Government Changes Policy After Blog Comments

Dennis Faas's picture

If you think the government doesn't listen to people, you're in for a shock. The Transport Security Administration (TSA), which sets the rules for airport security, changed its policy as a direct result of comments on its new blog.

The blog, titled 'Evolution of Security', aims to explain changes in policy and explain confusing procedures, such as the rules about carrying liquids in hold baggage. It also answers common questions such as why military personnel and veterans have to go through screening, and even includes videos of staff explaining policies to passengers.

The site invites comments and questions, and on the day the blog launched more than 700 people left messages.

Within a week of launching the site, the TSA received a number of comments about airports which were requiring passengers to remove all electronic equipment from carry-on bags including -- to the horror of many -- Blackberry devices and iPods.

The blog staff checked with the TSA's security operations team and found this was an exercise being set up by local offices rather than a national policy. By the end of the day, the practice had been ended across the country. (Source:

Explaining the move the TSA said, "Our hope is that examples like this validate our forum and show the solid partnerships we can form with our customers -- the traveling public -- in not only increasing security but in making all of our lives just a little easier."

They've also used the blog to warn passengers that TSA staff do not confiscate laptops and will not ask for passwords or open files during inspections. (Source:

It's a fantastic example of how public authorities can use the Internet as a genuine communication tool. Had passengers either complained at local airports about the iPod confiscation, or written in to the TSA head office, it could have taken weeks for management to discover the confusion and clarify the policy.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet