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DHS to ease up on airport security policies? Maybe. Let's give it another year or two.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

In the relatively near future you may not have to remove your laptop from your carry-on bag or your shoes from your feet before going through airport security. This potential change in security comes straight from the head honcho herself:

“We are looking at what we can do to minimize the amount of divestiture of passengers waiting in line so that it’s possible that most people can leave their shoes on,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told the annual conference of the American Association of Exporters and Importers in New York on Tuesday, reported the The Journal of Commerce.

But she was clear this change would take time. Like, say, in a year or two. It takes time to adjust policies, people.

Speaking of policies, I also read this interesting article from The Economist. I'm not sure if you've been following the media stories about the woman who claimed she was molested by a TSA officer during security screening. A large part of the incident was captured on video by her son. That incident (and several in the recent past) have raised questions about the ability of passengers to video tape at security checkpoints. According to Blogger Bob, the official blogger for the TSA, the policy is currently under review.

The Economist author had an interesting point, I thought, and started out by tipping his/her hat to the way TSA saying the agency has been handling these public incidents "quickly and professionally with public statements and explanations of its policies."

Tightening the rules to defuse criticism, the Economist correspondent writes, will just be "another strike against an organization not known for its embrace of passenger rights."

He dismissed the argument that photography shouldn't be allowed for terrorism reasons, although I think that could be a good argument myself.

Also, the TSA is not budging on its liquid policy, apparently. I read this story a few days ago in The Guardian, the U.S. had warned the European Union Commission not to relax its liquids ban:

A planned change in liquids regulations for transfer passengers carrying duty free purchases on April 29, 2013, viewed as a step change to a complete lifting of the ban in two years' time, was cancelled at the 11th hour after the US warned that it would introduce its own measures in response.

That's too bad. I never remember to leave room in my checked luggage for those bottles of duty-free liquor when I fly internationally.