Pilot Defends Posting Security Videos On YouTube

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Chris Liu, 50, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he wasn’t aware so many people watch YouTube. He and his attorney, Don Werno, defended the footage showing how grounds crew can enter secure areas by swiping security cards and without undergoing further screening. It exposes a security lapse at the airport, they said.

“There have been numerous articles written about this security problem, and I just wanted to address it,” Liu said. “I didn’t really think that anybody was watching YouTube, so I didn’t really think much of it.”

Werno told the Sacramento Bee his client, who has previously remained anonymous, decided to go public after reporters figured out his identity. Werno and Liu also held a news conference Tuesday at Sacramento International Airport. Watch the entire press conference below.

Liu, who refers to himself as the “Patriot Pilot” on a website explaining why he made the videos, posted them in late November or early December. He took them down after the Transportation Security Administration objected, Werno has said.

Liu has been suspended from a federal anti-terrorism program that let him carry a gun on planes, and the TSA is investigating whether he revealed sensitive information. He works for a major airline but has declined to identify the carrier out of concerns about his job.

The videos — shot with a cell phone — number more than six.

One of the clips shows an ax in the cockpit that is used for emergencies. Werno has said his client believes the security pilots go through is “absurd” since once they get in the cockpit they have access to a weapon.

In another video clip, Liu goes through a door that exits onto the tarmac and shows a turnstile and card scanner used by ground crew members.

Werno and Liu said they didn’t think the videos revealed anything sensitive.

“If you’re suggesting that it’s a secret, I would suggest that it’s in plain view for everybody to see,” Werno told Good Morning America. “Really, the issue is why aren’t (TSA officials) securing our airports, and why aren’t they doing a better job of screening the ground crews?”

The TSA has said it is confident in the security at San Francisco International Airport.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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