TSA agent John Enright, left, returns Steven Frischling’s laptop
The document, which 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…”
Frischling, a freelance travel writer and photographer in Connecticut who writes a blog for the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, said the two agents who visited him arrived around 7 p.m. Tuesday, were armed and threatened him with a criminal search warrant if he didn’t provide the name of his source. They also threatened to get him fired from his KLM job and indicated they could get him designated a security risk, which would make it difficult for him to travel and do his job…
When they pulled a subpoena from their briefcase and told him he was legally required to provide the information they requested, he said he needed to contact a lawyer. The agents said they’d sit outside his house until he gave them the information they wanted.
Frischling says he received the document anonymously from someone using a Gmail account and determined, after speaking with an attorney, that he might as well cooperate with the agents since he had little information about the source and there was no federal shield law to protect him.
RTFA. Much would be hilarious excepting for the topic, fear-ridden bureaucrats ready to wipe out an ordinary citizen who believes an informed public makes better decisions.
They screwed up his laptop, they dashed to WalMart to buy a standalone hard drive – which they couldn’t get to work, and on and on.