back to article America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Folks flying into America must endure extra security checks if they want to bring their laptops into airplane cabins. In a press conference on Wednesday, US Homeland Security boss John Kelly announced the introduction of: Enhanced screening of passengers and their electronic devices. Increased security protocols around …

  1. Lost In Clouds of Data
    FAIL

    Last I read...

    ... planes had yet to be fitted with bomb proof holds. That said, what's to stop 3 maniacs checking in 3 laptop bombs into checked luggage, all three synced up took detonate simultaneously?

    Or are these measures somehow miraculously going to extend to all checked baggage as well?

    I get security, and fully understand the risks, but none of this to me seems to prevent your average religious zealot from carrying out their sick plan of mass murder. No longer is it a case of detonating a bomb in the main cabin after somehow sneaking it onboard, now they can have more in the hold, all placed there by your friendly neighbourhood airport security team.

    In addition, at what point do you say that, to all intents and purposes, the feckers have won?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Last I read...

      As Arthur C. Clarke noted, the Ramans do everything in threes.

      As George W. Bush noted, the terrorists have won when they see us curtail our liberties. So the Islamic Statists need not do more than hint at further attacks on USA targets.

      As many have noted, the TLAs win, in the Imperial sense, every time they can foist a new restriction on a frightened public.

      As open software enthusiasts might note, we have a win win Win situation. Bliss.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Last I read...

        I'm part of the frightened public, but I'm not afraid of the terrorists. It's the people "protecting" me that give me the cold sweats.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Gimp

          "It's the people "protecting" me that give me the cold sweats."

          And so they should.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: "It's the people "protecting" me that give me the cold sweats."

            @JS19

            You appear to have aquired some serial downvoters.. What did you do?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "It's the people "protecting" me that give me the cold sweats."

              @JS19

              You appear to have aquired some serial downvoters.. What did you do?

              Nothing to worry about, that's partially weather and weekday dependent :)

            2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "You appear to have aquired some serial downvoters.. What did you do?"

              Impossible to say, as people who do so are unwilling to actually post a reason. Written communication does not seem to be their strong point.

              I usually expect down votes from

              Apologists for, or beneficiaries of (IE tax money) state surveillance

              Believers in security theatre. I guess they're too terrified to leave their basements much.

              Those supporters of the D who suspect I'm not wholly sympathetic to his vision.

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Last I read...

      "In addition, at what point do you say that, to all intents and purposes, the feckers have won?"

      October 26, 2001, when the USA PATRIOT Act of Congress was signed into law by President George W. Bush.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Last I read...

      @Lost - "That said, what's to stop 3 maniacs checking in 3 laptop bombs into checked luggage, all three synced up took detonate simultaneously?"

      "Or are these measures somehow miraculously going to extend to all checked baggage as well?"

      Don't worry - someone will be opening your laptop in your checked luggage and reviewing (and possibly copying) all your files - for your safety, of course.

    4. Brenda McViking
      Flame

      Re: Last I read...

      It's not the bomb threat that is the most dangerous thing about this. Putting more lithium batteries into the hold is asking for trouble. As with all risks, it's simply a matter of time until one catches fire, cannot be controlled and brings a plane down.

      I trust that these anti-terrorist rulemaking idiots who apparently are trying to make us "more safe" are going to be tried for pre-meditated murder and gross professional negligence when this inevitably happens.

      The aviation safety authorities are warning that electronic devices containing lithium batteries are classed as dangerous goods and should be carried in the cabin. to quote EASA "We must take all precautions to make sure that mitigating one risk does not lead to another risk." That's about as strongly worded as EASA ever get and should be treated extremely seriously. Politics and aviation safety should not ever mix. EVER

      1. Stork Bronze badge

        Re: Last I read...

        and once again: if this is a real danger for international flights, so it is for domestic flights. I may start considering this real if it applied to all flights.

        1. MrBanana

          Re: Last I read...

          Exactly.

          From https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/28/usa_may_extend_laptops_on_planes_ban_to_all_flights/

          “There is a real threat. There's numerous threats against aviation. That's really the

          thing they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight,

          particularly if it is a US carrier, particularly if it is full of mostly US folks.”

          That sounds to me like the perfect description of a domestic flight.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          " if this is a real danger "

          Especially in a country like US with a lot of internal flights from small airports even for short routes because of outdated and inefficient roads and railways. Even downing relatively small planes would be a hit for terrorists.

          And if this capability exist it would have been used already, especially now that Mosul and Raqqa are under heavy pressure, and you couldn't wait months to apply countermeasures.

          It looks they have an hint that someone may have been trying to develop a possible way to hide somehow enough explosive into an electronic device which could in some cases bypass checks. And they entered panic mode - exactly what terrorists want.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: " if this is a real danger "

            I don't suppose it is too hard to modify a battery to overheat causing a fire that threatens a plane.

            To the ones who think the government guys are overreacting, you had better hope they protect your next flight.

            PS I for one will not miss having someone working away in the seat next to me or watching some drivel on their laptop. Most of the time I can telework so this will reduce the travel I will have to do.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: " if this is a real danger "

            @LDS

            Just saying "Boo!!" with an Arab accent is enough to put the septics in panic mode.

            1. Archtech Silver badge

              Re: " if this is a real danger "

              Actually, it's quite enough to say "Good morning!" with an Arab (or Indian or Pakistani or Iranian or Paraguayan) accent.

          3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "Especially in a country like US with a lot of internal flights from small airports "

            Already happened.

            All the 9/11 flights were internal to the US.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Last I read...

          "and once again: if this is a real danger for international flights, so it is for domestic flights."

          Don't be silly. There are no terrorist in the USA. All US terrorist attacks are caused by swarthy arab looking people who fly i especially to carry them out. </sarc>

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Last I read...

            Don't be silly. There are no terrorist in the USA.

            Hang on, isn't that precisely where they come from? AFAIK, the 9/11 guys lived in the US, so, on an equally flimsy basis as the present measures I propose that (1) countries need to get flight lists of anyone leaving the US, (2) anyone LEAVING the US must be thoroughly searched on departure and arrival, especially politicians with a non-natural skin colour (like, say, orange) as that is clearly camouflage (let's call it an orange flag rather than a red one) and (3) they must be re-inspected when they've travelled 50km from the airport, just to make sure they don't communicate with anyone dodgy. And, of course, we will have to copy every shred of data they carry and have access to all their email as they could have something to hide.

            I would also add social media executives to this as they are clearly involved in carrying dodgy messages for evil people, given their reluctance to be made accountable for content. Let's make America behave again.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Last I read...

          Well, September 11 was all international fli-- oh, wait a minute

      2. Msquared10travel

        Re: Last I read...

        The battery problem gets worse. A couple of weeks ago I checked into Turkish Airlines in Istanbul. Laptops etc confiscated at the gate, placed in a communal suitcase for collection at the destination (fortunately no stop-overs _ don't know how they handle that). I then remembered laptop was in sleep mode and asked to retrieve it temporarily to switch off fully. Request initially denied till I kicked up a considerable fuss with security, pointing out the danger of (potentially several) laptops in sleep mode overheating, fire etc. Very grumpy security officers eventually gave way when a crew member intervened. Several other passengers, hearing the disturbance, revealed they had the same problem. Minor chaos ensued. I don't expect routine security personnel to appreciate the problem, but their instructions must include ensuring laptops are full switched off before bulk storage in the hold. Won't go into a rant about Bluetooth connectivity between cabin based smart phones and hold based laptops _ that's a whole other problem.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Last I read...

      ... planes had yet to be fitted with bomb proof holds. That said, what's to stop 3 maniacs checking in 3 laptop bombs into checked luggage, all three synced up took detonate simultaneously?

      There's more screening techniques you can use on hold luggage that you can't use near security queues. Stronger X-rays for a start, stuff that would be dangerous to have running near passengers and staff. You can detect certain chemical bonds that way, similar to the way a smoke detector works.

      As other people have pointed out, having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

        Here's the question.

        What is Probability(number of Lithium batteries in hold) Vs Probability(laptop with plastic explosive in battery compartment or elsewhere) ?

        My instinct is the former is >> than the latter and if the hold is un-pressurized the pressure and thermal stresses will be much more severe on those batteries.

        1. Peter Ford

          Re: "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

          My laptop has a removable battery module, so perhaps I should take the battery in my carry-on bag and put the rest in the hold...

          Of course, that wouldn't work with an awful lot of low-end kit where the battery is not easily removable (like tablets)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

          PanAm flight 103 was brought down by what looked like a Toshiba radio stowed in the hold. Maybe the best thing to do would be to ban ALL electrical or electronic equipment ANYWHERE on every aeroplane?

          *

          And perhaps you remember all the problems with the lithium batteries in the Boeing Dreamliner -- and these were part of the Boeing design! Perhaps we should ban ALL lithium batteries from aeroplanes and go back to good old NiCads...or even the trusty lead acid sort?

          *

          Then there's the wetware problem -- pilots who are mentally unbalanced and crash aeroplanes into mountains....what to do about that?

          *

          I really don't think the authorities are doing enough to "keep me safe". I think I'll stop flying in aeroplanes. Oh wait....crossing the road is more dangerous than flying.....

        3. Vic

          Re: "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

          if the hold is un-pressurized

          The hold is pressurised...

          Vic.

        4. MrBanana

          Re: "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

          Passenger aircraft holds are pressurised. It is easier to do that than it is to build internal floors and bulkheads that can withstand the pressure differential.

        5. Brenda McViking

          Re: "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

          The hold is pressurised - if you think about an aircraft cross section (image), the pressure bulkhead is the fuselage itself. It may get a little colder down there as it isn't actively heated, but it's not -50C like outside the fuselage at 35,000ft either. Where people "stow away" and freeze, they tend to be in wheel wells outside the pressure bulkhead.

        6. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

          Reminds me of the ancient joke about the fellow who consults a psychiatrist because of his morbid fear of being on a plane with a bomb on board. After the usual chitchat, the psychiatrist points out the huge odds against such a thing happening. When the patient still demurs, the psychiatrist suggests, "Why don't you take a bomb on board yourself? The odds against being on a plane with TWO bombs are far greater still".

    6. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Last I read...

      ... planes had yet to be fitted with bomb proof holds.

      There was an attempt to bomb-proof containers (as used in a lot of airports for loading and unloading) shortly after the Lockerby investigation concluded. The attempt was successful - the container contained an explosion with high explosive of the same quantity as the one which was used at Lockerby. The incremental increase in weight of the container even with that level of technology was minimal.

      It was not implemented because:

      1. The whole chain for loading and unloading of luggage would have needed to be modified and containers which are optional today would have become mandatory.

      2. The containers today have canvas sides - that would have had to become hard requiring extra maintenance and once again changes to loading and unloading

      3. Probably the biggest issue. There is no way to design a fire suppression system when fully enclosed containers are in use. So while the explosion was contained in the experiment, further experiments with LOWER energy explosives which are easier to obtain and result in both fire and explosion were failures all of them - no fire suppression system could effectively mitigate a fire inside the container.

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: Last I read...

        no fire suppression system could effectively mitigate a fire inside the container.

        Does it matter if the container is tight enough to contain an explosion? In a tightly closed container, the fire would eventually go out because of lack of oxygen.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Last I read...

          "Does it matter if the container is tight enough to contain an explosion? In a tightly closed container, the fire would eventually go out because of lack of oxygen."

          Odds are the initial blast will at least burst it open, leaving plenty for the subsequent fire.

          1. MacroRodent Silver badge

            Re: Last I read...

            Odds are the initial blast will at least burst it open, leaving plenty for the subsequent fire.

            Would not that mean the containment idea already failed? The rupture lets the pressure wave out, which may breach the hull.

      2. Guus Leeuw

        Re: Last I read...

        @ Voland's right hand

        Dear Sir,

        if the container is airtight, any there-in contained needs no suppression system. The lack of oxygen will eventually remove the fire...

        Regards,

        Guus

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Last I read...

          FYI, there are materials that burn under water, where there is no oxygen. Or even in vacuum...

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Last I read...

          if the container is airtight, any there-in contained needs no suppression system. The lack of oxygen will eventually remove the fire...

          Unless (of course) the fire is hot enough to melt the container. Or there are other things stored in the container that contain sufficient oxidiser to enable the fire..

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            " Or there are other things stored in the container "

            That argument cuts two ways.

            Such a container has a lot of thermal mass. It all gets a bit hotter but nowhere near close to the average ignition temperature of most of it, smothering the fire.

            That said Lithium sounds like something that burns very hot. OTOH water is a complete failure on burning Group I metals.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Last I read...

          lithium fires do not require oxygen

        4. Adrian 4 Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Last I read...

          Unless the incendiary device contains an oxidisation agent.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Last I read...

          if the container is airtight, any there-in contained needs no suppression system. The lack of oxygen will eventually remove the fire...

          AFAIK the problem isn't actually fire as such, it's self-heating to the point of combustibility. That process needs no oxygen in itself.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Last I read...

      In addition, at what point do you say that, to all intents and purposes, the feckers have won?

      Terrorists are never the real target, they're just an enabler to push through laws and powers that a sane and calm civilisation would balk at.

      In this case, the target isn't terrorists, it's you. As more and more people use encryption, the US needs new ways to steal intellectual property and getting it directly off source is the simplest approach with the highest quality results. Remember, they have already known sine WW II that foreigners are smarter (when they took in German scientists to make bombs and rockets for them) - this is just an electronic version of the same.

      1. Uffish

        Re: "foreigners are smarter"

        SOME foreigners are smarter. Come on, don't spoil a good point with sloppy thinking.

    8. NoneSuch
      Coffee/keyboard

      An Added Bonus

      Putting aside whether the cargo hold of a plane is any safer for a bomb to explode than the cabin for the moment.

      Unguarded laptops in checked bags can be outside of your view for hours. The contents can be searched and copied by TSA or delegates at their leisure.

      But I'm sure that has nothing to do with the "threat."

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Last I read...

      "Or are these measures somehow miraculously going to extend to all checked baggage as well?"

      As mentioned checked baggage is already scanned more rigorously than carry on. Most airports use CT scanners on checked bags which were impractical to use in the passenger security areas due to the size, noise and speed of the machines.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or just don't go to America

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anon

      Apparently the fact that the UK and other countries may follow suit is lost upon you. When in doubt, blame the US, right? (Don't hold us all accountable for Trump)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anon

        Yeah, what's next? Ban phones? Prosthetic limbs? Tooth fillings? You can put explosives anywhere. How about clothes, food (already in your stomach, waiting to be activated by acid)?

        Body scanners were too much, but this is insane

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Anon

          Just wait until the bombers discover that they have body cavities that can hold stuff.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Anon

            I think a no-arseholes rule when travelling to America may be difficult to implement

          2. hplasm Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Anon

            "Just wait until the bombers discover that they have body cavities that can hold stuff."

            In dogs...

            FTA:- "An expansion of canine screening."

            Exploding dogs? A new low.

            (I know about WW2... not any better.)

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: Anon: The Day Today are way ahead of you

              Bombdogs.

            2. Lyndon Hills 1

              Re: Exploding dogs

              I think it was Tom Sharpe whio had exploding flamingos. Riotous Assembly or Indecent Exposure?

          3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Anon

            They've already tried that. It turns out that it dulls the explosion and merely amuses bystanders.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Anon

              Maybe they should try the feline option then......

            2. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Anon

              "They've already tried that. It turns out that it dulls the explosion and merely amuses bystanders."

              In an airplane, though, you can TAKE IT OUT.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anon

            They've already done that.

      2. Mephistro Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Anon

        "the UK and other countries may follow suit"

        They may, but probably only in planes flying to the USA. The extended screening thingy is very expensive, unpopular, disruptive both for business travellers and tourists, and does SFA to improve security.

        The way things are evolving, we may soon see an exodus of American companies to other countries less involved in this security theater.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anon

          "The way things are evolving, we may soon see an exodus of American companies to other countries less involved in this security theater."

          Oh please.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Anon

          They may, but probably only in planes flying to the USA.

          Many airports (Schipol is one exception) have a centralized security screening facility and one airside area, so how could they do this? I suspect that was at least part of the problem for European airlines, how to ban laptops for US-bound passengers but allow them for European flights. It couldn't be done with the setup in Heathrow T4 & T5, for example.

          I suppose they could dedicate one terminal or satellite for US traffic, and put all the queues and strip searches there. It would give the rest of us peace & quiet.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anon

            "Many airports have a centralized security screening facility"

            I travel a lot and I disagree, practically all the major airports have a separate area for flights going to USA and Israel due to the increased security already needed for these destinations.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Anon

              I disagree, practically all the major airports have a separate area for flights going to USA

              Interesting. That's not the case for Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris CDG or Geneva. Wasn't the case for Munich, although it's been a few years since I was there.

          2. hogsback

            Re: Anon

            Schipol has now largely moved to central security. Frankfurt still has gate security - which is a PITA as the lounges are the wrong side of security.

            What I've always found interesting is why the UK strictly enforces segregation between arriving and departing passengers while most countries don't seem to bother. When you land at most other European airports you will be mingling with departing passengers as soon as you walk out of the gate.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anon

            They create a second "secure " area at the gate. They did this at Schipol in the year or so after September 11 and they still do this in Sydney and other airports (it's also done at EWR and JFK for flights going to Israel). It's somewhat makeshift, but it's established practice at this point.

      3. CheesyTheClown Silver badge

        Re: Anon

        Following the Brexit decision, I have resourced my suppliers outside of the UK because of potential difficulties related to red tape similar to the US.

        In order to get paid by US companies money I'm owed, I have to hire a US accountant who specializes in international trade to fill out paperwork or simply forfeit 30% of my earnings. I'm told this is because the US simply assumes all money moved out of the US is probably for laundering or tax evasion. That's ok, I've decided that working with governments (this is work I've done for the DHS) that see their friends as potential criminals isn't worth the effort.

        So, I've stopped travelling to the states ... and spending money there.... often A LOT because it's becoming too difficult to perform business in the states anymore to be bothered with it. I can't be bothered much with London anymore either. I'd rather make a phone call than fly there. I went through Heathrow 20-30 times last year and up until the week before the Brexit vote, customs in Terminal 5 was quite quick (at least when you flew business). The few times since it was horrifying. And no, I'll be damned before I spend a few hundred pounds to preapprove. I'll just stop my weekend trips to bring the kids for milkshakes at Hamley's. I don't need to spend my money in a country where you're guilty until proven innocent.

        What's worst of all of this is that the overly opportunistic nature of the US and the UK breeds their paranoia. They think that since Americans and Brits would be more than willing to take whatever you have the second you're not looking that the rest of the world is like that too. And I'm sure there are some people who are like that. But I refuse to spend my life in fear of those people and I refuse to be treated as if I am potentially one of those people.

        Of course, what most brits and Americans don't realize is that most of their own people who they think would take what they have without a second thought... wouldn't.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anon

          In order to get paid by US companies money I'm owed, I have to hire a US accountant who specializes in international trade to fill out paperwork or simply forfeit 30% of my earnings.

          I'm not sure of your business, but chances are this isn't the case. We do a huge amount of trade with the US (small UK-based software company) and our US customers simply need a W8BEN form. It's a minor pain in the arse when they add bullshit fields every few years, but it's not an unsurmountable barrier. We have an IRS number too, but that was a one off and not hard to obtain (a few years ago). We have no US accountant, and there is no withheld tax. While we do get withheld tax from other countries, but given the UK has a double taxation agreement with just about everyone, it's all deductible from your UK tax bill. Not an accountant, get your own advice etc, but it would be a shame to cut off your nose to spite your face - our US customers supply much of our income.

          The remainder of your argument I agree with wholeheartedly, any benefit in travelling to the US has to be weighed against the undoubted pain and stress it will cause.

      4. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

        Re: Anon

        AC, I'm sorry, I genuinely am.

        I would love to visit New England in the Autumn.

        I would love to see my brother-in-law and his new wife.

        I would love to stand in the Grand Canyon.

        I would love to drive down Route 66.

        I would love to take my Dad to see where Buddy Holly and Waylon Jennings were born.

        I would love to eat deli-food in Central Park on sunny Sunday morning....

        I won't as, not you, but your government has made it perfectly clear they no longer want visitors in the USA. It's a terrible shame but I'll be taking my money and my "tourist wonder" to Canada for the next few years.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anon

        Don't hold us all accountable for Trump

        Well, WE didn't vote for him. We were to busy burying our own future with Brexit, so don't blame us.

    2. gerdesj Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      "Or just don't go to America"

      My thoughts exactly, except my daughter-in-law is a Yank (British now). I'll live without my lappy whilst visiting the in laws.

      C'est la guerre.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        C'est la guerre.

        Ce n’est pas la guerre; c'est de la folie

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Now you're getting it....

      ....

      > Or just don't go to America

      Isn't that the point? As I'm sure you've heard by now, back in November 'merikans elected a guy who assured us that "He alone can fix it".... We don't need no stinking ferners.

      Worked well for the Chinese a few centuries ago. Oh, wait....

  3. ITS Retired

    How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

    "Kelly said. "Instead, we must put in place new measures across the board to keep the traveling public safe and make it harder for terrorists to succeed.""

    It might take a generation or two, but if the United States gets out of all the counties we should not even be in in the first place, world peace might break out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

      Look up the word 'jIhad': "armed struggle against unbelievers". It is the mixture of religion and political ambition.

      If Bin Joe wants to make points with the locals, he persuades Bin Beenie and some others to wreak havoc in the name of Allah, Jesus, Shiva, whatever. And then Bin Joe gets kudoes and power and ambition satisfied. Um, that kinda ambition is never satisfied. And there are always more Bin Bubus to use.

      Yours is an empty-headed wishfulness. Point to the politics and you've identified the problem. (And it's politics all the way down to perdition, until we say no more self-serving politics!)

      1. gerdesj Silver badge

        Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

        Well you can fuck off pontificating and de-cloak, matey. The only reason for posting anon on here is to possibly preserve your karma. It certainly isn't going to avoid someone putting you into a certain table along with a lot of data.

        Please be more tolerant of others. Please don't accuse all those people who follow a religion of being the same in thought, word and deed as those who do very wrong by their religion's scriptures/teachings or a very narrow interpretation of same.

        Given your spelling, turns of phrase, the time etc I'm going to put you into the American box. Is that fair? Should I consider all Yanks as nob ends?

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "And it's politics all the way down to perdition, "

        That point is quite correct.

        Strip the Jihad rhetorical BS from the issue and you're closer to the mark.

        It's estimated the US invasion of Iraq let US companies and individuals steal about $13 000 000 000 000 from the country.

        I'd be pi***e if someone came to my country and did that too.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

      Because the US getting out of other countries will change ISIS' mind about wanting a worldwide Islamic caliphate and believing that killing infidels is doing their god's will?

      Notice any countries other than the US being attacked lately? Not all of them are known as hotbeds of foreign interventionism (France, for one).

      1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

        Correction required: France sets the record, handily, when it comes to foreign intervention. Yes, the US sets the record in size when it bothers to show up, but France? BBC, The Economist, AFP,... show quite a different history.

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

          I was talking about relative inteventionism in the middle east, and the countries that are known for it, since that's what we are discussing here (especially Iraq). What do you see in this thread? Lots and lots of people right here blaming the US for it... sometimes you see some blaming the UK as well. France never gets mentioned as one of the bad guys, and in terms of Iraq, they got that one right. If that's not a good enough example for you, look at other countries that have been hit by the Islamists... they don't restrict their attacks to targets that represent countries that have intervened in the middle east.

          The Islamists killing westerners are not coy about it. They tell us in no uncertain terms why they do it. It's because their view of their religion is one where it tells them that they need to go kill infidels and instill a worldwide caliphate by any means necessary. I take them at their word! It may be more fun to blame the US for invading Iraq (and Afghanistan, to a lesser degree) in the years after 9/11 (conveniently ignoring 9/11 itself as well as the al Qaeda attacks leading up to 9/11 during the Clinton years) for all of the terrorism, but that's not the cause of the conflict. The Iraq invasion was a misguided effort that was itself an effect of 9/11, so it can't have been the cause.

          If you want to say the proximal cause of the Islamic terrorism in the 1990s leading up to 9/11 was infidel boots on "holy" Muslim soil following the Iraq invasion of Kuwait... well, too bad. The US was and is in Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the Saudis, and if the terrorists don't recognize the sovereign authority of the Saudi government to allow such things, that's their problem, not ours. The fact that their mindset hasn't yet adapted to the concept of the modern nation-state doesn't mean that those of us who live in the modern world have any duty to defer to them.

          The Islamists are welcome to have and express their opinions about world affairs and other such things peacefully, as is the custom in civil society, like we're all doing now. I can assure you that there are a whole lot of things I don't like about the world either, but I'm not blowing anyone up, shooting anyone, or running them over with a car over it. If I did, the blame would be properly assigned to me, not to the people who offended my worldview. No one would be blaming the world for having made a terrorist out of me by not capitulating to my wacky views about nation states and government that have been outdated for the better part of a millennium.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

            "The Islamists killing westerners are not coy about it. They tell us in no uncertain terms why they do it."

            Yet they get their arms and training to do so from somewhere don't they?

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

        In other words, there are those for whom destroying the world is preferable to living in submission. How do you fight against an opponent for whom Mutual Assured Destruction is an acceptable scenario?

      3. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

        Not all of them are known as hotbeds of foreign interventionism (France, for one)

        I guess it's another occurrence of the gross ignorance of World affairs so common in the US...

        https://warontherocks.com/2015/10/frogs-of-war-explaining-the-new-french-military-interventionism/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

          Good site link.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

        France

        - Algeria

        - Vietnam

        - Libya, including bombing Ghaddafi

        - Chad

        Britain

        - Ireland

        - Middle East

        - Libya, including bombing Ghaddafi

        There's a reason why politics is dangerous. It requires education and intelligence. It is far easier to make war than make peace. So be nice and more jaw, jaw rather than war, war. It's the language and lies that lead to conflict.

        ISIS may be wrong, but how do you think they get support and followers prepared to do cause mayhem?

        AC because I don't want to be followed by fools.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

      "It might take a generation or two, but if the United States gets out of all the counties we should not even be in in the first place, world peace might break out."

      Yeah. Because no terrorists are fighting against the Chinese or the Philippines or India or against any African nations. There's no terrorism in Yemen or Pakistan. No terrorists are fighting against the Russians. It's all an American problem.

      Oh wait...

      1. Alumoi

        Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

        Yeah. Because no terrorists are fighting against the Chinese or the Philippines or India or against any African nations. There's no terrorism in Yemen or Pakistan. No terrorists are fighting against the Russians. It's all an American problem.

        Terrorist, freedom fighter, it all depends on what side of the fence you are.

        Remember the Talibans? When they were fighting the Russians they were freedom fighters, working with the free world(tm) against the evil commies. Now they're terrorists because they dare to oppose the free world(tm).

        So what's your point?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

          No, Talibans were never "freedom fighters", just like the Red Army invading Europe were not democratic "freedom fighters" at all. Believing that "the enemy of my enemy is my ally", nay bring more problems than it solves, especially when your "ally" is not reliable at all. Yet, sometimes, you have little choices.

          Using the Talibans helped the fall of the Soviet Unoin, jut like helping Stalin helped the fall of the Nazi German. In both cases there was an high price to pay - even if someone may find it "acceptable".

          1. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

            According to the acclaimed documentary Rambo III the Mujihadeen (AKA the Taliban) were indeed goodies.

            1. DropBear Silver badge

              Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

              "According to the acclaimed documentary Rambo III..."

              I'm unfamiliar with the descendants of the Rambo dynasty, but according to the Historical Documents simply called "Dune" it's apparently perfectly OK to overthrow Bad Guys™ through arbitrary amounts of bloodshed (and even detonate nukes) as long as you're a bunch of Noble Savages with some relation to the word "free" in their name.

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

                To be fair they didn't actually nuke *people* (and thus turn the entire Laandsrad against them) - they just nuked the mountain that stood in their way :)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

            At the end of the day it all boils down to semantics.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

              "At the end of the day it all boils down to semantics."

              If you believe the MSM they'll tell you it's all down to 'anti-semanticism'.

              1. wolfetone Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

                Why does anyone have to be anti-sementic?

                If it weren't for semen in the first place none of us would be around.

        2. wolfetone Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

          "Remember the Talibans?"

          Ah yeah, the fellas who stopped the production of opium in Afghanistan. After the US and UK got rid of them, opium production flourished. Now Afghanistan have a lost generation of junkies killing themselves on heroin. That is, of course, if the frequent car bombings don't kill them first.

          Thanks for that USA and UK.

        3. Anomalous Cowshed

          Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

          I take issue with your "TM". I prefer "R". What do you say?

    4. Alan W. Rateliff, II
      Facepalm

      Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

      "It might take a generation or two, but if the United States gets out of all the counties we should not even be in in the first place, world peace might break out."

      While I may agree with you there are some places where we should not be involved, and it is likely we will not agree upon those places, your assertion that removing ourselves from any area of the world would ultimately bring about peace is utter foolishness.

      You seem to imply terrorism is solely an American-made problem and the concern of terrorism is unique to America, please do be so kind as to look at a map of the world, noting the countries in which jihadist terror attacks have been occurring, and enlighten us as to the countries where these affected countries are involved and from which they should withdraw to stop further attacks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

        And they would repind, "YES!" Afghanistan? Cold War proxy. Iran and Iraq? Cold War proxy. That gets the rest of the Middle East involved. Africa? Past of imperialism and colonialism. Indonesia? Byproduct of World War II, along with the Philippines which has heavily influenced by America. Tibet? Being helped on the sly to tweak China's nose.

        Name a spot, someone WILL find a Western reason for it.

    5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

      It might take a generation or two, but if the United States gets out of all the counties we should not even be in in the first place, world peace might break out.

      A bit late for that, the damage has been done.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

        "A bit late for that, the damage has been done."

        And no chance to REPAIR the damage?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "but if the United States gets out of all the counties "

      To make space for Russia and China?

    7. sz54c8

      Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

      Not entirely sure that the ISIS terrorism problem is really all about US interventionism - this is from their own propaganda "Even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam"

      But totally agree that laptop ban is just a power exercise - it's not making anyone safer, IMHO

      1. wolfetone Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

        "Not entirely sure that the ISIS terrorism problem is really all about US interventionism"

        Completely right. People should just accept another country blowing their homes up, blowing their parents and children up. ISIS just woke up one day and thought "You know what, those Americans. I never liked the way they cancelled Joey on us. Let's bomb them".

        It wasn't interventionism. It was an all out illegal war. Don't sugar coat it.

        Innocent people died, blown to bits in the most disgusting ways. Imprisoned in a foreign country, their religion mocked in front of them. Fathers picking up their dead children in their arms, killed by an American built, British dropped bomb. Promised that the big bad Saddam would no longer harm them, only to have their country raped (and that's exactly the right word) of it's wealth and assets and decend in to complete chaos while the instigators brush their hands off and say "Well we've done our bit those lads we trained up will clean the mess up".

        You have to be either completely naive or a total idiot to believe ISIS wasn't created out of the above.

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

          "Completely right. People should just accept another country blowing their homes up, blowing their parents and children up."

          We didn't accept having the World Trade Center blown up, with a lot of people's parents inside. It doesn't justify the US killing innocents either, and in hindsight I think nearly everyone agrees that invading Iraq was a huge mistake, but to pretend that the US started this by invading Iraq is to be willfully blind. They were already killing westerners (mostly Americans, but the World Trade Center did live up to its name) by the thousand years before the US went into Iraq with the goal of regime change.

  4. RichardB

    Vigilance, citizen.

  5. 4d3fect

    It's still whack-a-mole.

    You just don't recognize the mole.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's a new game

      Whack-a-laptop

      Who will be the first company to make a fortune selling "TSA-approved laptops" for $2,500 per kit?

      I'm thinking either Apple or Microsoft will cut a deal with the guberment soon. Overpricing their gear is already the main strength of each company's hardware division.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: It's a new game

        How about a second hard drive that is only activated with a hidden switch or bluetooth signal or similar?

        That way you can let them have a look at vanilla desktop, and still have access to your system sans spyware when you get to your destination?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: It's a new game

          It is called DropBox, OneDrive etc etc

          But just don't tell anyone about the real one, just the fake one.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's a new game

            I use a near-empty /home partition (has some stuff on it, but completely dull and uninteresting stuff), and mount a LUKS-formatted SD card eclipsing it if I want the real stuff.

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    US airlines have the technoloy

    So the new rule will be if you fly to the US on a US carrier you get to take your laptop. If you chose to fly Emirates, Etihad, Singapore you don't.

    I remember the days of flyin tp the US pre-911. At Heathrow you would have to get your US checked baggage x-rayed separately after checkin. They would then put a "security scanned" sticker on it and give it back to you so you could take it back to the baggage drop! Not even security theatre, more like security pantomime

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US airlines have the technoloy

      On my early trips to the US I was shocked by the laxity of security in the US. But then we knew where some of the funds came from, so I guess they could afford to be complacent. It is a sad irony that it took 9/11 before the US paid attention.

  7. AJames

    So we're supposed to check our laptops?

    You must be kidding? What small percentage of laptops survive the tender mercies of the TSA baggage screeners without being stolen or broken?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Checked baggage for tech

    Spike in used tech on the great tat bazzar...

    No lives saved.

  9. Detective Emil
    Paris Hilton

    Paris Agreement

    Glad to see the Trump administration doing its bit to reduce global warming by cutting demand for long-haul flights.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Paris Agreement

      The truth is they want to relaunch transatlantic coal steamships. Trump will launch his own luxury cruise liners.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Paris Agreement

        "The truth is they want to relaunch transatlantic coal steamships. Trump will launch his own luxury cruise liners."

        If the price was right, I would take a cruise across the pond, but we checked and it seems that only people with 6 figure ++ salaries can afford it...

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Paris Agreement coal steamships

        I guess he's secretly planning ahead so when his golf courses sink he can provide an 18 hole armada for his rich customers amusement.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Paris Agreement

        The truth is they want to relaunch transatlantic coal steamships.

        "A TransAtlantic Bridge! Hurrah!"

      4. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Paris Agreement

        > Trump will launch his own luxury cruise liners.

        Trump steamers, then? (sounds a bit pervy, though)

  10. doug_bostrom

    Enhanced screening: "Give us all your passwords so we can check for bombs."

    Remember, it's the USA. No logic is required.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Give us all your passwords

      If everyone changed theirs to something like

      TSA_Sucks_Bigly_01

      They might get the message (eventually)

      I won't be spending my Holiday money in the USA so Thanks Trump and there goes several thousand dollars of income to rural USA. It will be spent in a place where people from outside that country are not considered 'aliens'/'terrorists'/H1B violators/wetbacks but greeted warmly.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Give us all your passwords

        Alternatively use:

        Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle- dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz- ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer- spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-ein- nurnburger-bratwustle-gernspurten-mitz-weimache-luber-hundsfut- gumberaber-shonedanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm

        That might keep them busy.

        Doffs hat to Monty Python

      2. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Give us all your passwords

        People who come in through the front door and obey the laws _are_ greeted warmly, and foreign visitors to the US are often amazed at how congenial and welcoming ordinary Americans are (having heard in the media things that would seem to indicate otherwise). If you want to sneak across a border and work unlawfully, then we have a problem. If your visa is for a year and you decide stay forever, we have a problem-- and the same is true in any other country, including yours.

        When you give someone permission to come to your country on a visa, it means they're welcome pursuant to the terms of that visa, but not welcome to move in and do as they please from then on. I don't expect to be warmly welcomed if I attempt to stow away in a shipping container and gain illegal access to the UK, nor do I expect to be treated as a citizen with full rights if I come on a student visa, for example, and decide to stay. I'm not a citizen of your country, so I'm not entitled to enter it whenever I like... I have to get permission first. Why is it bad when the US seeks to enforce its laws to the same effect?

        I agree that the TSA is horrible... I think it should be disbanded completely, as a matter of fact. It's a rogue agency that seems to think that upsetting passengers prevents terrorism... they don't have the first clue about how to actually prevent terrorism, so let's just make it a hassle to travel by air and pretend that is all that is needed. I wouldn't want to subject myself to that either, and I've pretty much reconciled myself with the idea that I will never fly again because I don't want to have to submit to the TSA goons. None of that, though, means that the US is wrong for enforcing immigration and visa laws, just like every other country in the world does.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      "Enhanced screening: "Give us all your passwords so we can check for bombs."

      Remember, it's the USA. No logic is required."

      It's logical if you don't try to connect it to what they say it is (security screening). The US government (independent of Trump or Obama or Bush; this has been going on since the idiotic USA PATRIOT Act) seems to want to be a full-on totalitarian surveillance state, and this is just the first step in getting people accustomed to the next level of invasive intrusions. The road to tyranny is paved with "necessary" measures like this that are done "for safety."

  11. Jamesit

    "Instead, we must put in place new measures across the board to keep the traveling public safe and make it harder for terrorists to succeed."

    They just did.

  12. Potemkine! Silver badge

    New regulations

    Each passenger will be subjected to a full X-Ray inspection from head to toe. And just to be sure no bomb is hidden in one's colon, each passenger will be elbow deep fist-fucked. So please come here and spread your buttocks, thank you.

  13. DougS Silver badge

    Laptop rental

    Use VMware P2V to copy your laptop's image to a VM file on a USB key, bring that overseas, plug into a rental laptop with VMware Player installed and you're in business. One less to thing to carry through the airport with you, too.

    Surely someone is looking at it from this angle, and will make a lot of money.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Laptop rental

      Laptop has a 1TB HDD and is mostly full. External hard drives will receive scrutiny, too, IIRC.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Laptop rental

      It could be OK as long as you don't need some specific HW characteristic of your expensive laptop...

    3. Michael B.

      Re: Laptop rental

      Could you really trust that the host Operating System hasn't been stuffed full of keyloggers and Trojans?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Laptop rental

        Ok, Paranoia Mode, what about the CHIPS, which may also be in the laptop you own, can hook to whispernets or powering networking while you recharge, AND can trump any OS that can be applied?

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Laptop rental

          How do you know YOUR laptop isn't compromised, either at the factory or sometime later? Not all malware announces itself by asking for ransom...

  14. Archtech Silver badge

    Third option...

    "America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights".

    Or, of course, just don't go there.

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    "Homeland Security won't say precisely what this enhanced screening is going to involve,"

    Hiring a load more of the more "gravitationally challenged" members of the job seeking community perhaps?

    Think of them as "mobile blast barriers"

    The TSA. Keeping America employed secure.

  16. Solarflare
    Joke

    "An expansion of canine screening."

    So will I be expected to prove that I'm not a dog, or should I be expecting a dental exam?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Maybe they're also afraid terrorists are deploying vampires, now..

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Maybe they're also afraid terrorists are deploying vampires, now..

        But I azzure you, don't vorry: I am a member of ze Temperance League! I vear ze black ribbon viz pride!

        And I vork vor ze Anch-Morpork Times! You know "Ze truss shall make ye fret" undzoweiter

    2. monty75

      Obviously they're worried about terrierists

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      So will I be expected to prove that I'm not a dog, or should I be expecting a dental exam?

      Yes. Mutually-exclusive, they ain't.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Happy woman

    The woman in your photo looks so happy with her laptop, I don't think she could take the sadness if the TSA take it away from her. If this does happen could someone from The Register check she's ok, and let us know? Thanks.

  18. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Shelley Berman knew how to do it

    Shelley Berman knew how to do it, a long time ago:

    a) pass out the guns when you get on the plane

    b) collect them when you get off

    PROBLEM SOLVED!

    That, and I'll add my $.10 worth: PROFILING. That way you don't have to punish *EVERYONE* for the evil choices of a *few*, in the name of 'political correctness'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shelley Berman knew how to do it

      Maybe worth changing this icon to a joke alert. I'm not sure our transatlantic cousins got this.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Shelley Berman knew how to do it

        Maybe worth changing this icon to a joke alert.

        I think we did but the point about profiling detracts from the post: most atrocities in America are carried out by ordinary Americans on the streets and in homes and nowhere near any airport.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shelley Berman knew how to do it

      > That, and I'll add my $.10 worth: PROFILING

      Because, of course, profiling has been shown to be inerrant and effective in every case. As all the people prosecuted by McCarthy can attest.

      Or any inhabitant of Brixton in London without a pale skin in the 1980s, 1990's and noughties..

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Shelley Berman knew how to do it

        Besides, profiling in America carries the R-card with it, making it unusable due to the Civil Rights Act.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Shelley Berman knew how to do it

        >Or any inhabitant of Brixton in London without a pale skin in the 1980s, 1990's and noughties..

        And how many bombs were planted / politicians blown up by Afro-Caribbean teenagers? None.

        Shows how effective the SPG was !

      3. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Shelley Berman knew how to do it

        "Because, of course, profiling has been shown to be inerrant and effective in every case."

        Could it be any worse than what we have now? The TSA has a spectacularly bad record of actually stopping anything... they're always looking to stop the previous attempt (the previous successful attempt, like the shoe bomber being able to get the explosive on board, or the underwear bomber doing the same). It was dumb luck and observant passengers who stopped those... the TSA was, and is, useless.

        Profiling is no magic bullet, but the Israelis have offered to show us how to do it right. Israel is a major, major target, of course, but their security has proven quite effective. Trying to keep the means to do harm off a plane, rather than the people who would do harm, will always put the flying public at an extreme disadvantage. The terrorists put a bomb in a shoe, so now we all have to remove our shoes and have them x-rayed. The terrorists explored liquid explosives disguised as contact lens saline, so now we can't bring more than trivial amounts of liquid on board. It is the airport security equivalent of Microsoft Security Essentials-- it only looks for attacks that have already been documented, and is completely useless against anything new (and even for what it's supposed to stop, it's not that good at it).

        As I mentioned before, people have body cavities that can hold stuff. Someone mentioned that it would dull the effect of the explosive, I think, but no one said the bomb would have to stay in there while it was detonated. They do have lavatories on planes, and unless we are ready to allow real-time monitoring of every lavatory in every plane by actual people, we can't stop the lavs from being used as staging points for terror attacks.

        I'm not saying that we should eliminate screening aimed at finding bombs... just that if that's all we have, we waste a lot of time and money screening people that are not threats, and the effectiveness is questionable at best.

    3. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Shelley Berman knew how to do it

      Profiling would be an improvement over what we have now, but we're far too politically correct to countenance such a thing. The Israelis are experts in how to keep terrorists off planes, borne of necessity, and they've offered to help us learn how to do it, but we'd rather keep having government agents feel up old ladies and children in the name of safety. It serves another purpose for them, though; it gets us used to being the government's bitch whenever the government demands it. Land of the free, indeed. I wish we still were.

  19. RealBigAl

    Dragons Den Business opportunity coming up

    Rent-a-laptop kiosks at international airports. Leave a deposit (plus a hire charge) and get a working laptop you can use while you're in foreign. Return said laptop when your heading back to wherever you call home.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Dragons Den Business opportunity coming up

      Return said laptop when your heading back to wherever you call home.

      With all your data having been copied for analysis by the NSA-BIOS routines...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dragons Den Business opportunity coming up

        Encrypt by ransomware then pay the fine when you get past security, because they obviously can't prevent the ransomware or recover the data.

        Last time I rented a laptop I was arrested. I didn't know she was working undercover.

  20. Martijn Otto

    Alternative solution

    is to simply stop going to America. This is the option I have chosen. It does suck because I always enjoyed going to cppcon, which is now no longer an option.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Alternative solution

      Gotomeeting and other such companies must be dancing for joy. I have certainly hugely increased my video calling and online meeting usage since that last time I was in the USA (2016) for business and it took three hours to clear the 30 people queueing up after a late and almost empty flight. Face to face meetings are great, because you get so much more from it (we communicate in many complex non-verbal ways), but it ain't worf it no more.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "Gotomeeting and other such companies must be dancing for joy. "

        In theory yes, it's the logical thing to do.

        But I'm not sure how much it's actually happening.

        "We paid for a meeting on our site, and we're going to have it"

        <sigh>

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    expect the expected

    i.e. tickets to cost more. And the increase will be larger than the actual cost to the airlines, of course. After all, why not make extra profit when it practically walks into your hands? :(

  22. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Months to implement eh?

    Traveling in just a couple of weeks... I just may make my trip to the USSA and back just in time to miss out on all the partly balloons and confetti once someone's gear trips the alarms.

    I can't wait to fly naked! That's next you know?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Months to implement eh?

      Not naked. But US DOC Supplied Orange Jumpsuits and all flights routed via Gitmo. Saves wasting time later when they find that you once said something nasty about an American. 15years to life in Gitmo for you laddie.

  23. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    going by ship and no bodily cavity search still an option?

    then you can take all the tablets, laptops, battery banks and other paraphernalia you'll need overseas, relax for two weeks or so before disembarking. Hopefully nobody else will bring some biggenboombangstuff on the boat during your voyage as well...

  24. MrGutts

    Dear the rest of the world. I want to apologize for my country. 3 1/2 more years to go!

    PS: It's worse than you think, The Feds didn't have to go into details about storing Laptops in the holds. They can point the finger at the Airlines. The reason is most all airlines in the US have a policy that do not allow lithium ion batteries to be in checked baggage. Who knows if they are going to enforce that one now. Pretty sure they will.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      " 3 1/2 more years to go!"

      This isn't down to the guy in charge*, just like in the UK it's all down to the people who pull the strings of the guy in charge.

      Ever stop to wonder why so many policiticians change their tune once they get into office? They weren't *all* lying through their teeth to start with you know.

      *Figurehead/Lightning-rod - choose your own description. See Douglas Adams-HHGTTG for more info (search - President/Zaphod/Cat)

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      3 1/2 years to go?

      You really think this is about Trump?

      The USA grew into a surveillance state under Obama, using a law signed by Bush as justification. TSA started by Bush, grew into its current level of nastiness under Obama. This isn't new, and it isn't about Trump.

      1. This is my handle

        Bullocks

        > The USA grew into a surveillance state under Obama, ...

        As you mention yourself, W. and the neocons did this. The wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, the "Patriot" bill, the whole nine yards. Has it gotten worse? Yes, gradually and over time, but I stopped flying "for pleasure" well before 2008, since it just wasn't pleasurable anymore. Now I only fly for work, and only when absolutely impractical to do otherwise. "Sorry boss, to save 3 hrs of humiliation by the TSA goons, I'm driving to NY so I'll need an extra day and lodging on either side of the trip -- oh, and I'll being taking Friday's meeting from the car...."

        Your argument is equivalent to blaming Truman for our involvement in WWII.

  25. Tom 7 Silver badge

    More screening techniques?

    If they are actually checking the stuff they punt into the hold then we will have to arrive at the airport a day or two before the flight!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All you need is this device.

    A Galaxy Note 7

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/28/hot_news_combustible_galaxy_note_7_to_return_as_galaxy_note_fe/

  27. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    We actually brought our cat over from the US to the UK. It was quite a complex task. I'll never put him through that again. André took days to get over the stress. Luckily we won't have a need to ever take him back to the US.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Now we have a new cry

      "Think of the felines!"

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Now we have a new cry

        "Think of the felines!"

        I do, regularly (cf. posting name..)

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      We actually brought our cat over from the US to the UK. It was quite a complex task

      That's largely because we (being rabies-free) don't want to import it..

      (I don't know whether we have Pet's Passport arrangements with the US - that simplifies things immensely..)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lucky André is a cat, otherwise you'd need to chip him, no?

      That is all.

  28. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Only for people travelling to the US?

    I'm not going to discuss the merits of this particular suggestion but it does strike me as more than a little odd, given how easy it is in the US to buy munitions, that the restriction only be applied to flights coming into the US. All recent major terrorist incidents in the US were carried out by US citizens, though the number of deaths pales in comparison with RTAs and "ordinary" murders.

    However, if I were a foreign national planning an attack on US soil, I would simply look at getting my supplies in the US and using some low-paid donkey (cleaning / luggage / security) to plant my device for me. This is how the most successful attacks are carried out.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "and using some low-paid donkey...to plant my device for me. "

      It does make you wonder why they would bother, given there are various ways around this.

      Unless....

      Do you think there could be another reason for doing this?

      Of course getting someone to do it for you is not very sporting.

      Then again terrorists aren't really known for their good sportsmanship.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: "and using some low-paid donkey...to plant my device for me. "

        Do you think there could be another reason for doing this?

        Occam's razor would suggest not. Maybe one of the scanner makers has a new machine they want to force airports around the world to buy. But I think this is probably just more useless knee-jerk policy based on a single, unverified intelligence report.

        Sad thing is that we're getting conditioned to respond to vague threats with the calls for "something to be done" which leads to new laws or policies that will be at least as poorly as resourced or enforced as the existing ones. Especially in the face of evidence suggesting that existing laws and tools are more than sufficient, if only they're properly resourced. I'm thinking here particularly of the Danish research that suggested that digital snooping diverted scarce police resources from things like community policing.

  29. spacecadet66

    My guess is there simply is no threat and they just want an excuse to subject passengers to "expanded screening." What are you going to do, fly without a laptop? (In my case yes. Next time I leave the country, I'll be on a plane but my laptop is flying DHL.)

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      "My guess is there simply is no threat and they just want an excuse to subject passengers to "expanded screening." What are you going to do, fly without a laptop? (In my case yes. Next time I leave the country, I'll be on a plane but my laptop is flying DHL.)"

      But can you trust your laptop being out of your sight that long? DHL has American ties, you know (as it was founded in San Francisco)? And they could have ways to tracelessly rummage through your stuff the way MiniLuv did.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      " What are you going to do, fly without a laptop? (In my case yes. Next time I leave the country, I'll be on a plane but my laptop is flying DHL.)"

      Perhaps you could pop the hard drive/SSD out of the laptop (if it's one of those where this is possible and easy; on mine it takes about 20 seconds to remove with a phillips-head screwdriver) and put in a dummy one that has nothing much on it (just the OS and some really basic crap to make them think it's a real setup... let them have the passwords, or just don't set any). You could then DHL the device's actual storage (hopefully a SSD, being lighter and more shock resistant than a HDD), and if you get a self-encrypting model, you don't have to worry that it's going to be read by anyone in transit. If you use a strong SED password and it's still intact when you get it back in your hands, you can be pretty sure that no one has read your stuff or done an "evil maid" style attack at the OS level. They'd have to want you badly enough to use a compromised firmware at that point, I think (and that might wipe the drive, so you'd know something happened), and I doubt the US government is going to risk having such valuable tools discovered unless they really want you specifically (in which case you hopefully know it and should just stay far away).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "They'd have to want you badly enough to use a compromised firmware at that point,"

        OR they could be able to do it on the cheap, meaning it's no skin off their nose to pwn every device they come across. And it's not as if anyone's gonna REALLY notice it's there unless by some cosmic coincidence they come upon the magic knock sequence.

  30. thegroucho
    Joke

    Just a thought

    Considering most modern day ultrabooks and MacBooks are virtually non-repairable and non-upgradeable - here is a thought:

    If they turn on and boot an OS then it is unlikely anyone other than FoxConn would have been able to insert a b0mb without making the device totally useless.

    1. Earth Resident

      Re: Just a thought

      That was standard operating procedure in the 1980s. These policies have nothing to do with airline security. The TSA and the US government are slowly taking away our rights while simultaneously proving that there is no indignity they cannot impose that we have no choice but to obey. Someone has to stop the madness, and the primary madness is the policy of perpetual war for profit.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Just a thought

      Yes, because it's totally impossible to build a dummy screen showing a bootup sequence around a bomb.

      Meanwhile, with a nod to the Sean Connery, nobody's checking the bombe surprise being loaded into the kitchen by Mr Wint and Mr Kid.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Just a thought

        By an international terrorist group that can fake an operational Macbook air well enough to fool a TSA expert in an x-ray.

        But can't manage to get one of their supporters a minimum wage job ramp side where they can put the bomb in the truck they are allowed to drive through with no checks?

  31. Jonathan 27

    "We cannot play international whack-a-mole with each new threat"

    Then why institute this at all? whack-a-mole is exactly what this is. Not only that, the laptops are still on the plane anyway, just in the hold. How does this improve safety at all?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Because if they're not shown doing SOMETHING, they get voted out (or worse, recalled BEFORE their term).

  32. Guus Leeuw

    Increased Security Protocols

    Dear Mr Kelly,

    can we please have increased security protocols on the internet as well, please?

    Thank you so much!

    Best regards,

    Guus

  33. Bill Michaelson

    Did someone really say...

    "...we can't play whack-a-mole?" Unironically?

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Did someone really say...

      Did someone really say...

      "...we can't play whack-a-mole?" Unironically?

      Yes, I saw a video, and he said it... A paid, professional politician said that, where are these people coming from? really...?

  34. strum Silver badge

    >Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

    Simpler alternative; don't visit Trumpland.

  35. Earth Resident

    Enough is enough!

    The time has come to abolish the TSA and their ridiculously useless theatrical policies. Rather than rolling up into a fetal ball because US/UK/EU citizens have been made legitimate targets for attack by those we invade and occupy, why don't we stop killing hundreds of thousands of foreign citizens in illegal wars.

    What do we have to lose? What we are doing now serves no useful purpose and only enriches the profiteers of death who own our governments and politicians. Do you think they care if we're inconvenienced and humiliated at our airports. Not if the wars of choice line their pockets.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "What do we have to lose?"

      Well think what would happen if all those wobble bottomed staff were let out on the streets again with no money in their pockets.

      Takings at McDonalds near airports would crash through the floor.

      Economic meltdown.

  36. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    "Folks"

    <Rant>

    Can we please stop using the custey "folks" please? There's a perfectly good word availble ("people") that lacks the "oh look how homely and cute I am sat in my log cabin by a roaring fire" overtones of "folks".

    </Rant>

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FVEY countries all doing the same

    The Five Eyes, aka Quintet, are all in this together:

    https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/fv-cntry-mnstrl-2017/index-en.aspx

    "...agreed...to raise the baseline of aviation security globally..."

    Does Kelly fly commercially?

  38. This post has been deleted by its author

  39. GFreeman

    Yeah, let's remove all the security from airports, I agree. I don't travel by air, and I also don't care what happens to other people's families when they die while traveling by air. I really don't. Remove the security if you're SO SURE that there's zero threat. Let's see what happens. No, really. Let's just experiment and see who's right. I can honestly say that nothing would give me greater pleasure than saying, "I told you so" at the funerals of hundreds, or even thousands, of innocent people who died at the hands of terrorists. So please, deny me that pleasure by removing ALL security and showing me that nobody wants to use airplanes to kill people.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Yeah, let's remove all the security from airports, I agree. "

      Non Americans find this absurd level of security hilarious, given that every 9/11 plane was on an internal flight.

      We find Trumps travel bans on even more hilarious given the #1 source of the terrorist was Saudi Arabia.

      Those facts alone tell you that this is "theatre" in the sense of "A performance put on to entertain an audience."

      You, and people like you, are that audience.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: "Yeah, let's remove all the security from airports, I agree. "

        "Non Americans find this absurd level of security hilarious, given that every 9/11 plane was on an internal flight."

        They're not trying to prevent 9/11... it already happened. They claim to be responding to some intel they have about a new threat using bombs built into laptops. Whether you believe them is another thing completely, but that's what they're claiming. Of course it's ridiculous... most people in the US find it so too, I'd say, but no one ever asked us if we wanted this.

        "We find Trumps travel bans on even more hilarious given the #1 source of the terrorist was Saudi Arabia."

        They're not trying to prevent 9/11... it already happened. Those countries were Obama's list of countries that represent the greatest threat to the US at the present time, according to the current intel.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "Those countries were Obama's list of countries..greatest threat to the US..present time,"

          How curious.

          It seems there is something the D of Obama's that he does want to use.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Yeah, let's remove all the security from airports, I agree. "

          They ARE trying to prevent 9/11...PART TWO! Because if it happens AGAIN, odds are it'll be of a catastrophic enough nature that a good chunk of civilization itself will fall victim (think a hidden nuke detonated over South Dakota--EMP blast would knock out most of the US). And remember, there ARE people for whom Mutual Assured Destruction is ACCEPTABLE.

  40. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    Tourism Money

    Interesting, so much said as if the United States' economy will collapse because people from the UK stop visiting. A larger effect will occur if college kids from New Jersey quit going to Florida on spring break.

    Any business stating it's too much hassle to make a profit in the country with the largest economy in the world is either a fool or a liar who knows nothing about economics. Even so, WTF cares? There are plenty jumping at the chance to do so.

    You know the saying about opening your mouth and removing all doubt that you're an idiot.

    1. Andalou

      Re: Tourism Money

      "You know the saying about opening your mouth and removing all doubt that you're an idiot."

      Sixty-three million votes say, "So?"

  41. DiViDeD Silver badge

    You missed out option 3:

    Don't go anywhere near the damn place. There are plenty of international routes which avoid the US altogether, there are more than enough holiday destinations with shedloads more to offer, Skype/video conferencing/over the shoulder remote direction of native technicians exist to keep you at arms length from the place, their TV sucks, and their president is orange.

    Kids, just say no.

  42. FreeRadical

    Just opt for a better destination and avoid the hassle whenever possible

    I have a very simple solution, for those of us that don't rely on visiting the US for business purposes. If you are looking to vacation somewhere, just don't go to the US. On my last few visits I have been less than impressed by what I see. The infrastructure seems to be crumbling, and other than the newest of construction, everything is in desperate need of a wash and a new coat of paint.

    I can think of several destinations that would be more pleasurable to travel to, where I will not be subject to US officials snooping in my electronics and installing god only knows what kind of nasty software. For a country so heavily vested in consumerism, they sure are doing a good job of driving away tourists. Just one Canadian's opinion.

  43. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

    Compromising passengers safety

    As a potential passenger I want an assurance from the airline that they will not deliberately expose me to life threatening hazards or theft or damage to my property.

    Lithium battery fires are known events, which are not controllable in a cargo hold. Valuable possessions beyond my physical presence are subject to theft, interference and mishandling without any meaningful defense.

    If someone is planning to destroy an airplane mid-flight then they will either be an incompetent nutter - underpants bomber, or have their shit together and be smarter than the fast food industry rejects staffing the screening posts.

    Ideally our benevolent big brother will know everything going on and stifle any acts of terrorism before they develop beyond mild grumbling about the poor quality of reality TV, with airport security screening to catch the ones who evade the monitoring. But a sufficiently devious psychopath - or gullible fool, may get through and smuggle an undetectable device onto a plane.

    This is unlikely.

    Fires in modern digital equipment - Does happen.

    Checked baggage broken, stolen - unavoidable.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Compromising passengers safety

      >Lithium battery fires are known events

      So Boeing powering parts of the aircraft with them would seem to be especially "special needs"

  44. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Does anyone know what pressurization and temperatur cycling does to Li battery packs?

    Of the sort you'd get in an aircraft hold?

    Or even if they are tested to survive such treatment?

    Because it looks like quite a lot of people are going to be finding out.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Does anyone know what pressurization and temperatur cycling does to Li battery packs?

      Ooops.

      Checked a bit further. Turns out all modern passenger jets with cargo holds within the main envelope will be pressurized, so not a major issue.

      OTOH temperature depends on what they are carrying. The only actual data point I've seen is that a 767 hold will not go below 7c due to insulation but may be run at 18c.

      So how do peoples battery packs handle 7c IE44.7F ?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone know what pressurization and temperatur cycling does to Li battery packs?

        Cold's actually not a big issue for those kinds of batteries. They have degraded performance and are less conducive to charging, but in terms of safety, it's actually good for the battery as it dampens the odds of a thermal runaway. The trouble with them has always been running too hot.

        That said, I said dampen, not eliminate, and since most checked stuff is inaccessible to the crew during the flight, should one of them actually do set light, you have a serious problem (an airliner fire always rates at least a Pan-Pan, but one the crew can't reach is a Mayday).

        I speak from experience. I use an Android tablet as a mapper and music player in my car. In the winter, I find it stops charging and occasionally runs down, and I managed to once see the message that said it's too cold to charge the device (despite it being kept in a pouch that should insulate it).

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you don't like it, don't travel.

    It's not really an issue unless you're an angry person who can't wait an extra 10-15 minutes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Would love to know where you fly that you get thru the TSA gauntlet in 10-15

      I was flying a lot for work, typical routes MDW <-> EWR, MDW <-> BWI, MDW <-> OMA, in order of worst to best, and my average TSA wait on line was probably 45 min. (Yes I know this is an international thing -- for now, but you're talking about TSA lines...) FWIW, I'm US born, middle-aged, not brown, and wear business casual or better when I fly. It was bad enough that I changed jobs.

      I can only imagine what the wait would be if I were a jihadi aged brown male.

      And no, I don't pre-check. The TSA gets enough of my $$ every April 15th, not to mention the time described in my rant above.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When travel to the US decreases and the Airlines start losing money, how long before the big wigs call their buddy, Orange Man and give him the BUSINESS about them LOSING money and business??

  47. MachDiamond Silver badge

    In order to implement this new security, TSA...

    … will be laying off 10% of it's front line workers and/or closing 10% of the security stations. Real security is hard, but it looks a lot like real security if they inconvenience everybody as much as possible. The remaining TSA agents will be requesting to work in baggage scanning to snag a new laptop.

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