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Travelers' Electronics At US Airports To Get Enhanced Screening, TSA Says (arstechnica.com) 151

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Aviation security officials will begin enhanced screening measures of passengers' electronics at US airports, the Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday. Travelers must remove electronics larger than a mobile phone from their carry-on bags and "place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image," the TSA announced amid growing fears that electronic devices can pose as homemade bombs. The TSA was quick to point out that the revised security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in the TSA Precheck program.

"Whether you're flying to, from, or within the United States, TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security by strengthening the overall security of our commercial aviation network to keep flying as a safe option for everyone," TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia said. "It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe. By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats."

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Travelers' Electronics At US Airports To Get Enhanced Screening, TSA Says

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  • ... amid growing fears that electronic devices can pose as homemade bombs.

    Is clock boy trying to fly, or what?

  • interrogation
  • Pre-check is totally worth it. I don't know why more people don't use it. Your privacy is already shot going on a commercial flight, anyway.
    • Because it is not available to most people?

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        The TSA Pre® application program membership is only open to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents.

        If by "most people" you mean "most people on the planet", you're correct. But it's available to almost everybody who is (legally) living in the US.
        • The TSA Pre® application program membership is only open to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents.

          If by "most people" you mean "most people on the planet", you're correct. But it's available to almost everybody who is (legally) living in the US.

          Yes. And that's why that Pre-Application program won't help me in the slightest. As I said: To most people, it is of absolutely no use.

        • So, well under half of the people who fly into the US then?
    • > Your privacy is already shot going on a commercial flight, anyway. I've never had to submit my fingerprints. If you use Pre, then you do.
  • two class society (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jmccue ( 834797 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @05:30PM (#54886523) Homepage

    So you you pay extra money you get special privileges in what use to be a freedom (travel). So much for the US Revolution and the Declaration of Independence

    • c'mon c'mon, why all the cynicism? Those rules and regulations are there, just like the friendly, hardworking TSA agents -- to keep america and her people safe. If you don't like it, perhaps you should write some letters, or run for office yourself.

      God forbid people actually lift a finger when it comes to issues they care about -- rather than just bitch about it online.

    • A Pre-check application costs $85 and is good for 5 years. Not much different from a driver's license ($33 every 5 years in California). The price defers the cost of background inspections, fingerprinting, interviews, and other administrative costs. (If you're going to fly internationally, spring the extra $15 for Global Entry - that'll get you into the fast lanes at immigration. If you already have a NEXUS (Canada) or SENTRI (Mexico) card, you're already in Pre-check.)

      If you're so destitute you can't
      • No the PROPER way to pay for the TSA is to have them on select routes that people pay extra for the added security against terrorists.

        Those who don't want to pay or can't afford the cost can fly without the benefit of the added security against terrorists. They can go back to the risky flights of the pre-2011 days. As the demand for the latter wanes, we can switch that route to TSA only. In no time, all routes will be TSA secure and well funded!

      • by sethaw ( 598206 )

        The proper way to pay for this would be to take the expense of TSA security and pay for it with a surcharge on every ticket sold, instead of via the general tax fund.

        There is a surcharge called the "September 11th Security Fee" for the TSA on every plane ticket. It's just that airlines include all the mandatory taxes & fees with the advertised ticket price. In 2016 the TSA collected about $3.7 billion from the fees which is about half of their budget.

  • Great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @05:40PM (#54886651)

    So it's juggling with 5 more plastic bins one handed while the other hand tries to hold pants up because your belt is in one of them.

    I'd like to apologize to the people behind me but it's in our both interest that I put belt and shoes on before I start moving again.

    I don't care about having to spread out the contents of my luggage or having to strip down, but having to do so in a queue is a terrible idea! NOT EVERYONE CAN TIE THEIR SHOELACES WHILE STANDING ON ONE LEG. Espescially not while pressured to move from the guy behind you. A simple bench to help you put on your shoes again would work wonders. Then a little space to pack or unpack your stuff or little trolleys to move your stack of bins away from the x-ray quickly....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I just take as long as I need, standing there at the luggage belt, putting my clothes back on and putting things back in my bag. I'm not going to push myself to be rushed or filled with anxiety because someone else came up with terrible ideas. If it sucks, it sucks because of someone else's foolishness and I say so loudly when those behind me complain.

            It's not being a jerk, it's being a self-respecting human.

    • As someone who has to fly two times a week, I can only say that belts with plastic buckles are godsend.

      • As someone who has to fly two times a week, I can only say that belts with plastic buckles are godsend.

        I've gone through the metal detector before and been forced to lift my shirt so they could see if I was wearing a belt. They made me walk back through the detector and put my belt onto the x-ray conveyor, then return through the metal detector. The detector did not go off once. I don't think they'd let you wear even a plastic belt through the body scanner.

  • Security Theater (Score:4, Informative)

    by Linsaran ( 728833 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @05:48PM (#54886721) Homepage

    Practically everything the TSA does is security theater anyways, this is just another one of a long list of not really effective things they do to make a big show and make everyone 'feel' safer.

    I'd rather they spend that money on things that work, or on almost literally anything else.

  • . . . they searched for homemade bombs posing as electronic devices? Instead of electronic devices posing as homemade bombs? (Bob: "Look there's a homemade bomb in this purse!" Dave replies: "Nah! That's just a pocket calculator posing as a homemade bomb")
  • Given the trend in phones, pretty soon there won't be electronic gear bigger than a mobile phone that still fits in the overhead bins. Problem solved. No more need for screening.

    • Given the trend in phones, pretty soon there won't be electronic gear bigger than a mobile phone that still fits in the overhead bins.

      Which measuring dimension are considering ?

      Horizontal/Vertical width ? - Yeah pretty soon the huge plasma screen in your living room is going to be the only device bigger than a phone and that clearly can't be fit in your luggage.

      Thickness/depth ? - Sorry man, soon even your cigarette rolling paper is going to be over the limit.

  • > amid growing fears that electronic devices can pose as homemade bombs.

    Shouldn't TSA care more about homemade bombs that masquerade as electronics. If an electronic gadget wants to play make-believe, shouldn't that be covered by AI rights in future ... TSA trying to get in laws ahead of time?

  • I remember when the 4th Amendment meant something
    Then came the Cuban hijackings
    And the SCOTUS said "Well, only a FEW SELECT people need to lose their rights"
    Camel's nose?
    More like Horse's Asses
  • You know all TSA employee's are given a labodomy before being assigned where to work. All are basically brain dead
    • by Anonymous Coward

      labodomy

      The irony is delicious.

  • Every person that has had this happen has been brown. It's just an excuse to be more racist at the airports.
    Let's also ignore the fact that monday all of Orlando International skipped the security checks dod not have to take laptop out of the bag, dont remove shoes or coat, just walk through.

    Airport security is theater and an attempt to be racist to those that are not white.

  • If either the TSA or the US gov't were competent, they would have done this long ago (like 1/2 year ago).

    Whether it is security theater or not, some international business travelers are already not going to the US and reorganizing event elsewhere in fear of business documents (laptop) being held at border.

    They can improve it, but international business travelers already have the fear. The damage has been done. Good luck reversing it.

    • The damage is mainly in the visa system; the security screening and customs is a minor issue: keep sensitive data on micro-SD cards on your person, hidden within luggage, or in the cloud and downloaded on arrival. All encrypted of course.

      The Visa system though makes it very hard to have an international conference in the US now, or in a place where attendees will need to connect on a US flight. It started with the electronic authorization for "visa waiver" countries, but Trump has made it exponentially wor

    • 9/11 -- the terrorists won
  • I was about to buy a camera, but after hearing this news, forget it. Those bins are dirty as shit. What if the previous bin user had stepped in dog shit and put his shoes in your bin? Then you put your camera in there and now your camera has dog shit on it.
  • I wonder if this will help improve their dismal security record.

    https://tech.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

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