It seems like every time I fly I have an interesting interaction with the TSA. I make it a point to always opt out, and if possible always strike up a conversation with the man molesting me. But yesterday was by far the most frightening, as well as cautionary for Bitcoin users. I’m going to begin simply by relaying the facts as observed, including some that will seem insignificant at first. Then I will provide some analysis, as well as speculation what’s going on here. What’s absolutely clear is that the TSA is looking for Bitcoin, and Bitcoin users need to be conscious when they travel, especially internationally.
I was flying out of Manchester, on my way home from the New Hampshire Liberty Forum. By coincidence I ran into Bill Buppert from ZeroGov.com and his wife while checking my luggage. And we happened to be taking the same flight. I met Bill last week at the Freedom Summit in Arizona, spent time with him again at Liberty Forum, and we have become fast friends. Without his help, I’m not sure what would have happened to me.
I was wearing my Bitcoin Not Bombs hoodie which features an image of a B17 bomber dropping Bitcoin from its bomb bay doors. The sweatshirt does not feature the words “Bitcoin Not Bombs” only the image.
We approached the TSA screening and began to put our things in the gray bins. My things required two bins. One for my backpack and shoes, and the other for my laptop and phone. I asked the greeting officer to point me to the opt-out line. Bill immediately told the agent that he would also like to opt-out, and he thanked me for making that choice.
Bill went first, but I was told to stand right beside him. Bill’s strategy is very simple, and effective. He plainly told the officer, “I understand, but please don’t touch my dick.” This immediately perturbed the agent, a man named Tinker, which was the only name badge I saw clearly. Tinker immediately called over a superior officer.