ACLU takes issue with TSA’s new move: checking your books

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The TSA is testing a new security policy in some airports this week, adding books to the list of items travelers need to remove from their bags during security checks.

According to Department of Homeland Security, the new procedure will most likely be implemented nationwide. “What we’re doing now is working out the tactics, techniques, and procedures in a few airports,” Sec. Kelly said in an interview with Fox News.  The program will start in some Missouri and California airports.

Once removed from a passenger’s bag, TSA workers will flip through paper materials to see if there is anything concealed inside. The American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern over a possible breach of privacy rights.

“Books 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 is giving advice to the TSA, encouraging to wrap the books they are examining in a sleeve so as to keep their contents private.

 

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