The US Department of Homeland Security’s head honcho John Kelly, says his department is seriously considering a total ban on laptops in the passenger hold for all flights in and out of the land of the so-called free. During an interview on the bastion of unbiased news coverage, Fox News, Kelly was asked whether the laptop ban that currently affects flights from some Middle Eastern and African countries will be expanded. While being non-committal, haying he might be considering an expansion of the ban, he didn’t rule it out.
As someone who travel to the US several times a year, this would be a massive inconvenience. And, having had more than a few cases suffer at the hands of baggage handlers I shudder to think what condition my computer might be in when it gets off the baggage carousel.
The exercise we see at US airports with body screening, taking shoes off and x-ray machines is somewhat inconvenient. But if DHS thinks a modified laptop represents an attack vector then what the heck is happening at the screening points they have now? Is it purely security theatre?
Aside from concern about how my luggage is treated, I wonder if having computers in luggage gives DHS greater power to either seize devices or search them without us there to ask questions.
On my last trip to the US a couple of weeks ago, I was in transit for aver 20 hours in each direction. That was valuable work time for me. I’d lose that, along with the money I made during those hours. I’m a self-employed freelancer. If I don’t work I don’t eat!
I’d like to think this idea from DHS will fade away. But the paranoia of the US security agencies seems boundless.