With the caveat that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has yet to confirm any of this on its Web site, there are several indications that orders have been issued to cease the use of electronics during international flights. This rumored dictum would mean no laptops, no iPods, no Kindles, no CD players, no portable DVD players, no Nintendo DSs—nothing that requires any sort of power on these flights. If this is true, it’s absolutely awful news.
Obviously, this is all in reaction to the Nigerian man who attempted to bring down a plane coming into the U.S. on Christmas Day. And the TSA is going to do whatever it thinks is necessary to prevent further attacks of a similar nature. But the simple fact is that if the TSA was really this seriously worried about electronic devices, it could have banned them anytime since the attacks on September 11, 2001. Instead, the TSA will potentially enact the ban more than 8 years later, after a man attempted to ignite some sort of mixture of powder and liquid in his lap. How that relates to electronics, I’m not sure. This just reeks of a “well, we have to do something” move.
Again, all the details aren’t known yet, and it’s entirely possible this putative restriction is just a temporary measure that will be in place during a heightened security period following the attempted attack. Other reports suggest this will only affect planes coming into the U.S. Of course, if you leave the U.S. to go on an international trip, you’re very likely going to have to come back, so this will affect you.
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