The spokesperson essentially admitted that they would disclose it in response to a FOIA request and Obama's order essentially says that if it would be released under FOIA, then just release it now and skip the song-and-dance. The TSA complains that it is unfairly maligned, but insisting on the song-and-dance like that is exactly the kind of BS that makes people lose any faith or confidence in the agency that they might have had.

Re:Also: (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100206)

His administration is actively fighting to hide many things still [dslreports.com] . Remove your rose-colored glasses. The only difference is that Obama wants to take your money and give it to the poor instead of giving it to the corporations like Bush did.

Re:Also: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099744)

Fixing 8 years of bad policy might take longer than 8 months.

Re:Also: (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099816)

Laughable: The policies set in the past 8 months by Obama are far worse than anything set in the previous 8 years under Bush!

Re:Also: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099660)

The new directives: When in doubt, consult Kafka's The Trial or The Castle.

Re:Also: (3, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099730)

Sounds like it's time to submit a FOIA request.

Re:Also: (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099828)

Double-replying to your comment here due to the fact that I forgot to provide a link to the Freedom of Information Act [state.gov] site.

Re:Also: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30100144)

screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep weapons and explosives off planes, not to help police enforce other laws.'"

Fuck that indeed.

Bush was the worst thing to ever happen to this country. The fact that Obama hasn't fixed it makes him the second worst.

Re:Also: (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100228)

This isn't a new thing, they've had that particular power for a long time now.

Re:Also: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30100284)

So what's stopping them - submit the FOIA request already.

Re:Maybe it's just me (1)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099398)

Me too, but it's still a big fat step in the right direction. Also, I do like the idea of living in a country where changes can be made in favor of the people without having to trudge through the complete litigation process and wrest it from the government's hands. Obviously it wouldn't have happened if that litigation process hadn't been started, but still.

Re:Maybe it's just me (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099400)

I would have to agree with you on that.

Re:Maybe it's just me (1)

burris (122191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099586)

There is plenty of precedent, look up "strict scrutiny" which is applied to 4th amendment exceptions. That's why the TSA changed the rules instead of fighting. They knew they no chance of prevailing.

Re:Maybe it's just me (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099592)

Why do you think the rules were changed in the first place? The system works as follows: Now those rules are changed to avoid a precedent. Then we wait 'til the waves settle and use the time to think up a more bulletproof version, including terrorists, pedophiles and ... well, whatever other boogeyman shows up in the meantime. Then anyone protesting or even arguing against it is vilified.

You didn't get the memo?

Re:Maybe it's just me (1)

Logic Bomb (122875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099594)

My understanding is that one of the primary issues in a civil case is whether there's even an issue that the court can decide. I believe one can ask a court to make a preemptive ruling. However, most of the time if there isn't actually a dispute the court won't hear the case. And since the TSA changed its policies, there's no longer a dispute.

Now, if the detained individual wants to file his own lawsuits for damages and that sort of thing, that's a different issue.

TSA can not "charge" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099722)

TSA can file a criminal complaint (just like you and me) but they can not formally charge anyone.

Their internal directives are their internal directives, they are not 'laws' and can not be enforced in
courts more than any other corporations internal directives and policies. And as such you can go
to jail following them, something the individual TSA employee will want to make sure they don't
walk into these traps as TSA sure does not finance the legal expenses of their employees.

Re:Maybe it's just me (1)

mbstone (457308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099804)

Really. ACLU didn't even insist on a consent decree, they just rolled over based on a directive that can be cancelled tomorrow.

lp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099348)

last post

In other news... (0, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099354)

...people with large sums of money have more freedoms than people who don't.

Re:In other news... (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099386)

...people with large sums of money have more freedoms than people who don't.

He had a large sum of money on him, and as a result was detained for hours and strip-searched, as well as being accused of being a terrorist and denied access to a lawyer or charged with any crime. Meanwhile, the guy who only had $15 and a cracker in his pocket was able to get on the plane. Tell me again how the guy with the money had more freedoms in this case?

Re:In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099448)

I dont have to "tell you again" about your straw-man. Its your straw-man, perhaps you should have given it the ability to speak.

Never-the-less, people with large sums of money have more freedoms than people who don't.

Re:In other news... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099510)

Never-the-less, people with large sums of money have more freedoms than people who don't.

Except in this case, they clearly didn't. GPP's argument wasn't a strawman -- or rather, if you believe it is, explain why; saying "that's a strawman" isn't sufficient.

Re:In other news... (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099528)

I think you need to look up the definition of a straw man argument. It is a hypothetical case introduced containing irrelevant points which is easier to argue against than the original. The grandparent's guy was the man TFA is about, while you were talking about a hypothetical person. If anyone is introducing straw men into the argument, it is you.

Re:In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099558)

containing irrelevant points which is easier to argue against than the original.

An easier thing to argue against, eh?

...such as a single instance where someone with a lot of money has his freedoms lost?

In other news, people with lots of money have more freedoms.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099806)

Ah, so you're not a Troll, you're just Offtopic.

Re:In other news... (-1, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099940)

Following the topic may require that I not only read the summary, but TFA as well. Fuck that.

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

captjc (453680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099548)

I dont have to "tell you again" about your straw-man. Its your straw-man, perhaps you should have given it the ability to speak.

This is my straw-man. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My straw-man is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My straw-man, without me, is useless. Without my straw-man, I am useless. I must use my straw-man true. My straw-man and myself know that what counts in this flamewar is not the illogic we fire, the noise of our post, nor the sense we make. We know that it is the diversion of the argument that count. My straw-man is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, and its straw. I will keep my straw-man clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. Before The Flying Spaghetti Monster I swear this creed. My straw-man and myself are the defenders of the internet. We are the masters of our argument. We are the saviors of my ego. So be it, until victory is mine and there is no enemy, but conformity.

Re:In other news... (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100054)

Parent maybe off topic but I fell outta my chair reading his post. Definitely funny.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099646)

Yes, the exact curcumstances of the events being duscussed is the straw man.

It's not your completely unsupported claim with no relevance to the events at hand that is the straw man.

Hint: yes in lots of situations wealthy people get away with things that poorer people don't. But carrying money and being wealthy are unrelated.

The homeless looking man carrying $100,000 in a sack is going to have far more issues with the cops than the well dressed man with $80 in his wallet.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30100010)

You must be an Obama fantatic the way you misuse the "straw man" argument, as Obama himself misused this argument countless times during the election period.
To restate someone else (in this thread):

It is a hypothetical case introduced containing irrelevant points which is easier to argue against than the original.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099630)

Well, if the guy with a cracker had a bottle of soda instead, the roles would have been reversed but he wouldn't be released with a change of rules to take home.

Re:In other news... (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099944)

Well, if the guy with a cracker had a bottle of soda instead, the roles would have been reversed but he wouldn't be released with a change of rules to take home.

More often than not, that bottle of soda gets chucked into a 30 gallon garbage bin sitting next to the security screeners.
Which tells you how dangerous they really think it is.

Re:In other news... (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099962)

Guys with lots of money don't carry it around.

Re:In other news... (1)

vcgodinich (1172985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099402)

No, the situation is exactly the opposite of that. People who (carry) large sums of money get detained for it. Us poor people are left alone.

Re:In other news... (0)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099530)

No, the situation is exactly the opposite of that. People who (carry) large sums of money get detained for it. Us poor people are left alone.

So this story will likely never affect anyone on slashdot.

Re:In other news... (1)

OnlineAlias (828288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099820)

I, for one, am quite wealthy. I still live in my mom's basement though....

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099886)

In this case a large sum of money to the TSA was $4,300 in a metal box. We're not talking a suitcase with a million dollars. While I don't carry that much cash, someone carrying that much cash isn't uncommon. Business people may carry that much for one reason or another.

As far as I know only Customs asks people about the amount of money carried by a passenger if you are entering a country. Almost no one asks on domestic flights.

Re:In other news... (1)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100186)

It is pretty dumb to stick it in a metal box. That is only 43 notes. You can easily shove that much in a decently broken in wallet or $30 money belt's compartment.

Not that he should have gotten in trouble for such a small amount, just there are smarter ways to transport cash. Having had three suitcases lost by airlines, there is no way in hell I would put even my favorite shirt in a suitcase for the airlines to handle.

Hint; If you are moving american dollars around it is a good idea to rinse and iron them. Too many notes can set off a drug dog due to residues. Plus the ladies will think you are cool when you pull out crisp bills to buy your Starwars action figures.

Re:In other news... (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100266)

Even if he had a million dollars, it's not illegal to transport money domestically. It may not be smart, but it's no business of the government.

the more things change... (3, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099364)

She said the directives would not be released unless a Freedom Of Information Act request was submitted by The Washington Times.

The law is not available for inspection, citizen. Now drop your pants.

Now the TSA will be forced to do their job (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099388)

Which is to create the illusion that the government is doing all it can to protect your security.

Constitution suspended then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099404)

Wait, what? Why do they get a "narrow exception" to abiding by the constitution (fourth amendment)?

Re:Constitution suspended then? (1, Informative)

hedrick (701605) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099460)

There's no exception to the Constitution. The wording was imprecise. It's considered reasonable to prevent people from bringing unsafe substances onto planes. So this is a reasonable search.

Re:Constitution suspended then? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099560)

While I think you're probably right, I have to say, that's a pretty dangerous line of reasoning.

Re:Constitution suspended then? (2)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100280)

I thought that they can search you because flying on a plane is not a constitutional right, and by flying you agree to be searched (within a different set of rules than the 4th amendment).

Re:Constitution suspended then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099690)

There's no exception to the Constitution. The wording was imprecise. It's considered reasonable to prevent people from bringing unsafe substances onto planes. So this is a reasonable search.

No one is claiming the search was unreasonable.

It is the fact that they are acting on the mere possession of $4500 in cash, when it is entirely 100% legal to be carrying $4500 in cash.

$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099430)

I'm surprised the TSA considered $4500 to be a "large sum of money". That's about two weeks of business travel. If that.

With current credit card fees, it may be more cost-effective to carry cash. Even if you get robbed 1% of the time, you're still ahead.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (1)

Bentov (993323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099490)

Nope, just a large sum of money for the average traveler.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099794)

Hardly. Traveling with a few thousand dollars in cash is not unheard of by any means.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (1, Offtopic)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099540)

Maybe you need a better credit card. When I travel abroad and buy things on my card, the exchange rate that I get on my statement has been at least as good as the rate that the bank or post office charged me for cash that I took. And, if it's a business trip, then I claim back expenses based on the amount that appears on my statement.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (2, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099602)

Most business travel stays within the domain the home currency, so that's irrelevant. And there are more fees than just currency conversion markups.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099728)

What are they? I don't have an annual fee, and I haven't had a late fee or an overdraft fee (ever...), and I don't take out cash from ATMs with my credit card (the interest rate they offer on cash is murder). Hell, I pay off my balance every month, so I don't even pay interest.

The only fee I see is slightly higher prices that stores charge to cover the costs of accepting credit, and they usually are charging cash purchases the same price anyway.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100100)

You just listed a bunch of potential. Sure you can get cards without them, you can also get cards with them.

I'm pretty sure the business amex card the wife has has an annual fee for example. I'm also pretty sure that a large set of people carry a balance, by accident, once every so often.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099756)

What credit card are you using? No credit card I have has any fee other than late charges and interest.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30100262)

The merchant pays a fee for every transaction and there is a minimum charge. In places like Peru this means the merchant would end up paying $1.00 for a $2.13 dinner. For this reason many merchants there charged extra for using a credit card.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099588)

There is a law that says you can't carry more thank $10,000 in an out of the country but carrying around a lot of cash in the U.S is not illegal. It does however make a person a tempting target for abuse of civil forfeiture laws by unethical police.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (5, Informative)

BigForbis (757364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099698)

The law is not that you cannot carry more the $10,000 in or out of the country, but simply that you must declare it to customs when you transport more than $10,000 in and out of the country.

Re:$4500 a "large sum of money" for travel? (2, Informative)

movercast (1037472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099732)

When traveling into the US from a foreign country (this obviously does NOT apply to domestic travel, but good to know) 10. How much cash may I bring with me for my trip? There is no limit on the total amount of money or monetary instruments that may be brought into or taken out of the United States. However, if you transport or cause to be transported, more than $10,000 in monetary instruments on any occasion into or out of the United States, or if you receive more than that amount, in behalf of someone else and then transport it, you must file a Customs Form 4790 [fincen.gov] with U.S. Customs. Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal penalties, including seizure of the currency or monetary instruments. Monetary instruments include U.S. or foreign coins, currency, traveler's checks, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form are all considered when determining the total $10,000 reporting requirement.

What other laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099504)

It isn't illegal to carry cash... so what are these "other" laws the TSA screeners are trying to enforce?

You do have to declare large amounts of cash when you go across the border, but this was a domestic flight. No disclosure needed.

What if they find drugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099522)

What happens now if the TSA's screening finds drugs, or even worse, marijuana?

I used to fly with pot all the time, but these days it hasn't been worth it. With this rule change it appears that it would be something not to really worry about.

Re:What if they find drugs? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099856)

What happens now if the TSA's screening finds drugs, or even worse, marijuana?

I suppose the same thing that happens in other cases where drugs are found by illegal searches. They keep the stuff, but you walk free.

Re:What if they find drugs? (1)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100086)

Not so sure !

Whether the 4th amendment applies or not is irrelevant. The 4th amendment just states that legislative power (The Congress) cannot pass into law any legislation that would allow unreasonable searches. However, in the case of airport searches, the mandate of the TSA is to prevent individuals from boarding aircrafts with potentially dangerous items/material.

So far so good. The TSA has some tools to detect any potential threat and/or will exercise their judgement to do just that. If they trigger a positive, they may possibly search you since the search is no longer "unreasonable".

The question is : what do they do if, while exercising their mandate, they find something that's illegal to possess (or any solid indication that you are carrying out illegal activities) ?

First of all, in *this* particular case, they most probably went beyond their mandate and should be charged with illegal detention. Not only was the principal not posing any threat to the aircraft, but he wasn't even doing anything illegal, *UNLESS* of course if the undisclosed recommendation to the TSA was indicating that carrying more than a certain amount of money was to be considered as an indication of a possible misdeed.

The question that arises now is : what happens if they figure out something illegal is taking place while not being a specific immediate danger to the well being of the aircraft and its passengers ? If TSA personel *does* have judiciary police power, then they may very well detain you on the ground that you have been caught red handed performing some illegal activity. If TSA personnel does NOT have judiciary power, they may simply relay to the proper jurisdiction the fact and let you go (just to have you caught on the other side of the door by - say - some DEA agents, airport police, the county Sheriff Department, or the FBI of you are committing a Federal Offense !). They may *actually* have to report the offense lest they be charged with accessory to the offense !

--Ivan

B 'fing' S (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099550)

"screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment"
what the eff do we have a Fourth Amendment for? You can actually get 'narrow exceptions' to the fundamental rights? Isn't this step one BIG step towards, "you have freedom of speech except that we have a *narrow exception* to that rule to forbids political statements that paint the current regime in a bad light" kind of crap? How about, ' There are 171,476 words in the english language, you cannot use these 100 words as we have a narrow exception to your freedom of speech. thats only .06% of the total words available so that is how we measure *narrow exception*

You know who I blame for this? YOU(me). When was the last time any of us rioted in the streets to stop this kind of BS? been a while huh? wonder why the Gov. can pass anything they like on a whim? The only people they answer to is themselves.

yeah im anonymous, dont need any door knockers this afternoon if you know what I mean. and if your clueless, I dont mean mormons, jahova's, or the schwanz man.

Re:B 'fing' S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099670)

I think the answer to when the last time we had any balls is Boston. you know, the tea party. That's probably the last time we had any real motivation to have freedom because we deserve it, and because its ours. Maybe the circumstances were different but people saw the crap and did something about it.

Interpretation, not exception (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099714)

You can actually get 'narrow exceptions' to the fundamental rights?

No, it's not an exception to the Fourth Amendment. It's only an interpretation that looking for guns and explosives when people board a plane does not constitute an "unreasonable search and seizure", but looking for anything else is "unreasonable".

 

Re:B 'fing' S (3, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099824)

You know who I blame for this? YOU(me). When was the last time any of us rioted in the streets to stop this kind of BS? been a while huh? wonder why the Gov. can pass anything they like on a whim? The only people they answer to is themselves.

April 15th, July 4th, and September 12th. But it wasn't really a riot, and the numbers vary based on who is telling the story...

Is it now legal to carry large sums of money? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099574)

What if I put $1 million in suitcase, and the TSA found it without specifically screening for it?

Re:Is it now legal to carry large sums of money? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099654)

Is it now legal to carry large sums of money?

Within the US, yes of course it is. Why wouldn't it be?

Re:Is it now legal to carry large sums of money? (4, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100038)

Within the US, yes of course it is. Why wouldn't it be?

Look up how governments use civil forfeiture, and be enlightened.

Re:Is it now legal to carry large sums of money? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100220)

The only catch is that your money might be grabbed at gunpoint by a gang of thieves so powerful that civil authorities are powerless to stop them. They are variously known as "the pigs", "the cops", or even "the police".

Cash is the anonymous proxy for economic networks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099600)

And there is nothing the government hates more than anonymity. Can't tax it, track it and control it unless it is electronic, and traceable. That is why they hate cash so much. The only possible reason for economic anonymity is nefarious. You must be using it to avoid taxation or buy or sell something the government doesn't think you should have or fund terrorists. Cash must be stamped out.

Ok to carry drugs now? (3, Interesting)

Oyjord (810904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099612)

"...screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep weapons and explosives off planes, not to help police enforce other laws."

Hmm. Does this means it's ok now to carry my blow in my pocket when I fly home to visit the folks during Xmas? I'm tired of carrying it...up there.

Re:Ok to carry drugs now? (4, Funny)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099974)

"...screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep weapons and explosives off planes, not to help police enforce other laws."

Hmm. Does this means it's ok now to carry my blow in my pocket when I fly home to visit the folks during Xmas? I'm tired of carrying it...up there.

Probably not. The quote came from the ACLU, and only refers to the limits of governmental authority established in The United States Constitution. The United States government does not operate within the bounds of that charter.

Re:Ok to carry drugs now? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100250)

he United States government does not operate within the bounds of that charter.

Though they will happily use a copy of it to wipe their hands after they search "up there" for your stash.

Re:Ok to carry drugs now? (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100042)

I would give up on using that crap.

But then I don't know your folks...

Re:Ok to carry drugs now? (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100222)

If they happen to find your drugs while looking for weapons, you're probably still going to jail since they actually found something illegal rather than "evidence" of illegal activities.

Gray areas (2, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099762)

My first impression was it was silly and wrong-headed for TSA screeners to be setting themselves up as police proxies - and I do, mostly, still feel that way. But I would certainly want them to notify police under certain circumstances that aren't related to their screening duties. For example, if there was an abducted child for which they had a photo, and a child who looked like that went through the security line, I'd want them to inform the police that someone resembling the kid was boarding a flight - I wouldn't want them to take any additional steps, however.

Basically with regards to police matters they shouldn't do anything a private citizen wouldn't be expected to do in a similar situation.

Only planes? (2, Interesting)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099872)

'[Ben Wizner, a staff lawyer for the ACLU, said] screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep weapons and explosives off planes, not to help police enforce other laws.'

So, how is this any different from:

Police get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep dangerous weapons and illegal drugs off streets/school surroundings/public parks/college campuses/subways/high rise buildings/etc.

Just wondering.

Re:Only planes? (1)

Durandal64 (658649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099978)

As a society, we are more afraid of flying on planes than we are of riding the subway. So we've exchanged our freedoms for what we perceive as security.

Ron Paul supporters can take a deep breath (3, Insightful)

BitHive (578094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099910)

The system basically worked here, the offended party was able to use the system to address his grievance. Let's not forget that for all our bluster about liberty and freedom there are some places where a real politically-motivated detainment could have meant death or worse.

three cheers for Steve Bierfeldt (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100002)

Three cheers for Steve Bierfeldt! Most people are sheep, and wouldn't even think of standing up to authority like this. Of those who aren't sheep, very few would do it despite the inconvenience of missing your flight and the implicit threat of going to jail in a country that no longer thinks it's necessary to give people trials. Listen to the audio [aclu.org] he recorded on his iPhone. The TSA guys are cussing at him, and then you hear a loud noise that sounds like someone pounding on a desk. You can hear the stress in Bierfeldt's voice, but he's not backing down just because it's a psychologically intimidating situation. I consider Steve Bierfeldt to be a hero.

Re:three cheers for Steve Bierfeldt (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100178)

hahaha, "What is Campaign for Liberty?"

A temporary setback (0, Flamebait)

PingXao (153057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100084)

The next Republican president will expand TSA's authority to search for any and all contraband. To think they're going to limit themselves is ludicrous. Big Brother never says, "I don't want to look."

Impact on computer searches? (1)

fgouget (925644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100196)

From the article:

The new rules, issued in September and October, tell officers "screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security"

Does this mean they can no longer go through your computer files?

Re:Impact on computer searches? (2, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100254)

I've never heard of computers being searched on domestic flights. I'm under the impression that that is Customs that performs those searches. So, yes, they will likely continue.

Everyone who thinks that this changes things... (2, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100274)

...is an idiot.^^

Because now, suddenly money is an "unsafe material" (could be fake, could be to pay "terrorists", could be a bomb inside, "I'm just asking questions."(TM)*),
and therefore it is "by definition reasonable".

Who are those people who think they could stop criminals that don't care for the rules of society (laws), by creating yet another law? Are they drunk?

On the other hand... who said they actually want to stop them...? ^^
___
* Trademark of FOX News.

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