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"Remove Your Shoes … and Your Books" TSA considering additional screening of books

romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,875 Senior Member
The Transportation Security Administration is testing and plans to expand a program in which airline passengers will be asked to remove books from carry-on luggage.

The plan has been discussed by TSA for several weeks now, but it attracted attention this weekend when the American Civil Liberties Union released an analysis of the proposal that noted concerns about passengers having to reveal what they are reading. Some academics object to the idea on the principle that what they read should not be anyone's business. But many others are worried about what could happen to those reading Arabic or other foreign language literature or books whose covers indicate a point of view that is critical of the Trump administration.

TSA officials have said that their intent is not to judge passengers by what they are reading but to flip through the pages of books to see if anything is hidden there.

But many in academe know the stories of students and faculty members delayed or detained for some combination of their appearance and what they were carrying with them. There was the Pomona College student who was detained over his Arabic flash cards. And there was the Italian-born professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania whose flight was delayed after security officials interviewed him based on the complaint of another passenger. The professor was writing out complex mathematical equations that his fellow passenger assumed were some sort of terrorist communication.


Literally all I take on flights now is books and my meds. Just personally, I don't particularly want to take out my stack of books about eugenics, genocide, and sex.

I'm not who they're targeting but I fear for any of my friends and colleagues who are have any books or materials that remotely look "foreign."

Replies to: "Remove Your Shoes … and Your Books" TSA considering additional screening of books

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 74,455 Senior Member
    I wonder...if you have global entry or TSA precheck....if you will be exempt from this. Those folks don't have to take computers out...or shoes off, etc.

  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,484 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    LOL--years ago (at least 7) my kid went on a trip in high school to China as part of a educational group.
    We waited as he went through security to wave good-bye to him.
    And he got dragged to the side for further inspection of his backpack....What in the world?
    Turned out he had "War and Peace" in the bottom of his backpack--and the x-ray couldn't get through it....
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,875 Senior Member
    Ok @patsmom I literally LOL'ed at that one.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 37,764 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
  • great lakes momgreat lakes mom Registered User Posts: 2,972 Senior Member
    Reminds me of the time they had to pull out the ear of corn I had brought to eat while waiting for my flight. The scanner was mystified. I sometimes bring left overs to the airport when leaving on a trip.

    But seriously, this is one of the more irritating things they could come up with. Time on a plane can be some of the best reading or language studying time available, freed from the attractions of the internet.
  • oregon101oregon101 Registered User Posts: 5,382 Senior Member
    I play Mah Jongg on line---will i be in trouble?
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 37,764 Senior Member
    Why even bother with packing... Just put all of your cabin items in a garbage bag... dump it all out into the TSA bin... then dump it back into the bag.

    In this day and age, why the heck are we still using ancient tech to screen? Xraying and microwaving people.. Whatever happened to bio and chem sensors development?
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,875 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    And of course these restrictions to come as bag fees go up on checked bags.

    I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I could see how a case could be made here :-w (No, I don't really think that's why the TSA is doing this... I'm just grumpy about it.)

    I think I've told this story before but several years back, I flew on the day that the liquid bomb was supposed to happen. I flew out of LAX back to Detroit by myself as a young teen (I think I was about 14?). I literally took nothing on the plane except the Harry Potter (6?) book that had just come out like the day before.

    And now even THAT is suspect?

    It's just annoying and it really just feels like a show. So many things get through security that shouldn't and I foresee this new plan (if it goes into place) catching a lot more math professors doing complex calculations than terrorists who have shoved their plans (or whatever it is they're supposedly looking for) into a Stephen King book.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,484 Senior Member
    I always carry magazines so I can discard them afterwards. The TSA flipping through mags is just going to have all those little ads that come flying out. This actually just sounds like a new excuse to hire more agents.
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 2,036 Senior Member
    Blame Andy Dufresne.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,176 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    2 years ago if you'd told me We'd have agents inspecting books in case theyd contain something dangerous I'd have said someone should stop watching Goonies adlnd wean off Scooby doo. No secret caches inside books, secret buttons that reveal treasure, dangerous criminals masquerading as mathematicians, etc.

    It sounds like a paranoid has taken over at TSA. It sounds crazy and really really doesn't make me want to fly.
This discussion has been closed.