TSA Threatens Blogger Who Posted New Screening Directive

TSABloggerKim Zetter writes on WIRED’s Threat Level:

Image: TSA Special Agent John Enright (left) speaks to Steven Frischling (right) after returning his laptop, outside of Frischling’s home in Niantic, Conn., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009.

Two bloggers received home visits from Transportation Security Administration agents Tuesday after they published a new TSA directive that revises screening procedures and puts new restrictions on passengers in the wake of a recent bombing attempt by the so-called underwear bomber.

Special agents from the TSA’s Office of Inspection interrogated two U.S. bloggers, one of them an established travel columnist, and served them each with a civil subpoena demanding information on the anonymous source that provided the TSA document.

The document, which the two bloggers published within minutes of each other Dec. 27, was sent by TSA to airlines and airports around the world and described temporary new requirements for screening passengers through Dec. 30, including conducting “pat-downs” of legs and torsos. The document, which was not classified, was posted by numerous bloggers. Information from it was also published on some airline websites.

“They’re saying it’s a security document but it was sent to every airport and airline,” says Steven Frischling, one of the bloggers. “It was sent to Islamabad, to Riyadh and to Nigeria. So they’re looking for information about a security document sent to 10,000-plus people internationally. You can’t have a right to expect privacy after that.”

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino said in a statement that security directives “are not for public disclosure.”

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7 Responses to TSA Threatens Blogger Who Posted New Screening Directive

  1. Sean January 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    last I checked the TSA worked for and was funded by the public

  2. markus January 2, 2010 at 4:12 am #

    Just one more reason for full disk encryption.
    At least that way the fascists can't read everything on your computer and grab the passwords to all the websites you use as a bonus.
    Also, the news reports that the subpoenas were dropped and that they will give him a new computer.
    That makes me wonder what happened to his old one and whose desk his hard drive is sitting on right now.
    And, after dropping the subpoenas and giving him a new computer they still don't admit any wrongdoing.
    </shake head>

  3. Sean January 2, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    I'd really love to see someone write a really nasty virus that is dormant till someone copies your stuff,
    that would be fun

  4. Commercial Loan Modification January 3, 2010 at 7:18 am #

    I did work for TSA so legally there are some things I just can't say. Although jail couldn't be any worse than working for TSA.

  5. Tuna Ghost January 3, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Keeping this stuff private is actually very helpful from a security standpoint, the TSA is well within their rights to be upset

    • Sean January 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

      fine…..let the tsa keep them secret, don't expect the media to do it for them

    • markus January 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

      And how does the TSA expect to keep something private that they send to tens of thousands of people?
      If you distribute something on a large scale it will leak.
      It's the nature of the beast.

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