The US May Ban Laptops on All Flights From Europe

By Tom Pritchard on at

If you're planning on heading to the US anytime soon, you should probably prepare a decent amount of low-tech entertainment to keep yourself busy. European security officials have told The Daily Beast that all passengers flying in from Europe will not be allowed to take laptops inside the cabin.

The US Department of Homeland Security didn't confirm or deny the reports, telling The Daily Beast:

“No final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration. DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe.”

So while it's not confirmed, but it seems more likely. It's not clear whether a blanket European ban would also apply to tablets, but I would be surprised if it didn't.

This news comes just a few weeks after initial reports that this type of ban might be implemented. It's also a couple of months after the US banned laptops and tablets from a number of Muslim countries - a move that was then copied by the British government.

I get that it could be quite easy for a terrorist to hide explosives inside an electronic device, it has happened before after all. But surely restricting devices to checked luggage isn't going to solve anything. What's to stop rigging a laptop bomb to explode mid flight anyway? It's still on the plane after all. Plus, what happens if a Lithium Ion battery decides to go haywire and burst into flames? It's going to be a lot harder to deal with if it's inside someone's suitcase.

Plus this put people's devices at risk. Not only from theft as it makes its way on and off the plane, but also from customs officials who could try and access your data without consent. And, you know, nobody wants to sit on a plane for 7+ hours with nothing to do, which can't be healthy for the American tourist industry.

It's like everyone is trying to make air travel as miserable as possible. If I wanted to be miserable while travelling, I'd get on a train at rush hour. [The Daily Beast]

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