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Why Airport Security Might Inspect Your Books Before Your Next Flight

Privacy advocates are sounding the alarm after security officials at some airports have been inspecting passengers’ books and other paper materials.

“Books raise very special privacy issues,” wrote American Civil Liberties Union Senior Policy Analyst Jay Stanley in a recent blog post[1]. “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 Transportation Security Administration has recently been testing new screening procedures that include the removal of books and food from carry-on luggage for thorough inspection, according to reports. The paper screenings are being tested at airports in select cities, including Los Angeles, Detroit, Boston and more, according to The Sacramento Bee[2]. The screenings reportedly began in May, but have expanded[3] to more airports since first being introduced.

TSA officials told the Bee[4] that some books make it difficult to see the contents of a bag with X-ray machines. They also said agents only fan through books to check for hidden weapons and other contraband without reading the content.

In late May, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the agency is working to find new ways to improve security without inconveniencing passengers. 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 told Fox News[5].

References

  1. ^ recent blog post (www.aclu.org)
  2. ^ The Sacramento Bee (www.sacbee.com)
  3. ^ expanded (theweek.com)
  4. ^ Bee (www.sacbee.com)
  5. ^ Fox News (www.foxnews.com)

National Guard to Deploy

Newington, n.h. (Ap) Twenty-nine New Hampshire Air National Guard Security Forces Squadron members are ready to deploy to air bases in the Middle East next month, joining dozens of other National Guard personnel from New Hampshire who ve deployed this year. The security personnel are deploying to six locations throughout the United States Central Command, an area that includes recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., thanked the National Guard personnel for their service and family and friends at the ceremony Sunday for showing support.

Most Granite Staters are at Sunday worship, on summer vacation, perhaps looking forward to a ball game later today. But for the 29 deploying members of the 157th Security Forces Squadron, this is a day of duty, she said. Attending the ceremony were N.H. National Guard Master Sgt. T.J. Hackett and his son, Senior Airman Travis Hackett, who was visiting from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. Both will deploy together to the Middle East, and it was special to have them together for the ceremony, said Christina Hackett, T.J. s wife and Travis mother.

After the ceremony, the group grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, taking a break before continuing preparations to deploy, she said. Others attending the event included Gov. Chris Sununu, the adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard and the commander of the 157th Air Refueling Wing. The ceremony held at Pease Air National Guard Base honored the 29 deploying along with 193 other airmen who ve deployed this year.

The National Guard personnel who are deploying have conducted combat skills training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and completed additional training locally, officials said. They will provide security at six air bases throughout the region.

NH National Guard personnel to provide air base security

About 30 New Hampshire Air National Guard Security Forces Squadron members are going to be deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. A deployment ceremony is scheduled for Sunday at Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington, New Hampshire. The ceremony also will celebrate the 193 airmen who have deployed this year. The soldiers are deploying to six locations throughout the United States Central Command. They have conducted combat skills training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and completed additional training locally. They will provide airbase security at six bases throughout the region.

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