New TSA Rules Require Searches of on Cell Phones, Laptops and Electronic Devices

John Vibes

The TSA has made a series of announcements this week that included new fees and new security procedures.  One of the most alarming of these announcements was the new policy that requires all passengers visiting from overseas to have their portable electronic devices powered on during the security screening, allowing TSA agents to snoop through the information on their phones, laptops and tablets.

New TSA Rules Require Searches of on Cell Phones, Laptops and Electronic Devices

“As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones.  Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft,a TSA official said in a recent statement.

The Department of Homeland Security claims that this measure is to prevent terrorists from carrying bombs inside of hallowed out cell phones, but that seems like a sorry excuse to get a look at your personal information.

Last year it was reported that the TSA could be using scanning devices to check the contents of your electronic devices as well.

According to various reports, these new screening rules will only apply to international travelers, but many believe that this is only the beginning.  In the past the TSA has tested more invasive policies on international travelers before forcing domestic travelers to abide by the same rules.

The TSA has also said that travelers will be forced to undergo “additional screening procedures”, but the statement was vague on what those procedures would be.

This measure is just the worst of many recent TSA policy changes that have caused controversy.  As we reported earlier this week, starting on July 21, the TSA will more than double the mandatory fee that they charge for their involuntary screening process.  Previously, the security fee was $2.50 for each leg of a flight with a $5 cap on each one-way trip or a $10 cap on each round trip.  However, on July 21, the fee will be increasing to $5.60 for each leg of a flight.  They will also be doing away with the cap, so they can now charge overage fees as high as they want for special flights and circumstances.

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