Newark Airport Surveillance Cam Wasn’t Working

More details are expected to unfold and bring increased attention to what's behind the visible elements of security at airports.
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Security pros have always known that it takes more than a camera to fight crime at the corner liquor store, not to mention to keep an eye on a major international airport.

The camera has to be working, and it has to be attached to a working recording device if authorities want to have any hint of what actually happened after the fact.

But, according to numerous reports, the guy who went in through the out door at a Newark Liberty Airport security checkpoint was in view camera—just one that hadn’t been working for six days.

Update: TSA (and then U.S. Sen Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.) released video of the breach on Jan 7, and the breacher has been arrested.

And the breach was revealed not by any high-tech gear but by a traveler who saw the still-unidentified man enter through the exit.

“The TSA’s failure to prevent someone from walking into a secure area of Newark Liberty Airport is completely unacceptable,” said Lautenberg, who met Monday (Jan. 4) with Russ McCaffery, acting director of federal security at the airport. “This security breakdown was inexcusable, especially when our aviation system was supposedly on high alert. TSA must immediately conduct a full investigation to determine what went wrong and make sure it never happens again so that air passengers feel confident every time they board a plane.”

The Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees aviation, has scheduled a hearing on the issue.

Lautenberg said the TSA screeners tried to review the video, only to find it was not working or recording; TSA should have then notified the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport, but TSA did not immediately do so, he said.

More details are expected to unfold and bring increased attention to what's behind the visible elements of security at airports.

Security and surveillance—and the need for a solid backbone and set of processes for handling all that video—will be the subject of an online chat at noon (Eastern) Jan. 20, as part of DigitalVision2010, a new, free, online event sponsored by NewBay Media and the NAB Show. To register, click here.

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