We Are The TSA, And We Approve This Message

Law

GREETINGS, CITIZENS!

It's an exciting time at YOUR Transportation Security Administration! At the start of America's second decade of Total War Against Terror, the TSA is once again at the tip of the spear of the fight to keep you safe. While other agencies plod along using old-fashioned methods and targets, the TSA recognizes that the key to security is innovation and flexibility. We have therefore been at the forefront of identifying new frontiers of threats arising from suspicious "medical devices" and the personal orifices of anti-state agitators. As a result of our vigilance and innovation, our Ministry of Communications reports that we are more popular and talked-about than ever.

But with that popularity comes a grave dilemma. As "the kids" would say, some people out there want to "take some of our mojo without asking." We understand — who wouldn't want to be associated with the brave men and women who, day after day, touch the bodies of unwilling strangers? But please be aware: the TSA's logos and other branding efforts are the sole property of the United States government. Even in these tough economic times, we've turned down numerous requests from businesses that would like to use the TSA logo to market to our employees and to an adoring public, from many hobbyist photography web sites to various collector's clubs.

Misusing the TSA's logo and branding is not just a civil violation, it's a betrayal of America and (like other trademark and copyright violations) subject of interest to the Department of Homeland Security.

That's why we are grateful to hear that Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL-HERO) has introduced a bill making it a federal crime to misappropriate the TSA's branding:

Whoever, except with the written permission of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Security (or the Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service for issues involving the Federal Air Marshal Service), knowingly uses the words ‘Transportation Security Administration’, ‘United States Transportation Security Administration’, ‘Federal Air Marshal Service’, ‘United States Federal Air Marshal Service’, ‘Federal Air Marshals’, the initials ‘T.S.A.’, ‘F.A.M.S.’, ‘F.A.M.’, or any colorable imitation of such words or initials, or the likeness of a Transportation Security Administration or Federal Air Marshal Service badge, logo, or insignia on any item of apparel, in connection with any advertisement, circular, book, pamphlet, software, or other publication, or with any play, motion picture, broadcast, telecast, or other production, in a matter that is reasonably calculated to convey the impression that the wearer of the item of apparel is acting pursuant to the legal authority of the Transportation Security Administration or Federal Air Marshal Service, or to convey the impression that such advertisement, circular, book, pamphlet, software, or other publication, or such play, motion picture, broadcast, telecast, or other production, is approved, endorsed, or authorized by the Transportation Security Administration or Federal Air Marshal Service;’ [shall be guilty of a crime punishable with up to one year in federal prison]

Now, don't panic, citizens! I know that some of you are worried about your "TSA: TOTALLY SUPER AWESOME!" fan t-shirts. No worries! The TSA knows that friendly and supportive fan-club materials don't fall under the statute, because they don't try to usurp the TSA's authority.

The TSA is aware that certain "citizens" — who value their "First Amendment rights" over the safety and security of the people of this great nation, including grandmothers, nuns, and children — sometimes employ shirts, buttons, and other materials unfairly criticizing the TSA from an extremist perspective. The TSA is aware of the protections presently extended in some circumstances by some interpretations of the Constitution. Anyone wearing a shirt with a TSA logo that is critical of the TSA can rest assured that TSA agents are well-trained to distinguish between things and parodies or pictures of things, as are our partners in the transportation industry. Such critics will be inconvenienced and intruded upon only temporarily at worst. Moreover, dissents can rest assured that the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA remain as tolerant as they have ever been.

So, thanks to Rep. Rogers! See you at the security lines, citizens. And remember the TSA motto: CITIZEN, OBEY.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus  •  Oct 13, 2011 @9:20 am

    Total War Against Terror. I like it. It about sums up the underlying point.

  2. Brandon  •  Oct 13, 2011 @9:22 am

    That fucking blog is just sick. They even apparently pay people to comment on their blog entries, or just have a bot that posts "I didn't know this, thank you so much!" on every entry under different names.

  3. doug  •  Oct 13, 2011 @9:46 am

    oh my, very funny and sadly, true.

  4. Randall  •  Oct 13, 2011 @10:05 am

    How long until the Trouser Search Authority comes after Ken?

  5. Al  •  Oct 13, 2011 @10:13 am

    The real question is how much did they pay for that bot and can I underbid them?

  6. Paul  •  Oct 13, 2011 @10:44 am

    With respect, did you read the bill, or just the one excerpt? Rogers' bill also: reduces inspection of low-risk passengers and places more weight on interviews, reduces screening of the Armed Services, **makes searches of children done by parents, not TSA**, and disables image retention on the intrusive scanning devices. In whole, it seems like a decent bill aimed at reducing the intrusiveness of TSA.

  7. Ken  •  Oct 13, 2011 @10:51 am

    No respect necessary here, Paul. Yes, the bill has some admirable goals (which, I suspect, will not survive), but they are limited by various forms of discretion reposed in the TSA/DHS (see, e.g., "Children shall not be subject to random pat-down screenings, unless the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration) determines that threat conditions warrant such screenings.") It appears to be more show than substance to me.

  8. Scott Jacobs  •  Oct 13, 2011 @11:02 am

    Hey Paul…

    Remember when they first started using those machines, and we were promised that they wouldn't store any images?

    Good to see you're fine with them telling you they lied to your fucking face.

    And the rest?

    I refuse to applaud the bill nor the TSA for changing things to what they fucking should have been in the first damn place, and at the same time attempting to usurp my first amendment right to use their "branding" to mock the unholy fuck out of them.

  9. doug  •  Oct 13, 2011 @11:46 am

    if the bill gives discretion, then its meaningless. this passage obviously violates the Constitution, but legally challenging it will take lots of money and time. Dont think for a moment the TSA or any other Federal Agency will just roll over.

  10. Paul  •  Oct 13, 2011 @11:55 am

    Hey, Scott,

    I despise the TSA and everything it does. Nor did I support or endorse the "branding", just pointing out that this bill also tries to reign in this out of control agency a bit. If you prefer the all-or-nothing approach to doing that and won't be satisfied with increments, then you'll likely get the nothing or worse. I'd rather limit them a bit now than continue to give them more power, because doing so sets the stage to limit them more in future bills.

  11. Paul  •  Oct 13, 2011 @11:59 am

    Ken,

    I think it's a start — my reading of the child searches is that the general rule is for parents to do it and only changes if the "threat level" is high. Yes, we should get rid of the whole damn agency, but that's unlikely, so I'd rather see some limits put in place. I just don't like to see the whole bill ignored because of one component that's out of line. Or a congressman who's clearly trying to limit TSA a bit colored as the opposite for that one component.

  12. Brandon  •  Oct 13, 2011 @12:02 pm

    The bill basically says that a TSA agent won't pat down kids anymore unless the agent finds them attractive. It also reveals that most of the justifications for the TSA screening in the first place, such as the "Terrorists will just use people who don't look dangerous" screed, were complete bullshit.

  13. doug  •  Oct 13, 2011 @2:24 pm

    Dear Paul, you are obviously more optimistic then we generally are here. The bill does nothing and changes virtually nothing. It merely attempts to placate the general public. there is nothing to prevent the sec to keep the threat levels high for extended periods of time. it does not reign in anything. Further, the bill attempts to infringe on the Constitution be limiting speech, in particular, political speech. so, one one hand, tsa's power is not curbed, but in fact, grown more powerful in that you ca be arrested/fined for using TSA and or its logo in the speech.

  14. Stan  •  Oct 14, 2011 @6:35 am

    WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?

  15. mojo  •  Oct 14, 2011 @12:25 pm

    You forgot the other motto:
    "On the ground, NOW!"

  16. Contracts  •  Oct 14, 2011 @2:01 pm
  17. G Thompson  •  Oct 15, 2011 @10:20 pm

    Thankfully not being a citizen of the Unified Sheeple of America I can still denigrate the "Totally Stupid Asshats" who are the TSA in whatever way I deem fit. Be it wearing a tshirt, a funky hat, carrying a banner, or creating a non usa registered web site that makes absolute fun of the crybabies that are the TSA.

    Thankfully I also have no plans whatsoever to fly to a USA controlled airport any time in the future. Though I will probably have to keep my eye out for the rendition squad coming my way soon.

  18. Tam  •  Oct 17, 2011 @7:08 am

    G Thompson,

    I see you've found a way around your country's Beijing-like internet censorship. Good on ya, mate! (Or is Popehat not on the blacklist yet?)

  19. Rauðbjorn  •  Nov 9, 2011 @5:42 am

    Well played Ken, well played. It's about time for the Terminally Stupid Agency to be shut down and for the Thousands Standing Around to go get real jobs.