Books

Flyers may soon have their books and magazines screened

WASHINGTON: According to a report in The Economist, last month, America’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ran tests at airports in California and Missouri that required passengers to remove all books and magazines from their carry-on bags and put them in plastic bins to be x-rayed.

John Kelly, the homeland security secretary, said that the agency “might and likely will” impose that requirement at all airports.

“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 traveller,” he said.

To the many invasions of privacy that have become commonplace in air travel—the pat-downs, the hand swabs, the shoe removal, the endless rummaging through luggage by security agents—one more may soon need to be added: the examination of reading material.

The agency’s concern is that dense papers can block x-ray scanners, or could potentially be used to conceal weapons. A TSA spokeswoman told The Hill that the tests have now finished, but that is not enough to allay the concerns of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an advocacy group.

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