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Flat Battery? You’re A Potential Terrorist

New rules make airport security yet more annoying

Michael Cruickshank
Flat Battery? You’re A Potential Terrorist© 2017 Flickr - Intel Free Press

They’ve banned liquids, forced you to go through invasive 3D body scans and pat-downs, but yet this still isn’t enough. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a new urgent directive to airports in the US and abroad, instructing them of new security measures which are being called for.

DHS continually assesses the global threat environment and reevaluates the measures we take to promote aviation security. As part of this ongoing process, I have directed TSA to implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States. We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as possible.

While the DHS has claimed to the be taking steps to reduce the disruption these new rules will cause, they are some of the most inconvenient to date. Among the most important of them is a new ruling which forces security agencies to check that electronic devices of fliers are indeed genuine, and not disguised bombs.

There are a number of reasons for which a device may not boot correctly, and very few of them have anything to do with terrorism.

In order to do this, they will instruct flyers to turn on their devices, and check to see if they boot correctly. Should they fail to function, due to say, a flat battery, the flyer will have to leave the device behind, or depending on the situation, be barred from boarding the flight, and taken away for further questioning. This is particularly frustrating for flyers, as it is yet one more thing to worry about when they take their journey. Furthermore, there are a number of reasons for which a device may not boot correctly, and very few of them have anything to do with the owner being potential terrorist.

Image: © 2014 Facebook

What's worse, as yet, we are still not fully informed of which airports will be subject to these new rules. So far only a select few, such as London Heathrow, have come forward and announced the implementation of these new rules. In addition, the public has been given no information on what triggered this new global alert. Presumably it is based on intelligence of a terrorist plot to bomb airlines using concealed bombs, but it is unclear whether it is linked to AQAP, ISIS or another terrorist group which has been making the headlines lately.

While we can hope for more information from the US authorities on why we have been subjected to such harsh new rules, given past experience, this would seem rather unlikely.

 

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