"Davi Barker, co-founder of the BitcoinNotBombs advocacy group, has recently described a run-in he had with the TSA. Barker was about to board his plane on his way back from the New Hampshire Liberty Forum, when he was stopped by two TSA agents. Barker, who was wearing a BitcoinNotBombs shirt and carrying a few hundred metal lapel pins some with the logo of Blockchain.info, a popular Bitcoin wallet and block explorer service was just cleared by airport security. But the TSA agents wanted to search his luggage again. They were looking for his Bitcoins:
I turned back to the orange shirt and asked 'What did the Bitcoin look like?' Bill chimed in and told the agent that what he was saying was impossible because Bitcoin is digital and doesn't have have any physical manifestation. You can't 'see' Bitcoin. The orange shirt said they looked like medallions or tokens. I said I didn't understand what he was talking about, and he simply repeated, in a child like way, that Bitcoins are like metal tokens. I told him that I didn't have any tokens.
The TSA agents suspected he was travelling internationally with over $10,000 worth of Bitcoins. This, presumably, might be seen as a form of money laundering. When another member of his group said that Barker was not going to fly out of the country, the agents simply turned around and disappeared."
(Score: 4, Interesting) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:50PM
That's the kind of mistake that is entirely reasonable for regular people to make.
But it really sounds like these guys were acting on some sort of TSA policy briefing. And if that's the case, then TSA management has profoundly screwed up in a way that perfectly lines up with the stereotypes we have of the agency.
FWIW, rather than focusing on the "digital" part of it, I would have compared it to an MP3 - "what does an mp3 look like?"
(Score: 0) by Bill, Shooter Of Bul on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:06PM
I'm not sure that people still remember downloading or burning mp3's anymore. I'll ask the local teenagers and get back to you.
(Score: 1) by ButchDeLoria on Monday March 03 2014, @09:31PM
Yeah, all the cool kids have moved on to FLAC.