TSA Sends Letter Assuring Photographers’ Rights

July 1st, 2011 by Mickey Osterreicher and tagged , , , , , ,

In response to concerns expressed by the NPPA the TSA has sent a letter regarding photography, videotaping and filming at airport security passenger screening checkpoints. Margot Bester, Principle Deputy in the TSA Office of Chief Counsel said, “please be assured that TSA’ s goal is to protect passenger’s rights, including the right to record at passenger screening checkpoints, while ensuring that passenger screening operations can take place in an effective and efficient manner. We will continue to strive to meet this two-part commitment.”

By way of back ground, on 6/3/11 TSA posted the following to their blog (

You may have seen the video of a woman at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport who was upset about her screening experience.

TSA takes all allegations of improper screening seriously and investigates each claim to the fullest. After reviewing this passenger’s time at the checkpoint, we found that our security officers acted properly and neither the CCTV footage nor this YouTube video support any of the allegations levied. Real violations of our protocols are worth every ounce of our energy to investigate, but this alleged incident does not meet that threshold.
This incident has also raised many questions about whether or not passengers can film at checkpoints. This topic is currently under review, but you can read this blog post on our current  policy for photography at checkpoints.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

On 6/9/2011, NPPA general counsel, Mickey H. Osterreicher, faxed the attached Napolitano Letter 06-09-11 to Secretary Napolitano.  Later that day TSA posted the the following update:


***Update: 6/9/2011 – There have been many different interpretations of the photography portion of this post, so I wanted to clarify things a bit. We recognize that using video and photography equipment is a constitutionally protected activity unless it interferes with the screening process at our checkpoints. While our current policy remains the same, TSA is reviewing our guidance to officers at the checkpoint to ensure consistent application. Our goal is to protect passenger’s rights, while safeguarding the integrity of the security process. ***

On a related note from the Department of Homeland Security please go to: for the unclassified Federal Protective Service Information Bulletin regarding Photographing the Exterior of Federal Buildings

 ******UPDATE In response to a request please see the DHS reply Napolitano Response 06-22-11

Posted in Access, First Amendment, Photographers' Rights | 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “TSA Sends Letter Assuring Photographers’ Rights”

  1.   Max Says:

    Please publish a PDF of the letter.

  2.   Mike Says:

    please be assured that TSA’ s goal is to protect passenger’s rights, including the right to record at passenger screening checkpoints, while ensuring that passenger screening operations can take place in an effective and efficient manner. We will continue to strive to meet this two-part commitment.

    This is just mumbo-jumbo from TSA. Expect more “consistent inconsistency” from TSA on the pretense of security while nothing actually changes.

    Mike, Executive Director
    Travel Underground

  3.   Mickey Osterreicher Says:

    I have posted both the NPPA letter and the DHS reply in the story.

  4.   best vps Says:

    Absolutely Free Reliable Cloud-Based Hosting. We offer this service without any payment verification. Limited Signups available, act quick.

  5.   spazzolando Says:

    Whats up! I just want to give an enormous thumbs up for the great info you’ve right here on this post. I can be coming again to your weblog for more soon.

  6.   autonoleggio auto roma Says:

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really know what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my web site =). We will have a hyperlink exchange agreement among us!

  7.   Anonymous Says:

    Nice weblog right here! Additionally your web site lots up fast! What host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate link for your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  8.   Barrie Pfifer Says:

    It is difficult to acquire knowledgeable individuals about this subject, and you sound like what happens you

  9.   Shakia Muyskens Says:

    Hey there, You’ve done an excellent job. I

  10.   Habibi Says:

    You got a very very good website, Gladiolus I found it through yahoo.

  11.   Anonymous Says:

    I do accept as true with all of the concepts you’ve presented on your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for beginners. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

  12.   Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for this article. I’d personally also like to state that it can become hard if you find yourself in school and simply starting out to create a long credit ranking. There are many pupils who are simply just trying to survive and have an extended or favourable credit history can sometimes be a difficult element to have.

  13.   Anonymous Says:

    naturally like your website however you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to inform the reality however I

  14.   Cammy Tantillo Says:

    Sorry you were sick but kudos to you for going to the race! You still did a great job!!

  15.   awesome logcabins Says:

    Leo do hope you can provide people names of sun and also blowing wind strength businesses who are prepared to placed any photo voltaic plus wind power source within BOT (Create Manage Exchange)system. This could be very affordable with regard to small business owners ( I attempt a 6-8 area retirement living residence(HARJENS Location) at Tiwi, Albay Malaysia.)

  16.   Florida Lock & Key Says:

    Florida Lock & Key 3620 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34201 (941) 748-5625

  17.   Philip Glicken Says:

    I image this might be diverse upon the written content material? nevertheless I still imagine that it may be suitable for virtually any type of subject material, because it might regularly be gratifying to decide a warm and pleasant face or perhaps listen a voice whilst initial landing.

  18.   Kenneth Fremont Says:

    My favorites are the Savannah sparrow along with the Grey Catbird.

  19.   Mandy Dee Twitter Says:

    Am I allowed to post this on twitter?

  20.   Toney Defouw Says:

    Mark says:July 13, 2010 at 9:39 am

  21.   Real Estate Investing Says:

    You are a very intelligent person!

Leave a Reply