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Ever Been Asked By Security To Delete Photos?  
User currently offlineCx889 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 49 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 11441 times:

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to air this out and ask for any similar experiences to what happened to me about 3 weeks ago.

I flew into JFK on Swiss International LX 016 from ZRH (great flight!) and right before Customs and Immigration Control, I took a photo of our A332 on the ramp (wonderful view at Terminal 4 by the way). I then put my camera back into its bag and then immediately saw the "No Photos/No Cellphone" sign. A Customs agent came right up to me and in a rather loud and intimidating voice, demanded that he see my camera. I complied and very politely and cooperatively showed him my digital planespotting photos from ZRH airport, inflight and landing at JFK. He then demanded that I delete them all, watching me as I did so. Then he took my camera and scrolled through more photos to make sure he didn't miss other photos (he did allow me to keep photos of window views during inflight). I had a ton of photos on that 512MB card because I was on vacation to Paris, Florence and Rome with my family. He gave me back the camera and said not to do this again.

Now before you guys jump down my throat, I want to say that I was not upset at this agent... he was merely doing his job to protect people like you and me. After thinking about this rather embarrassing experience (it happened in front of my wife and 2 very small boys), I knew I should not have taken the photo so close to the Custom and Immigration desks (but again, it was a great view of our LX A332 on the ramp and not a cloud in the sky! I guess the planespotting in me caused my lack of good judgement). And after thinking so more, I am upset that I lost/deleted some very good photos of ZRH airport (my 1st time there) and the cabin inside the A332, as well as more JFK ramp photos; and ultimately very upset at the terrorists and their acts that have made photographing at the airport so difficult these days. I know times have changed and you cannot do certain things when traveling by air that you used to be able to do (especially at JFK!).

Have you guys had any similar experiences? What were your thoughts at the time?

Thanks for letting me vent... I feel better now.

63 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOHLHD From Finland, joined Dec 2004, 3962 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 11440 times:

Quoting Cx889 (Thread starter):

I am sorry to say that but you must have met the biggest MF at JFK airport.

Never ever in my live I would have given him my camera. Sorry for you to have such a bad ending of a obvious great vacation.


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11402 times:

You have the right to make an official complaint. He had an absolute right to tell you not to take photos IN the Customs and Immigration Halls, i.e. beyond the signs.

He may have been supported by some in management in not allowing you to take photos of the ramp, but there are many published photos from people who work at JFK.

What he had absolutely no right to do was delete any photos not taken at JFK. Basically he has destroyed your intellectual property and in doing so has both commited a criminal offence and exposed himself to civil action for damages in effectively censoring something over which he has no jurisdiction, i.e the ZRH and cabin shots.

His action is typical of the paranoia exhibited by some of the jobsworths at airports in the North Eastern USA.


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13195 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11373 times:

First of all, the ICE areas are Federal Authority, with it's own security rules under Federal Law and don't want any recording of info of their facilities for obious security (and privacy) reasons. In addition, The Port Authority of NY & NJ, who operates JFK, EWR, LGA and land facilities in the NYC Metro area, has strict laws as to the taking of photographs within their facilities also for security reasons. That also includes the PA Bus Terminal in NYC and near the enterances to the tunnels and bridges in their jurisdiction. This is to reduce the opportunities for terrorists to record info as to security systems and procedures at those facilities.
Still, he had no right to delete/cause you to delete any photos you took outside of other than PANYNJ or US Customs/Immigration facilities. I wish you could have asked for this cop's supervisor to clearify this before you had to delete your photos.


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11347 times:

LTBEWR, I'm not flaming you but if you, or anyone else in the US, can give me a logical, reasoned answer I'd be interested. BTW, I spent most of the 1990s working with various governments (including the US), airports (including the Port Authority), airlines and other authorities providing speakers, facilities and programmes for aviation security conferences.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 3):
In addition, The Port Authority of NY & NJ, who operates JFK, EWR, LGA and land facilities in the NYC Metro area, has strict laws as to the taking of photographs within their facilities also for security reasons. That also includes the PA Bus Terminal in NYC and near the enterances to the tunnels and bridges in their jurisdiction. This is to reduce the opportunities for terrorists to record info as to security systems and procedures at those facilities.

As if there aren't literally millions of images available out there of all these facilities taken privately and commercially before and after 9/11.

How come it's OK for photos and footage of the facilities to be taken for tourist brochures, films, documentaries and how is it that staffers at, especially JFK and LGA publish photos in both news stand journals and on the Net.

How is it that aviation trade magazines publish up to date photos?

Don't the "authorities" realise that any terrorist can get hold of this up to date information as easily as info and pictures published pre 9/11.

The bridges are a laughable case in point. They aren't constantly changing, the plans for many of them are a matter of accessible public record and are contained in publications in libraries around the world. The security devices can easily be noted, or sketched, by someone being driven through the tunnels or across the bridges.

This is just a case of the powers that be wishing to be seen to be doing something whilst in reality they are doing nothing other than keeping the fear alive.

[Edited 2006-11-04 17:17:18]

User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13745 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11334 times:

The officer is an idiot and I hope he has a terrible life and afterlife.

I was took a photo of security officers searching through everyone's hand luggage at Hong Kong International Airport. He was too busy so merely asked me not to take another photo.



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineRemcor From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11334 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 3):
That also includes the PA Bus Terminal in NYC and near the enterances to the tunnels and bridges in their jurisdiction. This is to reduce the opportunities for terrorists to record info as to security systems and procedures at those facilities.

File these under "Stupid rules that have no effect on security."

What the terrorists are so stupid/lazy that they can't get a goddam photo? If there's anything that 9/11 showed us is that these guys aren't stupid.

[Edited 2006-11-04 17:19:34]

User currently offlineSlovacek747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11299 times:

I woulda suggested the place he could stick it and would not have deleted but the one I took in the terminal.

Slovacek747


User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7564 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11290 times:

Thing that bothers me is that he made you delete photos of aircraft in Zurich, that is something that he can't do, I would have said, no, i wont delete those, i will only delete the one of the aircraft... OF WHICH HAS NOTHING showing your facilities.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineJman40 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11282 times:

If I am not mistaken (and I may be), only a court order can demand that a person delete pictures unless an arrest is made (the law I'm thinking of actually refers to film, but was written before digital came on the scene). If I'm right, then you have every right to file a complaint because the Customs agent was in violation.

User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11280 times:

Quoting Cx889 (Thread starter):
he was merely doing his job to protect people like you and me.

No he wasn't - he was being an officious and paranoid asshat. There is no law against taking pictures of aircraft on a ramp, not in the US or in Europe, and anyone who tells you there is, is lying. I would have made a complaint, no question.


User currently offlineAPFPilot1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 11236 times:

HE is not allowed to do that. You are not allowed to take pictures of the actual customs check point however any that you took on the ramp or elsewhere he cannont force you to delete or to do anything without a court order. I would recommend talking to a lawyer about this.

User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7444 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 11185 times:
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Quoting Philb (Reply 2):
Basically he has destroyed your intellectual property and in doing so has both commited a criminal offence and exposed himself to civil action for damages in effectively censoring something over which he has no jurisdiction,

I trully hope you get up off your butt and file a lawsuit. He only *may* have had a right to have you delete the JFK images, but your entire VACATION???

YOu havea bona fide lawsuit/ACLU on your hands. Take him to court.

There is no way in hell I would have let this clown have me delete all those memories. MAYBE the JFK photos, but the whole vacation?

I hope you realize how much this guy raped you and act on it.



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 11157 times:

All may not be lost.

Like all recordable media, a digital camera card which has deleted items on it MAY be able to be read and you MAY be able to retrieve the lost images IF you have not overwritten the card.

It depends on the card and just how your particular camera deletes images.

There is software available or you could take the card to a specialist. Either way send the bill to the authorities.


User currently offlinePhatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1363 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 11024 times:

Judging by CX889's experience, I'd say he had it very easy. It could have gotten alot worse. Rule of thumb, never remove your camera upon deplaning and entering customs, despite the "No camera" sign at the actual desks.

User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1692 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 11026 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 10):
There is no law against taking pictures of aircraft on a ramp, not in the US or in Europe, and anyone who tells you there is, is lying.

How about the photo-ban at CDG (with the 450 Euro fine) ?



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlineHamster From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10985 times:

Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 12):
I trully hope you get up off your butt and file a lawsuit. He only *may* have had a right to have you delete the JFK images, but your entire VACATION???

YOu havea bona fide lawsuit/ACLU on your hands. Take him to court.

Take him to court for what? Do you have $200-$375 per hour to spend on a lawyer? What are your damages? Did you lose a hand? Did you lose an eye? What is your goal? Mental anguish? Come on please.

I think we are all a little trigger happy with safety. Snapping a picture in front of TSA in an Airport is tantamount to waving a red flag in front of a bull. Was he a jerkoff professionally - perhaps. Did you not excercise common sense here? Definitely. Perhaps I would have had him call a supervisor and see if you could come to some amicable solution.


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10937 times:

It is unfortunate that miscreant officials can get away with their overbearing attitude knowing that most can't afford to sue. He should still be the subject of an official complaint.

Quoting Hamster (Reply 16):
Snapping a picture in front of TSA in an Airport is tantamount to waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Not true. I was taking pics of aircraft from the departure lounge in a JFK terminal last year and a TSA guy was not only quite happy but was telling me the best places to go. It was some idiot from KLM who tried to tell me that photography was illegal when I was taking one of their 777s.


User currently offlineDc10srule From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10849 times:

I had an event in AMS last year while waiting to board a NW DC10. I took several pictures of the DC10 but I was standing very close to an area where they conduct additional pre-boarding security. The officer came over very assertively stating "NO Pictures!". I had just taken about 40 pictures all around the terminals at AMS so I was a bit worried that I might lose all of my shots. Thankfully, this officer only asked to see my digital photos to ensure that none of them were taken of the security area. This seemed very reasonable and would have been a suitable response from the JFK officer had he not overreacted.

JA



Giggity-Giggity..!
User currently offlineSpeedBird203 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 299 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10829 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Things get worse... What more can be said... Pathetic...


Metro Tower 135.0
User currently offlineCx889 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 49 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10836 times:

Thank you all for your comments. I also feel the agent was wrong, but again, I was with my family at the time and did not want to make more of a scene.

I want to clarify some points:

1. He only made me to delete photos of aircraft (at ZRH, JFK) and inside cabins shots... not my entire vacation. I would have been really upset if that happened!!!

2. The photo he caught me taking was not of the Customs desks, but of the A332 on the ramp. Where I was standing happened to be near the desks, but well before the No Photos/No Cellphone sign.

I will certainly not pursue this any further. I have not really lost anything but photos, and I will not add to the lawsuit-happy mentality of our country. But thanks for all your comments.

Happy planespotting!


User currently offlineWalter747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1440 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10792 times:

wow, im glad i dont fly through JFK.

Just tell him to go buy another Big Mac.



Hussel, Hussel, Husel, Grind, Grind, Grind
User currently offlineUtapao From Thailand, joined Jul 2005, 645 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10778 times:

Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 5):
The officer is an idiot and I hope he has a terrible life and afterlife.

Jeez! A little over the top, isn't it?  hissyfit  Wishing him severe acne, boils, nagging heartburn, incontinence or impotence is one thing... maybe even a terrible life... but as frustrating as his actions were I'd leave his afterlife to higher authorities!!!

Thank goodness the OP had a more adult attitude when dealing with the agent.

Rule #1... when dealing with an IIP (Idiot In Power), arguing, fighting etc., will only exacerbate the situation. Even refusing his demands to delete pictures, or to hand over your camera is only going to cause you at least some momentary grief and really won't get you anywhere.



Sawasdee khrab!
User currently offlineNoelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 10768 times:

Two points - A) - if you haven't already, do not take any more photos on that card - you can restore all deleted photos using one of the many freeware applications on the net. I accidentally cleared my holiday photos of Malaysia and managed to recover all but one.

B) - that's precisely the reason my laptop and card reader accompany me on every trip. At regular intervals, as well as in flight on long hauls, I copy everything to the laptop, as well as burn it do a CD or DVD. You can do this on the flight too. That way, even if anything happens to your card you still have most photos on your laptop, and failing that on a DVD.

Cheers
Noel


User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 10768 times:

Quoting Remcor (Reply 6):
File these under "Stupid rules that have no effect on security."

What the terrorists are so stupid/lazy that they can't get a goddam photo? If there's anything that 9/11 showed us is that these guys aren't stupid.

Tell me about it. I've only had it happen once to me, back in March, but after landing in MCO I asked if I could go up to the flight deck and take some photos. I was excited because this was my first flight on an Airbus (American A300 from MIA to MCO). When I walked by the entrance to the flight deck, I asked if I could go up and take some photos and was told by the Captain "No. Since 9/11, tt's been company policy not to allow photos of the flight deck." I didn't want to make a scene but really wanted to say "Well, your company needs to do a better job of enforcing that policy if they really have it because there are literally hundreds of flight deck photos from your airline alone on airliners.net, not to mention which are of higher quality than what my camera can produce and anyone can access these images as long as they have access to a computer with the internet. What is your policy really preventing?"

The way I usually go about getting flight deck photos is when boarding, I ask during boarding "after we land in _____, would it be alright if I come up to the flight deck and take a few photos?" Sometimes they offer to let me come up right then, but I don't want to be a distraction while the pilots are going through pre-flight checks. I figure the cockpit will still be there upon landing at our destination anyway, or at least I hope it is.  Wink


25 Post contains images Alibo5NGN : The Customs Officer went beyond his pay grade. He had no right to make you delete ALL your photos. You should have demanded to see his Supervisor/Supe
26 Domokun : Yet another reason this country, like many others, is nothing special in the least.
27 Foxecho : shooot thats sayin something lol sorry for your experience CX889- Andrew JFK/MEM/MCI
28 Post contains images Highflyer9790 : [quote=Cx889=[/quote] Com'on man! I would have given him the camera, but he had no right to delete all of your photos!! i would have deleted the one y
29 Post contains links and images ChrisI1024 : The only time I've been hassled (and it really was too minor to be called a "hassle") was after taking the above photo. A security guard came up behi
30 Bakestar : Even though i think it was a bit over the top by the officer, Customs have every right to remove photos from a camera what ever it is of. The airport
31 Post contains images Flyboy2001 : Agreed! I don't think a lawsuit is needed but a complaint needs to be made. People will continue doing stupid things unless someone says something. T
32 Beeweel15 : Sorry that happened man. That guy was being a nut and just was trying to kiss ass to the boss. Many Many photos are taken at JFK daily there are even
33 Aviateur : Here we go again with this. It is *not* illegal to take photgraphs anywhere at a U.S. airport. That includes the customs facilities and, even, the sec
34 Post contains images RichM : I admire how you were able to keep your cool in that situation. I'm willing to bet that myself and most other a.netters would have been furious if a s
35 Post contains images Walter747 : that secuirty guard must feel special cause he could've prevented another 9/11. so he gose home from work that and pats himself on his back while eati
36 Post contains images MtnWest1979 : Perhaps you could get another camera of same type and have one for your pics, and a "dummy" one with pics of whatever that you could use for 'deletion
37 Walter747 : haha thats a good one.
38 APFPilot1985 : By your failing to follow through with this you are doing an extreme disservice to anyone that maybe in your situation in the future.
39 Soon7x7 : I make a full time living at aviation photography.Much of my work is acheived at JFK airside, up in the tower,in terminals, from parking lots,etc.You
40 Varigb707 : Well, unfortunately you got yourself in a 'no win' situation. You had the right to standup for your right but instead you did what the Customs agent "
41 SK909 : I am sorry for your loss of pictures. I would have been pissed off... But again you are there with your family, and I presume, don't want a scene in
42 Ksmd11 : It happened to me on Wednesday at London City. I took a picture of a Scot Airways DO328 and was about to snap a BA RJ100 that i flew on recently when
43 Zaphod : I sympathise ... Once I was on the ramp at BLR and had my wife shield me while taking pics of a 9W ATR. Got a couple of pics and then in my greed/enth
44 Philb : Another jobsworth in a uniform far exceeding his powers and common sense. Do two things. Find out from Scotland Yard who the idiot reports to directly
45 Justplanecrazy : similar thing happened to me at Nairobi,Kenya just when i was about to take a photo from the gate of the 777 i was told by security if i take any phot
46 Philb : Kenya has always banned unofficial photography at airports and this is a known law - just as it is illegal there to take a photo of the President, unl
47 Post contains images Ncelhr : Sounds like another ex-gestapo dudes from the good old Nazi Days. I hear there are a whole lot of ex-secret Iraqi Police working for Saddam in the gr
48 FutureFO : The only thing that is really prevented is the photo's of security and of the customs officers. Nothing prevents you from taking a photo from inside o
49 Mirrodie : That all depends on the individual. I now realize that the original poster was merely ranting up above. But, let's assume the poster is actually a ph
50 JakTrax : This might surprise some UK readers but I have had a demand to see my camera/photo's at BHX. I was shooting from a field by the 33 threshold when a co
51 Philb : You should also make an official complaint. Assumedly you could prove who you were and show what you were doing legitimately at the place where you we
52 JakTrax : Seeing as you've said that, I shall elaborate a bit..... The field is just off the A45 to Coventry, closed to traffic by a gate which reads, "No unaut
53 BigOrange : I had a PANYNJ cop confiscate the film from my camera at IKEA at EWR in 2003. This also had photos from DCA and other personal photos. When the PA and
54 Post contains images MDorBust : If this ever happens again, present an interesting legal conundrum to the individual requesting you delete the photos. If taking pictures there is aga
55 Philb : Someone ought to ask which Ordinances and Federal Laws pertain. Some airports have brought in bye-laws which they take pleasure in enforcing as "good
56 JohnJ : I was ordered by a Swissport employee in JFK's Terminal 4 to delete pictures from my camera a couple of years ago. I had been taking shots out the win
57 Post contains images UAL757 : Get two digital cameras......use one as a decoy! HEHEHE
58 Voodoo : Any freeware file restoration program recommendations?
59 BigOrange : IKEA is on PANYNJ property but is under the jurisdiction of Elizabeth PD, however because you are taking pictures of the airport, Elizabeth PD can tu
60 Philb : Thanks for that. The rest of this message is padding to get past the filter which doesn't allow short messages
61 XAAPB : So bad you had to deleted your pictures, as you said he was doing his job, but as others said, you should have asked to speak to a supervisor before d
62 ZeeDub : I suppose this means that the webcams trained on ramps the world over will need to be yanked?? These situations should be handled objectivly on a case
63 TPEcanuck : A lack of judgment? Certainly not on your part. I'm still amazed when I hear American friends complaining about the authoritarianism in places like C
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