back to article Confirmed: TSA bans gear bigger than phones from airplane cabins

People traveling by air to America from an undisclosed list of countries will no longer be allowed to carry devices larger than a mobile phone in carry-on baggage. Those traveling with such devices will be required to store them in checked baggage. The new travel rule was reportedly issued by the US Transportation Security …

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Checked in baggage? What the hell.. has they seen the way the baggage people handle the baggage? Have they not had something stolen from the bags? At one point, everyone was adamant about "no valuables in checked in baggage".. and for a very good reason.

What's next? Flying to or from one of those "undisclosed countries" will require you to be naked....? Which after a couple incidents involving shoes and underwear in the past, I wouldn't be surprised.

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Does Easyjet fly to the US? Noted in DailyMail (British National Enquirer cracks me up, Kardashians instead of alien babies) that they had an issue...

'sides, doesn't matter to TSA - carry-on or checked in, they've managed to destroy two business laptops for me in their performance of security theatre. I've moved on to Toughbooks but haven't tried my luck recently.

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Unhappy

"Checked in baggage? What the hell ..."

"As a child I grew up in a big house filled with exotic gifts from all round the world. - My father was a baggage handler at the airport."

Milton Jones, Another case of Milton Jones

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Black Helicopters

Clearly one of the TSA employed monkeys at their typewriters eventually found the obligatory xkcd and reported the gaping security hole. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!

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What I'm more concerned about is that OTHER directive: "No Lithium batteries allowed in checked luggage" which is there due to the fire risk and therefore won't be going away. Since most of the devices in question have lithium-based batteries, how can they get them on the plane at all given they're now barred in BOTH locations?

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LDS
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Probably TSA guys & friends need a source of cheap devices...

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Anonymous Coward

So...

If you are not allowed your gadget onto the plane, what will the immigration droid clone, purloin, copy from?

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hilarious

the same week I'm astonished I managed to board a plane (admittedly, an internal flight) without providing any identification what-so-ever (and, for the first time in a long time not being "randomly selected" for bomb screening, trimming the beard seems to be working) this happens.

I mean, it shouldn't be as easy as walking up to a machine, punching my name in and it spitting a ticket out (as was the case) before sauntering through security (who's metal detector should be checked as neither my belt nor watch triggered it...I shouldn't fly so early).

But really, devices no larger than a phone? What rubbish..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

If you are not allowed your gadget onto the plane, what will the immigration droid clone, purloin, copy from?

It will be done during luggage handling (by someone who has most likely the original TSA keys rather than 3D printed ones off the Internet) where you cannot see that they will add data to your laptop, so a later arrest for possession of CP will be more of a surprise to you than to the arresting officers (in case of entrapment) or they don't need to copy your date because you'll do that yourself (in the case of spyware, which is also MUCH quicker to do than copying the full data set).

Bonus issue: this ban doesn't actually work. All it does is raise the profit for airlines because they will sell two tickets. One leaving for an airport in a country without a ban, and one to travel from there to the US.

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gv
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Metal detectors

"... who's metal detector should be checked as neither my belt nor watch triggered it."

It should probably be renamed the random ping machine. I'm pretty sure it doesn't "detect" anything.

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Re: So...

This will make it *easier* for devices to be copied at the border, as they will be out of the traveler's hands and thus more vulnerable.

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Re: Metal detectors

"the random ping machine."

Defo, I don't look that friendly, I've been told, and when I fly, I try to minimise interruption, so I've made damned sure I'm not wearing enough metal to set off a metal detector, and everything that would goes in the tray,.... but,... 'BLEEP' 'Step this way sir!' and I get the pat down and the wand. The wand that does not bleep, oddly. They use the metal detector to select people they want to pat down, I guess it seems less antagonistic if the machine is seen to pick people instead of the staff.

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Re: Metal detectors

If I remember correctly, the metal detectors are set to 'ping' randomly for a proportion of people passing through the portal who would otherwise not trigger the device. This is because random security checks, not based on profiling or a 'hinky sense' are effective*. The proportion of people selected for this further check can be set differently at different airports, or indeed, different gates.

*It is relatively easy for someone who wishes to get something through a metal detector to test this with their own detector so that they can reliably not trigger the ones used to screen the public, or the employees of facilities requiring security. However, no matter how good you are at avoiding detection, you can't avoid random selection that isn't based on how good the metal detection technology is. So while random selection won't catch everyone, it means that no matter what you do to evade detection, there is a chance you will be caught by the subsequent random search.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: hilarious

Watches never set the metal detectors off. Belts can.

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FAA Regulatinos on Li-Ion Batteries

Not quite right, according to these documents:

FAA: "Except for spare (uninstalled) lithium metal and lithium-ion batteries, all the batteries allowed in carry-on baggage are also allowed in checked baggage [...]"

and:

"Lithium ion batteries (a.k.a.: rechargeable lithium, lithium polymer, LIPO, secondary lithium). Passengers may carry all consumer-sized lithium ion batteries (up to 100 watt hours per battery)."

[From: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/passenger_info/media/Airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf; referenced by: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/prohibited-items]

In short; devices with lithium ion battteries up to 100 W/h are allowed in checked baggage.

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Re: Metal detectors

The detectors do detect metal, if you watch when someone walks through it often lights up but not to a critical point and doesn't beep. My belt doesn't set it off as have walked through a couple times. However once had a t-shirt with 3 very small metal buttons, always set them off, guessing it was the type of metal used. Never wore it when flying!

Coins can too (UK ones at least). Even when i had a wad of notes in my pocket, not a random check.

But advice to travellers, don't be an idiot put it in the tray!! Nothing more annoying waiting to get through security when morons need patting down and we all have to wait for that to happen! Usually their bloody phones!

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TSA approved locks? Bollocks to that! Always lock with bloody secure padlock, don't want those TSA monkeys searching my bags without me watching.

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Re: TSA approved locks

" TSA approved locks? Bollocks to that! Always lock with bloody secure padlock, don't want those TSA monkeys searching my bags without me watching."

Then you will end up with a lot of cut padlocks. They do just put a bolt cutter through them, and seemingly delight in targeting those without TSA approved padlocks. My (albeit wimpy) solution was to whack a fluro-coloured cable tie (with a slight notch cut into it) through the zip alongside the TSA approved padlock to at least give me a chance of knowing whether they'd been tip toe'ing through my luggage. I never trusted that silly little indicator button on the padlock.

If they want in, they will get in and there's smeg all you can do about it. Only thing to be done is simply not play their game by not going there in the first place.

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On a side note...

Whenever I (used to) travel to the US and ended up with the infamous "SSSS" tag on my boarding pass (Specialy Selected for Security Search) I used it to cut the loooong waiting lines and directly presented myself at the head of the queue...

And the TSA always felt obligated to search me and my belongings on the spot...

Not a "LifeHacker" level tip but it saved me quite a lot of waiting time ;)

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It's a complicated rule, but the lithium battery that is part of the product itself is OK. It's spare batteries that are not allowed at all. Spare batteries as carry on have their own set of restrictions as well.

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Re: TSA approved locks

Suitcase padlocks are pointless, if you don't believe me, do the following test, go get your suitcase, apply the padlock, then take a cheap biro pen, take the cap off, force it through the zip, then pull it aside to open the zip.

Rummage through the suitcase then run the locked zippers across the opened section, et voila, looks like it was never opened.

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@CommodorePet

--I like the name.

I don't understand why a LiIon battery on a laptop would be okay, but the same battery loose in luggage (if you pressed the little tab to eject it from the laptop) is an issue.

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Unhappy

Obviously a real bummer for the Theives Support Association

Who will have less opportunities to "inspect" you luggage.

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Re: Obviously a real bummer for the Theives Support Association

I think you've got it backwards -- this makes it *much* easier for thieves.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Meh

Re: I'm sorry for my country.

Don't whine or apologize - it's the government, not the people.

All I heard during Obama's administration was crying and in hysterics over FEMA camps, martial law, Obama this, Obama that, from conservatives for eight damn years. The world didn't end and the country didn't fail. Trump is an ass, so what? I'm curious as to what job he's going to do overall and should have the same chance Obama did. Trump fucks up, he gets replaced. Done.

Enough with all the hysterics, still have a mortgage and bills to pay.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm sorry for my country.

It is the people.

Their elected government is a reflection of the people, make no mistake.

I would also add "as in Brexit", as the thread is missing this one ;)

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Big Brother

Re: I'm sorry for my country.

The problem with replacing trump is that we'll be stuck with pence, who his hell-bent (snicker) on creating a theocracy!

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Re: I'm sorry for my country.

I doubt this is trump, even he isn't *this* stupid. There's no obvious or non-obvious security or safety reason for it. Somebody at TSA thinks they're smarter than they actually are wild guess.

After decades of the US not really giving a shit about aviation security or safety one incident leads to huge overkill response rather than sensible measures. Nothing you can do with a laptop you can't do with a phone. Plus nobody involved has clearly every tried to actually open an iPad it's fairly clear. Not easy.

Wanna see the sharp glass I can get from a smashed phone screen? You're welcome, air travellers!

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Re: I'm sorry for my country.

>I doubt this is trump, even he isn't *this* stupid.

Stupid?

Ah, I see you'll be needing a touchscreen tablet with separate keyboard! Do I have an offer for you!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm sorry for my country.

The problem with replacing trump is that we'll be stuck with pence, who his hell-bent (snicker) on creating a theocracy!

Yes, but as soon as you have him impeached too, the Republicans may be shown up for the seething bunch of liars they are and someone with some decency may be in place for a bit to clean up the mess they made (those few days of Trump will already take a generation to fix). The moment anyone votes partisan instead of with their conscience they ought to be removed, but unfortunately it appears you'd have a half empty senate by then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm sorry for my country.

Wanna see the sharp glass I can get from a smashed phone screen? You're welcome, air travellers!

You can keep your phone and I raise you the broken neck of a cheap bottle of alcohol. Available in volume, and can be freely taken onboard, no questions asked. Even the bottle itself is a good club. That's why I laugh at plastic cutlery - I'm far more worried by people with duty free alcohol.

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Re: I'm sorry for my country.

When the results of an Election are announced, you get the Government you deserve - not the one you want.

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LDS
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"The problem with replacing trump"

It looks he thinks he will be replaced by his daughter - his family is a little too much involved in State affairs, like any Middle East country, or any country ending in -stan....- and you wonder if he's been just a puppet since the beginning.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm sorry for my country.

"Their elected government is a reflection of the people, make no mistake."

WRONG, The elected government in the US is a reflection of the two dominant parties, who limit us to a choice between Jerk A and Jerk B. That's no choice at all, and what is the electorate supposed to do with that?

Come on, smartass. Tell us all how we were supposed to put a decent person in the White House when both choices are horrible? Do you imagine we can coordinate a write-in campaign that would out-vote the party-voters? Stage an impromptu revolution? What?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm sorry for my country.

" the Republicans may be shown up for the seething bunch of liars they are"

What, you believe the Democrats aren't a seething bunch of liars as well? I assure you they are. It's the major problem here, small groups of ideologues controlling who we get to vote for. Real people are ignored.

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Re: I'm sorry for my country.

Tell us all how we were supposed to put a decent person in the White House when both choices are horrible?

Devil's advocate: by understanding that one's reputation is caused by the other and might not, actually, be factual.

The fact that there's people still saying they're both as bad as each other is exactly how you get yourselves into this mess.

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Re: I'm sorry for my country.

"The problem with replacing trump is that we'll be stuck with pence, who his hell-bent (snicker) on creating a theocracy!"

Just watch and see if he "comes out" as Nehemia Scudder!

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Re: I'm sorry for my country.

"That's no choice at all, and what is the electorate supposed to do with that?"

Vote for Jerk C or Jerk D? Some may claim it's a wasted a vote, but it's better than not voting at all when you hate Jerks A and B :-)

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impressive co-ordination

I am ginger / irish, travel on a UK passport (Dad is English) but all the actions by America seem to be very coordinated to stop people coming there. I doubt this rule affects me but still, i am left with the 'idea' it affects me so another reason to avoid travel to the US. Maybe, when no-one come there anymore, the TSA will be over staffed and some of them will be sacked....

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FAIL

Complete f'ing idiots compounding their Security Theatre fails

Business people or anyone who wants to use other devices to make the journey productive/bearable and/or don't want valuable/high-security devices potentially at risk of damage, misplacement or theft *, in luggage, should shun the USA! * This could cause a complete wasted trip and later disruption for business people if misplaced luggage contained critical electronic data for the trip, whereas clothing/consumables may be far less critical!

The dangerously strong, ionizing radiation, people scanners are already enough for me to blacklist the USA as a travel destination!

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Re: Complete f'ing idiots compounding their Security Theatre fails

Great boost for the Canadian/Mexican economies, fly into the closest city, hire a car & bingo bango bongo most of security theatre avoided,

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Facepalm

Re: Complete f'ing idiots compounding their Security Theatre fails

Bet they'll soon set up special waiver programme for US passported business and first class travellers, of course for extra fee.

And on related note the airlines have all announced all inflight entertainment on affected flights will no longer be free.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Complete f'ing idiots compounding their Security Theatre fails

Great boost for the Canadian/Mexican economies, fly into the closest city, hire a car & bingo bango bongo most of security theatre avoided,

Canada usually adopts all security measures introduced in the US after a short delay. Furthermore, many flights to/from Canada (and often flights between two Canadian airports) overfly the US and are subject to many of the same restrictions and rules (including the US no-fly lists, for example) as the flights originating or terminating in the US.

For better or for worse, Canadian sovereignty is largely a fig leaf these days: what the big brother to the south (and the north-west, obviously) wants, the big brother gets.

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LDS
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Re: Complete f'ing idiots compounding their Security Theatre fails

I wonder if that applies to the 'noblemen' flying first class too, or only to the 'serfs' flying economy.... sometimes I have a feeling the world is turning backwards...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Complete f'ing idiots compounding their Security Theatre fails

you obviously did not read the article.

RJ (Royal Jordanian) has said that this move applies to their flight to Montreal as well as JFK, Chicago and Detroit.

The last time I looked, Montreal was in Canada.

It is a shame that the US has decided to do this. They really don't have a clue.

I predict more people from Amman will leave on RJ111 to London and change planes there.

I used to work at QAIA and all the people there are really nice and friendly.

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Facepalm

"soon set up special waiver programme for US passported.. first class travellers,"

A company did this handling, taking care of all the pre booking process, took particulars of addresses, preferred CC numbers etc.

Then a laptop with the whole datebase of high value, frequently absent individuals disappeared from a locked office in the air side (not public) part of an airport.

Officials were baffled by the theft.

Visiting America.

What video conferencing was designed for.

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Re: Complete f'ing idiots compounding their Security Theatre fails

Their Montreal route requires a connection in the US.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And on related note

And on related note the airlines have all announced all inflight entertainment on affected flights will no longer be free.

Next: don't let passangers bring in food or drinks of any kind.

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Re: Next: don't let passangers bring in food or drinks of any kind.

Inflight dry, inedible 'snack' manufactured from asbestos during the Reagan administration, sir? That will be $87.94. Exact change please.

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