08/06/13Posted in News by Alexandra Miller

T.S.A. Now Has Power to Patrol Music Festivals?


With all the recent talk of national security, breaches of privacy, and government agency whistle blowers, it's a good question to ask whether or not the hallowed grounds of music festivals are being infiltrated by big brother, as well.

The New York Times published an article August 5th, describing the various  jurisdiction extensions of the Transportation Security Administration, or the T.S.A. You are definitely familiar with some of these task force programs, or VIPRs (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Squads), if you've traveled through airports, Amtrak, or even simply by walking through high traffic and security zones of New York City. Among the squads are T.S.A. officers, Federal Air Marshals, explosives detection specialists, and even behavior detection officers.  Here is a description of just how, when, and where these response squads may be deployed:

"TSA VIPR teams can be deployed at random locations and times in cooperation with local authorities to deter and defeat terrorist activity; or teams may be deployed to provide additional law enforcement or security presence at transportation venues during specific alert periods or in support of special events."

This description comes from a report updated and published by the T.S.A. January 30, 2013. But why only now are we starting to become conscious of the presence of these additional squads, patrols, and task forces? And how did no one notice the inclusion of "in support of special events" in the list of permissible deployment locations? The NY Times alleges that this clause can include special events such as our beloved music festivals!

With little fanfare, the agency best known for airport screenings has vastly expanded its reach to sporting events, music festivals, rodeos, highway weigh stations and train terminals. Not everyone is happy.

But what about private properties, permits, local authorities?  Heck, Camp Bisco has been using the Hell's Angels as security for over a decade!  Nope. Strengthened interagency communication permits the fusion of department task forces.  A.k.a. Don't be surprised if a few uninvited guests show up to the party.

"There is usually a specially trained undercover plainclothes member who monitors crowds for suspicious behavior." -Kimberly F. Thompson, T.S.A. spokeswoman

Does anyone remember The Festival of Gnarnia, which incidentally took place this very week in August of 2012 in North Carolina?  Due to the fact patrons were permitted to bring their own alcohol onto festival grounds, officers from a state-specific task force, known as the Alcohol Law Enforcement, had free rein to enter the gates and subsequently arrest over 100 attendees (not to mention the myriad undercovers).  We're not saying festivals should be an anarchic bubble, free of any security whatsoever, but when so many different federal, state, and local departments are blended, where do we draw the line of jurisdiction?  How does each respective organization define probable cause when they're all searching for different things?

“The problem with T.S.A. stopping and searching people in public places outside the airport is that there are no real legal standards, or probable cause,” -Khaliah Barnes, administrative law counsel,Electronic Privacy Information Center,Washington.

According the Huffinton Post, "the recent round of serious al Qaeda threats led Chicago officials to make changes to this past weekend's security at Lollapalooza." Regarding Lollapalooza ABC News States:

"We ramped up the bag searches to insure that everybody was getting searched with the bags coming in and out. I don't even know what the total number of bag searches was, but it was overwhelming," said Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

McCarthy says there were more undercover officers in the crowd and bomb dogs on the perimeter-brought in once Chicago police were told of the terror plot, "it was going to be big and strategically significant."

The world is constantly changing and there are always new threats  to our security and responses by law enforcement to protect it.  As the music festival scene continues to grow, it will unfortunately  have to adapt to this scary world in which we live, but that does not mean transforming them, or anywhere for that matter, into a police state.


Related



Comments


Lockn' Adds Melvin Seals w/ JGB ft. John Kadlecik

Lockn' continues their daily additions with the announcement of Melvin Seals & ...


The Fillmore Philadelphia To Open Up This Fall

LiveNation has announced the forthcoming opening of a brand new, 2,500-person venue i ...


Watch Soul Rebels Sit In With Umphrey's McGee On Bob Marley Cover

Umphrey's McGee hit the House of Blues in Houston last night, along with support fr ...


Disco Biscuits Call On Grateful Dead Members At Red Rocks

The Disco Biscuits called on Grateful Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart f ...


Prince's Facebook Gets Hacked

After a long hiatus from social media, Prince's Facebook page made a resurgence th ...


Lettuce Bringing the Nasty Funk to NOLA April 24th

Coming off an epic rager of a party with Umphrey's McGee down in St. Augustine last w ...


Lockn' Adds Billy & The Kids To Festival Lineup

Lockn' Festival has announced that Billy & The Kids will be joining this year's 2 ...


CounterPoint Announces Great Artist Additions, Extended Jam Sets

CounterPoint Festival has revealed a number of striking artist additions to their 201 ...


Dominican Holidaze Announces Dates and Remarkable Lineup

Cloud 9 Adventures has confirmed the return of Dominican Holidaze. The highly celebra ...


Conan O'Brien Makes Fun of Phish Fans

Conan O'Brien made a joke about Phish last night, Live Music Daily reports. He took ...


Giorgio Moroder Reveals Details On First New Album In 30 Years; Releases New Single With Sia

The godfather of disco, Giorgio Moroder, has revealed further details on his first n ...


Snoop Dogg Investing In 'Uber For Weed'

Snoop Dogg has reportedly invested in a marijuana delivery startup that's being desc ...


Disco Biscuits Kick Off Colorado Run With 'After Midnight' Cover

The Disco Biscuits kicked off their four-night run in Colorado with a stellar opening ...


Method Man and Wu-Tang Clan Deny Divorce Court Story

We recently posted a story in which a young couple went on Divorce Court, with the hu ...


Lady Antebellum's Tour Bus Catches Fire

Lady Antebellum's tour bus went up in a blaze forcing singer Hillary Scott, her husba ...


Summer Set Music Festival Reveals Full Lineup

Summer Set Music Festival has announced their 2015 lineup. Held in Somerset, WI from ...


Crystal Castles Claims Former Partner Wasn't Responsible For Their Success; Debuts New Tune

Crystal Castles have debuted their first song since one half of the duo, lead singer ...


Getting To Know: After Funk, The Grooviest New Band North of the Border

Toronto based collective After Funk will be kicking off their spring and summer tour ...


9 Bands Not To Miss Before 2 PM At Jazz Fest

Plan on being fashionably late to this year's Jazz Fest? Think again. Here’s a grea ...


L4LM Premiere: Turkuaz - Gettin' A Little Closer

L4LM is proud to premiere a track from Turkuaz's new EP, Stereochrome. "Gettin' A Lit ...


20 Awesome Photos From Umphrey's McGee and Lettuce in St. Augustine

Umphrey's McGee and Lettuce did a superb job of making lemonade this past weekend ...


The 15 Best Events Surrounding New Orleans Jazz Festival!

New Orleans Jazz Fest after-hours can get incredibly overwhelming. With upwards of ...


L4LM Exclusive Premiere: 'Omega' by Earphunk

New Orleans funk outfit Earphunk have been making waves, slyly blending progressive f ...


L4LM Exclusive: Lotus Remixes the New Deal's 'Mercury Switch'

In honor of Lotus' upcoming show with the New Deal opening, this Saturday April 18th ...


L4LM Exclusive: Keller Williams Gets Funky On 'She Rolls,' Talks New Album 'Vape'

In anticipation of his 20th album, Vape, we're delighted to share the brand new singl ...


Top Reasons To Attend This Year's Purple Hatter's Ball

The annual Purple Hatter's Ball which is held at Spirit of the Suwannee Music in Live ...


The 2015 Complete Music Festival Guide

Festival announcements are at an all-time high, and it's up to us to help you weed th ...


The Music of The Doors: Interview with Waylon Krieger

Jim Morrison attempted to be a living and breathing archetype of man passing through ...


Breaking Bad's Walt Jr. Talks About Upcoming DJ Gig

L4LM writer and Breaking Bad enthusiast David Khalev had a chance to chat with Walt J ...


John Brown's Body's Drew Sayers Talks New Album & More

Recently, L4LM writer Mark McGwin was fortunate to get an exclusive interview with J ...


EOTO Only Tries Once: An Exclusive with the Masters of Live Improv EDM

As with all of their shows, Michael Travis begins by declaring “We are EOTO, everyt ...


Getting To Know: On The Sun, Collaborative Brooklyn Soul

The story of On the Sun, a working New York City-based soul band founded in 2013, is ...


The Motet's Jans Ingber Talks Backwoods Festival, Colorado, and More

The Motet are true funk. The seven-piece ensemble has steadily built a fanbase, brin ...


Live for Live NOLA Launch Party 3/7: Wrap Video, Photos

Live for Live Music kicked things off with a bang in New Orleans with a funky launch ...



Instafeed



    L4LM Twitter