posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:29 AM
I was reading a blog by Edward Hasbrouck The Practical Nomad
titled ‘Unanswered Questions at Dulles
Airport’ who brought this question to light for me (the article is very interesting!). With the way the world is today, and the fear of terrorist
attacks being forced upon us on a daily basis, it is not, and probably would not, be uncommon for TSA staff to randomly ask to see a persons ID
throughout an airport, not just at the ticketing counter or security check. But how do we know that the person is TSA staff (or an authorized TSA
agent) and not someone dressed as TSA staff attempting a little bit of identity theft.
Edward Hasbrouck decided to question those asking for his boarding pass and ID when they did not appear to be TSA staff:
“So when one of a group of people between the check-in counter and the TSA checkpoint -- who appeared to be neither TSA nor airline employees --
said to me, "I need to see your boarding pass and ID", I took the time to ask him, "Why? Who are you?"
Ultimately, Mr. Hasbrouck determined that the badges these ‘officials’ were wearing said Airserv, not TSA or Police etc. Ultimately, Mr. Hasbrouck
was detained, questioned by police, had all of his things searched simply because he did not recognize the identification of those asking and (I’m
guessing) felt uncomfortable showing his boarding pass and ID to people that may not have been authorized to view a passengers ID.
You would think that we, as the traveling public traveling in the U.S., could question those asking to see our ID. After all, we would like to
protect ourselves just as much as (we hope) the government wants to protect us.
So I found myself wondering if I would just blindly show my ID to anyone that looked official, or would I have the courage to ask further questions if
I felt uncomfortable about the identity of the person. Right now I don’t know, I’m going to have to think about it, but I am curious if any one
out there in 'ATS land' would have the courage to question an apparent authority figure if you had some suspicion that the person may not be who he
appears to be?