UPDATE: Petty Power Trips at Dulles Airport

Last month, we wrote about crazy, wild-eyed technohippy Edward Hasbrouck’s harassment by power-tripping rent-a-cops employed by the TSA. He’s followed it up with a complete copy of his dialogue with TSA officials subsequent to the entire ridiculous fiasco.

Essentially, they give his privacy concerns the brush-off, drawing the conclusion that because Ed showed his passport to the airline at check-in, he must be willing to show his passport to every random guy with a power-trip who wanders along. That doesn’t explain the tenuous legality of glorified security cops pretending to be official TSA agents, or the fact that the cops were called when Hasbrouck started asking for a clear explanation of his rights from an official… is that a crime now?

One thing we can’t help but noting: Ed is a bit anal retentive and obsequiously polite. That’s grating even as a reader and I suspect his habit of endlessly quoting people and cross-referencing previous comments actually muddle communication, as opposed to otherwise. That’s not to say he’s in any way to blame: he isn’t. But his message could sure as hell be a lot clearer through tersity.

Dialogue with the TSA Privacy Officer [Hasbrouck.org]
Previously: Petty Power Trips at Dulles Airport


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ben Popken says:

    Shelby writes:

    “Previous to my current job, I was a mobile promotions manager and production manager for various tours, musical acts, sporting events etc…
    The night before setting off on an eight-month jaunt through the US and Canada, travelling half by air and half by bus, I got a wee bit drunk and lost (physically lost) my licence. This was in 2003. Our logistics staff gave me the flight list itinerary, and I called each airline at least two/three days before arrival to inform them of my dilemma, and had my home town hospital mail me an official copy of birth certificate to show.
    For each flight, I simply arrived early, told the nice lady at the desk who I was and what happened, and submitted to more strenuous foot/shoe searching. That was it. Like the guy in the Wired article, I breezed through security in half the time it usually took, and never got questioned. It was dis-hearteningly easy. More so because I did not wear suits, I am quite dark complected (and was quite fit at the time), and my head was shaved shiny bald. I did not, I think, look harmless.
    America, Fuck Yeah.”

  2. trixare4kids says:

    Okay, this is the kind of guy that just likes to be a pain in the ass and I have zero sympathy for him. You are in an airport, not out on the street someplace and not at home. In an airport. Show the dude your f-ing “credentials” and get on with your f-ing day. It would have taken 20-30 seconds tops, they weren’t asking for your SSN or bank account and you had just displayed them to the airline folks. Get over it.

  3. RandomHookup says:

    I couldn’t fight my way through the posting, but it seems like a whole lot of bluster for nothing. Air Serv appears to be a contract service that the TSA uses to check IDs/boarding passes at the entrance to the secured areas. They aren’t TSA employees per se, but that’s a good enough answer to most of the public. I’ve seen similar at every big airport I travel to.

    The TSA can’t hire enough people to do all the jobs they have to do at IAD so they hire Air Serv, which can hire the people who aren’t qualified to be TSA screeners (didn’t pass the physical, not citizens, felony convictions, etc.). Many of them are the same people fired when the TSA took over. I was on the project that hired the initial TSA crews at Dulles and we ran out of qualified candidates pretty quickly because no one could commute to the frigging airport.