TSA Considers Forcing Airline Passengers to Remove Books From Carry-Ons

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The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) is testing new safety procedures that could require airline passengers to remove books and other paper goods from carry-on bags when going through security lines.

In a report from The Hill, the new screening process would require passengers to put books in a bin at the security check the same way they do with laptops and shoes.

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While it is still in its initial testing phases at small airports in Missouri and California, the Wall Street Journal notes that these new methods have not yet been finalized. The publication goes on to add that an early testing in May didn’t go as well at a Kansas City airport where travelers removed all papers from their carry-ons, halting testing for a few days.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly told Fox News last month that the department is “likely” going to 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,” he said.

The new security measure has brought up privacy concerns among the American Civil Liberties Organization (ACLU), who issued a statement declaring how there has been a “long history of special legal protection for the privacy of one’s reading habits in the United States.”

Given the sensitivity of our reading choices and First Amendment-protected expressions, the ACLU is urging the TSA to train its agents in privacy concerns that go with inspecting someone’s books or paperwork.

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Tania Hussain |

Tania Hussain is a native of Toronto and a Hoosier at heart, studying journalism at Ball State University in Indiana. She has a mad love for fine cheese, film, music, and meeting people upon her many travels. When Tania’s not writing at Womanista, she can be found going for long nature runs, rooting for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals, photographing sights and food, or writing for her online magazine, The Hudsucker. She is also a member of the Indy-based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists.