Skip to comments.Local blogger attracts feds' attention
Posted on 01/01/2010 4:37:58 AM PST by CTGOPPER
The federal Transportation Security Administration has questioned a Niantic man who posted a document on his blog that described temporary measures for screening airline passengers.
Steven Frischling, a Niantic travel blogger and photographer, said he was on the phone Tuesday with Florida travel writer Chris Elliot when Elliot asked him if any federal agents had paid him a visit.
Elliot, like Frischling, posted security directives they each received by e-mail, detailing new security measures for all outside flights headed for the United States. Frischling said Elliot told him that federal agents had just visited him.
Frischling said Thursday that he no sooner hung up the phone with Elliot than a car carrying two TSA special agents pulled up at his door.
"They immediately started asking me who gave me the document," said Frischling. "I kept telling them that I didn't know, that it was sent to me by e-mail."
The e-mail was from an anonymous person, he said.
The document, which Frischling received and posted Dec. 27 on his blog, Flying with Fish, had been sent by the TSA to airlines and airports around the world. It described temporary measures for screening passengers. The requirements, including "pat-downs" of legs and torsos and a rule that passengers must remain seated for one hour prior to landing, remained in effect until Dec. 30.
"It was already available in different forms," said Frischling. "It was sent to every airport and airline. It was sent to places like Nigeria and Islamabad [Pakistan]. Part of the directive was read to people while they were in flight.
"I posted it because I wanted to clear up the confusion about security procedures and make sure people understood what was happening."
The TSA agents were at Frischling's home Tuesday for about three hours and served him with a subpoena. While they were professional, he said, the agents were armed and implied that they would get him fired from KLM Royal Dutch Airline, which employs him as a blogger.
According to Frischling, the agents said they could designate him a security flight risk, which would make it difficult for him to travel for work.
Frischling said the agents also searched his BlackBerry and iPhone. He was questioned about the numbers on the phone, including one number under "ICEMOM," which he said is a quick way to reach his mother in case of an emergency.
Frischling said the agents misunderstood the acronym and thought it stood for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Frischling said the agents returned Wednesday morning and seized his computer. They returned it later that day, he said.
"I have no idea what's going to happen," Frischling said. "I'm on the edge of my seat."
TSA officials could not be reached to comment.
The security directive was issued after 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to ignite a bomb in his clothing on a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam. The bomb malfunctioned and no was injured.
This is the second time in a month that the TSA said it has found sensitive security documents on the Internet. A TSA manual telling airport employees how to do their jobs, including whom to screen, was also found on the Internet.
So they’ll investigate when their policy for controlling US citizens is released but not when vital national security secrets are released.
The Feds are hell on wheels when it comes to investigating something embarrassing to the Central Government. As for jihadists who have made several trips to Yemen, who buy a $2400 plane ticket with cash and have no luggage...fuggetaboutit.
“The requirements, including “pat-downs” of legs and torsos...”
....would not have found the explosives hidden in the terrorist’s crotch. TSA will have to start patting down crotches, and that’s when the airlines will go out of business.
Either they had the paperwork to demand those items or he got rolled.
TSA dropped the subpoenas against these guys.
There was nothing secret in the TSA directive anyway. Passengers would have to be told about the content!