TSA considers forcing airline passengers to remove books

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TSA considers forcing airline passengers to remove books

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Jun 26, 2017

http://thehill.com/policy/transportatio ... from-carry

TSA considers forcing airline passengers to remove books from carry-ons
Brandon Carter

The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) is reportedly testing new safety procedures that could require airline passengers to remove books from their carry-on bags when going through security lines, raising privacy concerns.

The Week reported that the TSA began testing the new security requirement for books and other paper products at airports in Missouri and California earlier this month. The new screening process could require passengers to remove all reading material and food from their carry-ons and place them in bins for screening, though the Wall Street Journal noted that the changes have not been finalized.

Travelers already have to remove laptops from carry-on bags and place them in a separate bin. An early May test in Kansas City, Mo., had travelers remove all paper from their carryon bags, but it didn’t go well and was halted after a few days, the TSA told the Wall Street Journal.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday” in late May that the department would “likely” expand the new carry-on policy nationwide.

“What we’re doing now is working out the tactics, techniques, and procedures, if you will, in a few airports, to find out exactly how to do that with the least amount of inconvenience to the traveler,” Kelly said at the time.

The American Civil Liberties Organization (ACLU) raised concerns over the proposed book policy in a recent post on its website, given that TSA agents could page through books as part of the search.

ooks raise very special privacy issues,” senior policy analyst Jay Stanley wrote. “There is a long history of special legal protection for the privacy of one’s reading habits in the United States, not only through numerous Supreme Court and other court decisions, but also through state laws that criminalize the violation of public library reading privacy or require a warrant to obtain book sales, rental, or lending records.”

The ACLU urged the TSA to train its agents in the privacy concerns surrounding examining passengers’ books and papers and proposed the agents allow passengers to wrap their books and papers in another material, like a sleeve, to protect their contents.

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