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Thread: TSA loses case against man refusing to show ID at US airport

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    TSA loses case against man refusing to show ID at US airport

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01...ger_acquitted/

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    Passenger cleared after TSA checkpoint stare-down
    Alert PrintRetweetFacebookMan fought the law and the law man won

    By Dan Goodin • Get more from this author

    Posted in ID, 25th January 2011 22:27 GMT

    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.

    . . .

    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.

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    He was acquitted by a jury. I am afraid the next person who stands up will not be so lucky. It would be better if there had been a ruling on the law that made the charges go away.

    This case also does not answer the question of whether the man would have (or should have) been allowed to board without showing his ID.

    I am unfamiliar with NM law. Is concealing ID a crime? If so, what would constitute it?

    In AL, even if we are being arrested, we don't have to show ID. At most, the officers, with RAS of a crime, may demand our name and address (and, this is silly, an explanation of our actions). How does it work in NM.

    BTW, good on this guy for being willing to suffer the hassle for standing up for himself.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    My one question is, we may have the right to fly without showing ID (happens on charter flights all the time), how might an average commercial flight passenger actually, as a practical matter, board one's plane without having shown a TSA goon ID?
    Last edited by marshaul; 02-15-2011 at 05:15 PM.

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    screw the TSA, and the camel they rode in on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    My one question is, we may have the right to fly without showing ID (happens on charter flights all the time), how might an average commercial flight passenger actually, as a practical matter, board one's plane without having shown a TSA goon ID?
    When I was younger I used to fly back and forth from Hawaii all the time without ever showing ID, and I bought 2nd hand tickets all the time used to be able to buy tickets from the paper, just show up and fly.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    He was acquitted by a jury. I am afraid the next person who stands up will not be so lucky. It would be better if there had been a ruling on the law that made the charges go away.

    This case also does not answer the question of whether the man would have (or should have) been allowed to board without showing his ID.

    I am unfamiliar with NM law. Is concealing ID a crime? If so, what would constitute it?

    In AL, even if we are being arrested, we don't have to show ID. At most, the officers, with RAS of a crime, may demand our name and address (and, this is silly, an explanation of our actions). How does it work in NM.

    BTW, good on this guy for being willing to suffer the hassle for standing up for himself.
    Hiibel vs. Nevada, no ID required. And a good case that supports your other statements.

    As of yet I don't think any requirements to carry ID is in effect anywhere in U.S. California statue that required it was struck down as "vague".
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    When I was younger I used to fly back and forth from Hawaii all the time without ever showing ID, and I bought 2nd hand tickets all the time used to be able to buy tickets from the paper, just show up and fly.
    Sure, but I just don't quite understand the following remark:

    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.
    Doesn't seem to be practically true today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Hiibel vs. Nevada, no ID required. And a good case that supports your other statements.

    As of yet I don't think any requirements to carry ID is in effect anywhere in U.S. California statue that required it was struck down as "vague".
    Hiibel lost his case. Nevada state law requires a suspect to "identify themselves," stating one's name is sufficient per an earlier Nevada Supreme Court ruling.

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    clear some stuff up

    The Nevada case said that a person has to ID themselvs when there IS a Terry like stop. Idenity though can be said. No ID has to be produced. So saying "I am John Smith" would satisfy the requirement. Anything else like Bday and home is not required. Look it up it is online. This case applies to STOP AND ID STATES!! if your state doesn't have one then I would not worry until you travel through one

    ID to board the Airplane is NOT a TSA policy, however, I don't know what state law says. Here is a Link to the Audio and a letter written from a state representative to the TSA Director and his reply.

    http://www.opencarryradio.com/?p=974
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Hiibel vs. Nevada, no ID required. And a good case that supports your other statements.

    As of yet I don't think any requirements to carry ID is in effect anywhere in U.S. California statue that required it was struck down as "vague".
    Careful there. The case, Kolender vs Lawson, did not strike down a law requiring carrying ID. The law did not require such. The law required a person to give credible identity to a cop without saying what was credible, allowing cops too much latitude to cite a violation. Vague for not telling a suspect what he must do to satisfy the statute, what kinds of identity would satisfy the statute.

    Kolender v Lawson:

    We conclude § 647(e) is unconstitutionally vague on its face because it encourages arbitrary enforcement by failing to describe with sufficient particularity what a suspect must do in order to satisfy the statute.We conclude § 647(e) is unconstitutionally vague on its face because it encourages arbitrary enforcement by failing to describe with sufficient particularity what a suspect must do in order to satisfy the statute.

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/461/352/case.html


    Just as a side note, I have seen at least one state statute that satisfied Kolender by specifying that a suspect must show a state issued ID or drivers license, if he has one on him at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XDSTEEL View Post
    The Nevada case said that a person has to ID themselvs when there IS a Terry like stop. Idenity though can be said. No ID has to be produced. So saying "I am John Smith" would satisfy the requirement. Anything else like Bday and home is not required. Look it up it is online. This case applies to STOP AND ID STATES!! if your state doesn't have one then I would not worry until you travel through one

    ID to board the Airplane is NOT a TSA policy, however, I don't know what state law says. Here is a Link to the Audio and a letter written from a state representative to the TSA Director and his reply.

    http://www.opencarryradio.com/?p=974
    Wow. Showing ID would be less intrusive than what that passenger went through. And the ten minutes saved at security were easily eaten up by all the other stuff the traveler had to do.

    No thanks.

    Oh, and the letter is out of date. It has at least one inaccuracy. Depending upon the specific method of screening chosen by the TSA for a passenger, the passenger may opt out. That part of the letter being incorrect throws the rest of the letter into question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmbushBug View Post
    Hiibel lost his case. Nevada state law requires a suspect to "identify themselves," stating one's name is sufficient per an earlier Nevada Supreme Court ruling.
    Exactly no ID was required. I was showing that in Nevada it is not required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Careful there. The case, Kolender vs Lawson, did not strike down a law requiring carrying ID. The law did not require such. The law required a person to give credible identity to a cop without saying what was credible, allowing cops too much latitude to cite a violation. Vague for not telling a suspect what he must do to satisfy the statute, what kinds of identity would satisfy the statute.


    Just as a side note, I have seen at least one state statute that satisfied Kolender by specifying that a suspect must show a state issued ID or drivers license, if he has one on him at the time.
    Yes again you are more precise, but the police were interpreting this law as they must show credible ID, as in show me your papers.

    I like this opinion by JUSTICE BRENNAN:

    I would hold that this statute violates the Fourth Amendment. [Footnote 2/1] Merely to facilitate the general law enforcement objectives of investigating and preventing unspecified crimes, States may not authorize the arrest and criminal prosecution of an individual for failing to produce identification or further information on demand by a police officer.
    What state is that? And is it only if you are carrying? I carry sterile so would that effect me? Of course the stop would still have to have RAS.
    Last edited by sudden valley gunner; 02-16-2011 at 09:52 AM.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member XDSTEEL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Wow. Showing ID would be less intrusive than what that passenger went through. And the ten minutes saved at security were easily eaten up by all the other stuff the traveler had to do.

    No thanks.

    Oh, and the letter is out of date. It has at least one inaccuracy. Depending upon the specific method of screening chosen by the TSA for a passenger, the passenger may opt out. That part of the letter being incorrect throws the rest of the letter into question.
    Looked Up the TSA "policy" ( yes in quotations) And it still pretty much states that you don't have to ( my interpretation). HOWEVER, like you said you save a lot of "hassle" to getting to the gate if you show your ID but its the principle of the thing. (LOL). They basically check the boarding pass to see if it is ligitement.( i think i spelled that right?) and the additional screening

    Here is the link to the "policy" http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/agents.shtm

    and the Travel Document Checker (TDC)
    http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/tdc/index.shtm

    ( need to read policy first before TDC)
    Patrick Henry didn't say "Give me safety , or give me death". Liberty is what America is about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XDSTEEL View Post
    The Nevada case said that a person has to ID themselvs when there IS a Terry like stop. Idenity though can be said. No ID has to be produced. So saying "I am John Smith" would satisfy the requirement. Anything else like Bday and home is not required. Look it up it is online. This case applies to STOP AND ID STATES!! if your state doesn't have one then I would not worry until you travel through one

    Fellas,

    Please make it easy on the new folks. Provide a link and/or a quote.

    And, try to stick very close to the concept of the case if you are going to make a declaration. While XDSteel is pretty close, he is far enough imprecise that a new reader unfamiliar with the case can come away with a wrong impression. A new reader who does not realize the legal trouble possible can get himself in trouble.

    What Hiibel really said is that Nevada's stop-and-identify statute is constitutional. It did not say identity can be verbal as though to invalidate statutes in other states with identity document language. The case did not say no ID has to be produced as though to invalidate statutes in other states with identity document language.

    If you are a new reader, you need to look up your state's stop-and-indentify statute, or confirm that there is no such statute in your state. I have seen at least one state statute that compelled showing an identity document during a detention. The statute specified the types of identity documents required--drivers license and (state ID card?)--and said something to the effect "if the suspect has those with him at the time of detention." Other states may have similar language in their statute.

    Hiibel vs 6th Judicial District Court: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-5554.ZO.html
    Last edited by Citizen; 02-18-2011 at 12:13 AM.

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    Hi, everyone. Thanks for your interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    My one question is, we may have the right to fly without showing ID (happens on charter flights all the time)
    The “public right of freedom of transit” by air is guaranteed by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, and the TSA is required by Federal law (49 USC § 40101) to consider this right when it issues regulations. Freedom of movement is required in order for us to exercise our right to assemble, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment. Freedom of movement is also guaranteed by Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a human rights treaty signed and ratified by the United States.

    Quoting United States Code TITLE 49—TRANSPORTATION > SUBTITLE VII—AVIATION PROGRAMS > PART A—AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETY > subpart i—general > CHAPTER 401—GENERAL PROVISIONS > § 40101. Policy:


    (c) General Safety Considerations. — In carrying out subpart III of this part and those provisions of subpart IV applicable in carrying out subpart III, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall consider the following matters:

    (1) the requirements of national defense and commercial and general aviation.
    (2) the public right of freedom of transit through the navigable airspace.
    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    how might an average commercial flight passenger actually, as a practical matter, board one's plane without having shown a TSA goon ID?
    The same way you'd board it if you had shown ID. I did this for several years. See "If truth be told, you don't always need ID for domestic flights," by Scott Canon and Mike Rice, Kansas City Star (republished by Seattle Times), April 14, 2008.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    When I was younger I used to fly back and forth from Hawaii all the time without ever showing ID, and I bought 2nd hand tickets all the time used to be able to buy tickets from the paper, just show up and fly.
    Lots of people did that. Quoting the Identity Project's "What's wrong with showing ID?" page:

    The custom of showing ID at airports came about in July of 1996, in the wake of the TWA flight 800 disaster. Faulty fuel tank insulation caused TWA 800 to explode over Long Island Sound. Before we knew that, there was concern that terrorists had blown up the plane. According to former terrorism czar Richard Clarke's book, the ID requirement was instituted as a temporary measure so that then-President Clinton had something to announce to the families of the victims when he met with them. After the 2001 World Trade Center bombings, the ID requirement became mandatory, as anyone who has flown since can testify.
    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Wow. Showing ID would be less intrusive than what that passenger went through.
    Yeah, wow, huh? They arrested me at about 2:30, transfered me from the airport police station to the downtown jail around 4:00, out to the county jail around 5:00, dressed me out and put me in a cell around 9:00pm, and arraigned me at 9:00am the next morning. Bail was posted around 5:00pm, and I was released downtown about 10:00pm. I stayed in Albuquerque a couple extra nights. I don't fly any more (not since TSA started pulling people out for radiation or groping), so I took the train to Albuquerque from my home in Seattle (3 day trip) for trial -- twice. People I care about were stressed out while this dragged on for 14 months. My legal fees, which I'm paying out-of-pocket, came to about $34,000 (roughly $5000 of that has been covered by donations of nearly 100 people to my legal defense fund).

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    This case also does not answer the question of whether the man would have (or should have) been allowed to board without showing his ID.
    The TSA officer who the state called as a witness at my trial testified that ID is not required, and that people do it all the time. You can listen to audio of his testimony (tracks 5 and 6 http://www.archive.org/details/State...V.PhillipMocek

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I am unfamiliar with NM law. Is concealing ID a crime?
    Yes. I was charged with the following misdemeanors:

    • criminal trespass (Albuquerque Code of Ordinances § 12-2-3)
    • resisting, obstructing or refusing to obey a lawful order of an officer (§ 12-2-19)
    • concealing identity with intent to obstruct, intimidate, hinder or interrupt (§ 12-2-16)
    • disorderly conduct (NMSA § 30-2-1)


    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    If so, what would constitute it?
    § 12-2-16 CONCEALING IDENTITY.

    It is unlawful for anyone to conceal one's true name or identity or disguise oneself with the intent to obstruct due execution of the law or with the intent to intimidate, hinder or interrupt any public officer, police officer, or any other person in the legal performance of his or her duties.
    In order for me to be required to identify myself, the cop would need to have had reasonable suspicion that I violated the law in the first place, but he didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    BTW, good on this guy for being willing to suffer the hassle for standing up for himself.
    Thanks!

    --
    Phil

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    Welcome to the forum PMOCEK! Glad to hear the story straight from the source. Am glad you stood up for yourself. I'd love to fly with not ID, since I pretty much carry sterile every where else I go.

    We've had several instances here in Washington (myself included) were we refused to proved ID to LEO when they had no RAS.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Phil,

    Welcome. Thanks for taking the time to address our speculations.

    The person about whom I made the comment, "Wow. Showing ID would be less intrusive than what that passenger went through," was not you. It was the person who had his wallet stolen. I assume the hoops he jumped through were the ones that the article "If truth be told, you don't always need ID for domestic flights" listed. No doubt, if you regularly fly without ID, you have to jump through those hoops each time.

    My point was that the additional hassles of trying to fly without ID are more intrusive than the requirement for ID. Trust me, I am not advocating for intrusiveness. I just can't understand avoiding one unreasonable level of intrusiveness by deliberately choosing to suffer an increased level of intrusiveness!

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    eye95:

    In Reference to a Question that You Posted on This Forum:

    Question: I am Unfamiliar with [New Mexican] Law...., is Concealing [Identity] a Crime...?

    Answer: Under New Mexican State Law 30-22-3: Concealing Identity Consists of Concealing One's True Name or Identity, or Disguising Oneself[,] with Intent to Obstruct The Due Execution of The Law or with Intent to Intimidate, Hinder[,] or Interrupt any Public Officer or any other Person in a Legal Performance of His Duty or The Exercise of His Rights under The Laws of The United States or of [The State of New Mexico].

    Whoever Commits Concealing Identity is Guilty of a Petty Misdemeanor.

    aadvark

    *** Open Carry in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Notice Sheriff Deputies Demand for Identification:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltFgs...F0C6E1BFEEA975 ***

    *** Open Carry in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Notice Police Demands for Identification:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=8BwQQSo9YX4 ***
    Last edited by aadvark; 02-23-2011 at 09:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    If OC is legal and you do not show ID when requested/ordered to do so, and then get hassled, cuffed and stuffed, illegally of course, carrying and then voluntarily providing ID when requested/ordered to do so would be a lower level of intrusiveness. Why would anyone ever not comply with a LEOs request/order to produce ID or any other request/order when there may be no legal requirement to do so?

    +10 to you Phil
    Not an apt analogy. In the case of not showing an officer an ID and being arrested, one would be substituting one level of unlawful intrusion for a higher level of unlawful intrusion.

    The TSA may lawfully request ID. If you lawfully refuse to show ID, they will lawfully submit you to a much more intrusive, but still lawful search.

    [Note, I am saying "lawful," not "constitutional." I am not trying to discuss the constitutionality of the request for ID or the resulting search for refusing. I don't think they are constitutional.]

    My point is that the TSA is going to lawfully subject you to one intrusion or the other. Why opt for the greater intrusion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aadvark View Post
    eye95:

    In Reference to a Question that You Posted on This Forum:

    Question: I am Unfamiliar with [New Mexican] Law...., is Concealing [Identity] a Crime...?

    Answer: Under New Mexican State Law 30-22-3: Concealing Identity Consists of Concealing One's True Name or Identity, or Disguising Oneself[,] with Intent to Obstruct The Due Execution of The Law or with Intent to Intimidate, Hinder[,] or Interrupt any Public Officer or any other Person in a Legal Performance of His Duty or The Exercise of His Rights under The Laws of The United States or of [The State of New Mexico].

    Whoever Commits Concealing Identity is Guilty of a Petty Misdemeanor.

    aadvark

    *** Open Carry in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Notice Sheriff Deputies Demand for Identification:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltFgs...F0C6E1BFEEA975 ***

    *** Open Carry in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Notice Police Demands for Identification:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=8BwQQSo9YX4 ***
    The problem here stems from the use of ID as an abbreviation for both identity and identity card. The law makes no mention of documentation of identity, just identity. Court rulings have made it clear that "identity" means something along the lines of name and address, which can be shared verbally. Officers cite the law using abbreviating "identity" as "ID," and then assuming that "ID" means "ID card."

    To have broken that law, Mr. Mocek would have had to refuse to share his name with the TSA agent. It was on his ticket. Or, that name would have to have been false. We now know that is not the case. Or, he would have to have been wearing a mask, hiding his face. By now, we'd know if he were wearing a gorilla mask.

    Clearly, the officers thought that not showing documentation of identity violated the NM law. Clearly it does not. (As it would not in Alabama.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The person about whom I made the comment, "Wow. Showing ID would be less intrusive than what that passenger went through," was not you. [...]
    My point was that the additional hassles of trying to fly without ID are more intrusive than the requirement for ID.
    Oh, I see. Unless you're employed by them, it's nearly impossible to determine just what TSA's policies are. But from what we can gather, prior to mid-2008, presenting documentation of your identity ("showing ID") at the airport simply bought you a less-intrusive search, and now it also buys you the removal of a requirement that you answer a bunch of questions that only you (and Choicepoint or whatever company they use to come up with the questions and expected answers) would know the answers to.

    Following is something I wrote elsewhere (FlyerTalk Forums, "TSA's airline passenger identification policies") about what I've gathered:

    What are the rules concerning airline passenger identification by TSA?

    Although TSA refuses to publish all the rules they require passengers to follow at airport checkpoints, from what we can distill from TSA press releases, heavily-redacted information obtained via FOIA requests, TSA blog posts, and other information they publish on the Web, it's relatively clear that your boarding pass is all the documentation that's ever required for domestic flights. It seems that passengers are not required to present documentation of their identities to TSA staff, and that doing so is not a condition of crossing the TSA checkpoint, but rather is an option which allows passengers to cross the checkpoint with a less-thorough search of their belongings and fewer questions to answer.

    TSA doesn't publish the rules they require us to follow, but the Freedom of Information Act should allow us to see those rules, right?

    TSA's FOIA officer, Kevin J. Janet, doesn't seem to think so.

    In June, 2009, I placed a FOIA request for TSA's Screening Management Standard Operating Procedures Manual, which upon their request, I clarified to mean, "a written description of procedures [TSA's] staff use at airport checkpoints when searching and interrogating people who are stopped by [their] staff at those checkpoints." I wanted to know how our federal airport security guards are instructed to do their jobs of ensuring compliance with the rules passengers are required to follow in order to avoid having their movement restricted. Nearly 13 months later, after much stalling and repeated reports that my request was undergoing various review processes, my request was denied in full.

    TSA refuses to let us read the rules they require us to follow. So what do we know about their I.D. policies?

    According to a 2008 press release from TSA, TSA's airport passenger identification policy changed on June 21, 2008, but "showing I.D." was seemingly not required before and is seemingly not required now.

    Prior to June 21, 2008

    Before June 21, 2008, the situation seemed to be: In order to proceed to the "secure area" of an airport after being stopped at a TSA barricade, each passenger must submit to a pat-down and search for metallic objects using a hand-held metal detector, along with a hand-searching of any carry-on baggage, unless he presents documentation of his identity (i.e., unless he "shows I.D."), in which case he must submit only to a search for metallic objects on his person via walk-through metal detector and search of any carry-on baggage using an X-ray machine.

    In other words: back then, showing I.D. simply got you a less-thorough search than you'd otherwise receive.

    Now

    Beginning June 21, 2008, the situation seems to be: Each passenger still has the option of showing I.D. and participating in the less-thorough searches (walk-through metal detector and X-raying of carry-ons), but the alternative now involves not only being thoroughly searched for dangerous items, but also identifying oneself verbally and participating in an interrogation intended to verify one's identity (via phone call from Homeland Security headquarters). Chillingly, it seems from the aforementioned TSA press release that this alternative also requires that someone be "cooperative with officers". What that cooperation entails is not defined.

    Initial reports from TSA indicated that while people who claimed that their government-issued I.D. card was misplaced or stolen would be allowed to take the alternate route through the checkpoint (with the questioning), those who willfully refused to show their papers would be barred from proceeding. It's unclear whether or not this is still the case, or if it was ever the case, as TSA's initial press release seems, based on information received from TSA via Freedom of Information Act request, to have been inaccurate.

    Summary of present situation and how to exploit it

    In short, best we can tell, complying with TSA's "papers, please!" request is not necessary in order to fly domestically, it's simply a way to avoid the hassle of a thorough search for dangerous items, the hassle of providing convincing information in support of your claim to be who you say you are, and having to cooperate with TSA airport staff in any manner they see fit.

    This is a great system for people who wish to do harm in airports or on airplanes, since getting a falsified identification document (i.e., a "fake I.D.") is relatively simple, and presentation of one almost guarantees that TSA staff will look at someone with less scrutiny, making it easier for him to take weapons, explosives, or incendiaries past the security checkpoint. Even if TSA could detect such fraud with perfect accuracy, using the Carnival Booth Algorithm, terrorists can probe an identity-based security system like TSA's by sending a number of people on harmless trips through the system, noting who is flagged for extra searches and who isn't. Then they can send those who aren't flagged -- people who almost certainly will get through security with a less-thorough search -- on terrorist missions.

    Why does TSA want to identify us? What's wrong with them doing so?

    This isn't about your safety. It's about control -- a few people's control over the rest of us.

    The primary reason that TSA wants to know who you are is their desire to restrict people's movement based on Homeland Security blacklists. As did every government that has imposed totalitarian rules, TSA repeatedly tells us that their freedom-restricting policies are about safety, security, and rooting out subversives. Of course, this policy is really about extra-judicial punishment, allowing our executive branch of government to sidestep our judicial branch and punish someone for any reason or no reason at all. That's not the way things are supposed to work in the United States. It's ripe for abuse, and it's an infringement on our freedom.

    For more on showing I.D. in the general sense, please see the Identity Project's "What's Wrong With Showing I.D.?" page.
    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The problem here stems from the use of ID as an abbreviation for both identity and identity card.
    I cringe every time I use the term "ID". It can mean identity, identification (the process), or documentation of identity (to which we often, confusingly, refer to as "identification"). Imagine dealing with a police officer who demands that you "give him your ID" when you have no such documentation with you. In the case of my arrest at ABQ, it was very clear that the officer wanted a document, because he kept telling me to get it, warning me that he'd search my bags for it, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The law makes no mention of documentation of identity, just identity.
    That depends on which law you're talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    To have broken that law, Mr. Mocek would have had to refuse to share his name with the TSA agent.
    To have broken New Mexico's concealing identity law, it seems I would have neglected to identify myself once the officer was lawfully investigating me based on his suspicion that I'd violated the law. The jury in my case had to determine if Officer Dilley had reason to remove me from the airport (he did not) and if so, whether I refused to do so (I did not, though there was some question of whether the three-ish seconds from when he said, "alright, let's go," until I can be seen moving in the video constituted refusal to obey him). Of the four charges, concealing identity was the most complicated to deal with.

    I'm not positive, and I wish it was not the case, but I think that under certain circumstances, people are required to identify themselves to police in New Mexico there even if an officer has not demanded or requested that they do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    [Mocek's name] was on his ticket. Or, that name would have to have been false. We now know that is not the case.
    Correct. You could say the same for any document I could have presented, though some are harder to falsify than others. Falsification of any of them is well within the capabilities of a determined criminal.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Clearly, the officers thought that not showing documentation of identity violated the NM law. Clearly it does not. (As it would not in Alabama.)
    Nowhere in the United States are we required to have documentation of identity. It's my understanding, though, that in some jurisdictions, under some circumstances, we are required to show it to a police officer if we have it on us.

  22. #22
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    It's lawful for anyone to request anything from anyone. Whether someone can lawfully compel us to comply with his request is another story.
    Last edited by pmocek; 02-24-2011 at 05:53 PM.

  23. #23
    Regular Member celticredneck's Avatar
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    WRVA's talk radio host, DOC Thompson was hassled by TSA agents and either a Richmond police officer or some kind of airport olice officer for "looking in the direction" of TSA agents. He reported the incident on his radio show, but I missed most of it because my wife called me with a couple of "Honeydo" items.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Lacking any documentation to prove otherwise, not my fault, TSA's fault. I question whether their request is lawful to begin with. A policy directive is not law. If anyone can point to federal law that supports your contention that their request and subsequent search is in fact lawful that would be most enlightening. The airlines can make it a term of service since they have a vested business interest in not losing an aircraft or bad publicity that affects "churn". I am not aware that airlines do in fact have a policy as a term of service to permit you to use their service regarding ID beyond a non-cash payment for services. What I do know is that airlines follow federal law that addresses commercial passenger air travel. What exactly that law is will be interesting to read.

    If there is no law then all TSA requests and searches are illegal.
    First of all, I was talking about the act of voluntarily choosing not to show ID, opting instead for a more intrusive search. My question was why would anyone OPT for the greater intrusion.

    Of course asking for ID is lawful. Anyone can request anything. Since they will not force you to show it, the request for ID is lawful.

  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    ...a more intrusive search....
    Sure, if you're a terrorist trying to bomb a plane.

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