Whistleblower Pilot Revealed As Airport Responds to YouTube Videos

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The whistleblowing pilot who anonymously questioned airport security at San Francisco International Airport by posting videos on YouTube, turns out to be Chris Liu, who flies for American Airlines. He appeared today on Good Morning America today saying he didn't mean to cause an uproar.

Liu, 50, says he took the videos with his cell phone to show obvious shortcomings in airport security – including how while passengers go through screening with metal detectors, full body scanners and pat downs, airport employees receive little security scrutiny.

He tells GMA he was just trying to point out the disparity to the traveling public. "I was just trying to an address an issue," he says.

Liu says he did not feel revealing the information puts the traveling public in any danger.

"There's a major national security problem that Chris has helped to expose," adds Liu's lawyer, Don Werno.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco airport says at least one of the six videos posted by the pilot doesn't show what it claims to.

"A recent YouTube video, posted by a U.S. airline pilot, presents false and misleading information on SFO's security program," the airport says in a statement. "The video shows a door with a card swipe and suggests that access is gained to the airfield area through this door. In fact, the door shown in the video provides access only to an employee lunchroom."

The airport further says it has multiple levels of security in place and not all measures are obvious.

"The vast majority of the widespread layers of this security program are behind the scenes and transparent to casual observers," the statement says. SFO actually exceeds every federal security requirement, officials add.

Liu is in hot water with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other authorities for posting the videos – which have since been removed from YouTube.

He has already been suspended from the Federal Flight Deck Officer program -- which allowed him to carrry a gun in the cockpit -- and federal agents came to his house and confiscated his weapon, according to Werno.

The TSA says the action is the result of the pilot violating rules regarding sensitive information.

According to GMA, Liu could faces possible charges for sharing secrets. American Airlines would not confirm his employment with the carrier.





(This story updated on Dec. 28.) Photo, coolmikeal, flickr
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