And we’re off and running once again with the latest policy procedure from the Transportation Security Administration, almost certainly guaranteed to accomplish nothing. TSA has just announced that they’ll be asking random passengers who board direct overseas flights to the U.S. to power their phones on before going through security. If said device won’t turn on, passengers will not be allowed onto planes.
Unsurprisingly, this latest bureaucratic order came from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who implied that intelligence believes al Qaeda might be able to manufacture a bomb that could make its way through airport security. It’s not immediately clear whether that means such an explosive would be triggered from a cell-phone or whether the explosive IS the cell-phone, but regardless, the announcement does little to explain why a phone that’s unable to “power on” would indicate that someone might be a safety risk. TSA’s statement simply insisted, “Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft.”
I’m pretty sure any number of smartphone apps could accomplish the basic concealing of a diabolical high-tech bomb-triggering program. So unless TSA plans on rummaging through all of our private phone data, this move doesn’t seem to be a very promising terror-prevention tactic.
Isn’t it ironic that for years, airlines have been behaving like Nazis when it comes to keeping your devices turned off…and now they desperately want to ensure that they can be turned ON?
I’d write more on this topic, but I’m in an airport at the moment, and I’m worried that the device I’m writing this on might run out of batteries before I clear security. If that happens, I’ll just have to slip this tablet under the gigantic turban of the guy standing next to me. There’s no way they’re not letting him through.
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