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View Full Version : Homeland Security Subpoenas Bloggers Over TSA Directive Leak



Matt Molnar
12-30-2009, 03:31 AM
DHS has served subpoenas to two aviation/travel bloggers who posted the post-Christmas bomb attempt TSA security directive on their sites. Photographer Steven Frischling who runs Flying With Fish (http://boardingarea.com/blogs/flyingwithfish), and Christopher Elliott (http://www.elliott.org), a travel journalist for National Geographic, Washington Post and MSNBC, who posted it on his personal blog. Both were visited by DHS agents at their homes, who handed them papers demanding they turn over all communications, emails, etc in regard to the directive, i.e. who they got it from.

On one hand, what they did was likely illegal. On the other, they only did it after the TSA failed to properly communicate the new rules to travelers: Instead we had to rely on Air Canada, which for a couple days was the only reliable source of details. Also called into question is where the government draws the line for freedom of the press. Both of these men are journalists by trade, but they posted this info on their personal sites. Had the directive run on MSNBC.com, would there be any subpoenas? Probably not.

It sounds like DHS may be more interested in learning who leaked the document than prosecuting those who posted it. But who knows. The details of the directive were hardly any "inside baseball" stuff that would help a bad guy, but it did ignite a firestorm of anger versus the TSA that might not have been so bad had they only continued to release vague instructions.

emshighway
12-30-2009, 10:21 AM
Yea, this wasn't a good idea. There are so many ways this could have been handled better.

Matt Molnar
12-30-2009, 12:22 PM
Agents seized Mr. Frischling's computer this morning. :?

Matt Molnar
12-31-2009, 07:46 PM
UPDATE: In the past couple of hours, TSA's Deputy Chief Counsel withdrew Chris Elliott's subpoena and called Steve Frischling to let him know he's in the clear.

T-Bird76
01-01-2010, 03:57 PM
I know I can rest better knowing that the evil bloggers of America are under the watchful eye of the DHS.

Ychocky
01-01-2010, 04:32 PM
I know I can rest better knowing that the evil bloggers of America are under the watchful eye of the DHS.

This all seemed to be a bit heavy handed.

emshighway
01-01-2010, 07:30 PM
I know I can rest better knowing that the evil bloggers of America are under the watchful eye of the DHS.

This all seemed to be a bit heavy handed.

They are not going after the bloggers but the person(s) in DHS or Airlines who gave them the Security Directive. They are a little sensitive on the release of SSI lately :oops:

The agents who visited the blogger are from Internal Affairs.