Big Brother is getting more intrusive than ever

Two articles this week highlighted how ridiculously intrusive Big Brother is getting.

First, readers probably are aware of the incident where a Florida man, who holds a concealed carry permit in that state but was not armed while traveling, was stopped and subjected to oppressive, possibly illegal search of his person and vehicle in Maryland.  The question was, how did the Maryland officer know about his Florida CCW permit?  Now we know.

Obviously for the driver, John Filippidis, and his family, this was alarming.   What would prompt the Maryland Transportation Authority Police (MTAP) to randomly select their vehicle?

Because the first question to Mr. Filippidis was about his gun ownership, and the police search for the gun was based on his gun ownership, the Florida CCW permit that Filippidis holds was identified as the most likely impetus for the stop, questioning and search.

. . .

Maryland State has invested heavily in Homeland Security technical capabilities, and they have structured their law enforcement community to engage in very specific activity surrounding their investment.

Maryland State has a network of technical security databases which access the databases of all other states who comply and coordinate with them.   For states who do not willfully comply, or those who are not set up to align technically, Maryland mines data from various LEO systems.

Maryland has a rather innocuous sounding name for the intelligence hub which contains this data, it’s called Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center. 

The intelligence analysis hub has access to, and contains, Florida’s CCW list (among other identification systems) and mines the state’s database systems for vehicle plate numbers of the holders.    These license plate numbers are then stored in a cross referencing database within the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center.

The database is directly connected to another Maryland technological system – Their ALPR (Automatic License Plate Reader) system is synergized with the MCAC Hub.

Every time one of the flagged license plates are detected by the ALPR an alert is generated.

Mr.  Filippidis license plate was picked up at the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95 as he noted within the article.    The Maryland Authority Police pursuit car was probably positioned a couple miles from the ALPR camera.

. . .

Once the pursuit car was alerted by the ALPR system the simple chase was on.  As the Tampa Tribune indicated in the article, the patrol car came abreast of Filippidi;  this was to allow the MTAP officer to visually confirm the driver ID from the high resolution photo from  Filippidis driver’s license which was automatically on the officers on board computer screen.

Mr. Filippidis was identified by the database, his license plate cross referenced to his Florida CCW permit, an alert transmitted to the patrolling Maryland officer, and the rest is outlined in the article.

There’s more at the link.

Note that Mr. Filippidis was stopped without any probable cause whatsoever.  The fact that he holds a Florida CCW permit does not mean that he may or may not be carrying a gun at any particular time.  It’s illegal in terms of the Fourth Amendment for an officer to assume that someone’s acting illegally in the absence of any evidence to suggest that he is – but that’s what the Maryland officer did.

Maryland has subsequently apologized for the incident, but to my mind that’s not enough.  I can only suggest that legal, law-abiding firearms owners should consider Maryland ‘enemy territory’ from now on.  We can’t assume our constitutional rights will be observed there – in fact, this incident demonstrates that they’re more likely than not to be violated.  I’ve enjoyed previous visits to that state:  but from now on, Maryland can do without my tourist dollars, and I won’t be buying from Maryland-based businesses if I have any choice in the matter.

The second article discusses the TSA’s behavior monitoring program at US airports.

The Transportation Security Administration has about 3,000 officers trained to detect behavioral clues of “mal-intent.” They eye travelers at checkpoints and throughout the airport for signs of above-normal stress, fear and deception, and sometimes engage in casual conversation to measure reactions. After the fatal shooting of a TSA officer in Los Angeles in November, the Behavior Detection Officers, or BDOs, have increased roaming in public areas of airports.

The Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, concluded in a recent report there is no credible evidence that TSA’s behavior-detection program, which costs about $200 million a year, is effective.

. . .

TSA Administrator John Pistole, a former FBI official, likens the BDOs in 176 U.S. airports to cops on a beat … “A lot of it is common sense,” Mr. Pistole said in an interview last month in Houston. Effectiveness can be seen in arrests, he said. “We’ve found hundreds of people who had false IDs, who had drugs or cash or warrants or were in this country illegally. They demonstrated suspicious behavior and any one of them could have been a terrorist.”

. . .

The program, which started at airports in 2007, has been criticized for snaring people who pose no threat to aviation. Most arrests are for fake IDs and drug possession.

TSA has also faced complaints of racial profiling, or simply being too subjective with its referrals. Anecdotal evidence in the GAO report seemed to back this up. The GAO said 21 of the 25 BDOs it interviewed said some behavioral indicators are subjective. Five of the 25 said they believed some profiling was occurring.

Again, more at the link.

The obvious problem with Mr. Pistole’s perspective is very simple.  The TSA is not a law enforcement agency.  Therefore, if its agents are not law enforcement officers, why are they behaving like them?  Why are they using police tactics and techniques which are not legitimate to their proper role and function?

That goes double for the arrests of which Mr. Pistole is so proud.  The TSA’s statutory function is transportation security.  Why, therefore, is it referring people to law enforcement agencies for arrest over matters that are not threats to transportation security?

I’m beginning to think that, since our legislators have failed so miserably to rein in the apparatus of the Security State, the only recourse open to us as citizens will be to ostracize all those involved in its operation and administration.  We’ll have to shun those who perpetrate such abuses, and all who support them.  Shut them out of everyday discourse.  Refuse to have any contact with them, except that which can’t be helped, such as when traveling.  Treat them with the icy disdain they deserve – not to mention contempt, scorn and derision.

These bureaucratic goons aren’t keeping us safe at all.  They’re merely playing bit parts in security theater – and very badly, at that.  We should treat them as precisely that – bad actors, unworthy of respect.



  1. I would hope he sues the pants off of the state of Maryland, the MTAP and the officer who pulled him over (along with any others involved). If it happened the way it was described at the link you provided, that was a blatant violation of he 4th Amendment.

  2. What is needed is a serious lawsuit, naming everyone from the head of law enforcement on down, under
    Conspiracy to interfere with civil rights. Nail every last one of them to the wall by the balls. Because it's a widespread system, a government-built system, enforced by lone cops and the DA and everyone else, it SHOULD be a slam-dunk. Make them pay a PERSONAL price, jail time and garnished wages, not just a taxpayer-funded fine. Make them squeal like a six-year old girl being told she's getting a pony for Christmas.

  3. F%$& Maryland and the horse they rode in on.

    I wouldn't visit or spend a dime in a blue state for all the tea in China.

  4. I used to spend time reading Florida Concealed Carry forums, mostly back when I first got my Florida permit, and guys who called themselves LEOs said that the state's CWFL information doesn't show up in their cars.

    That means Maryland is using Florida's information more aggressively than Florida is. There is simply no reason to stop a concealed carrier except as unconstitutional harassment. The number of Florida permits revoked for a weapons related cause is something like 8/1000 of 1% since 1987. These people are the least likely to commit a crime you're likely to find.

    There is always debate about whether or not we should tell an officer whether or not we're carrying, with the sides predictably falling that most LEO/former LEOs say yes while civil libertarians say no. This guy told the LEO he didn't have one and they wouldn't believe him. So what's the sense of telling him?

  5. Tongue-only-partially-in-cheek, we're so deep in the shi#, that the shunning/disdaining/ excommunication from friendly society that you suggest at the end of the blog entry (which I wholeheartedly agree with) – could nowadays concievably get you (possibly criminally) investigated by the very self-same stazi/gestapo/ jackboot thugs that you're trying to nudge into changing their error-filled oppressive ways. The charge? A most suitably vague and subjective "bullying" charge. Which will be one of those charges that will preclude you from lawfully owning a firearm, due to your "aggressive traits".

  6. Maryland IS "enemy territory", and a Democratic SLAVE STATE. I say that as a resident, who has no financial ability to leave. We only have ONE GOP Congress-critter, since they gerrymandered Roscoe Bartlett out last go-round (2012). And every freedom-loving individual out there beware – our soon out of work Gov. Martin O'Malley thinks he has national potential. God help us all!

  7. With regard to the TSA story, I seem to recollect that back when the whole TSA thing started, all the gun fora were abuzz with people complaining that the mechanistic, non-profiling approach was wrong, and that we should be doing it like the Israelis: Looking for suspicious patterns of behavior and activity.

    Am I misremembering?

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