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TSA Says Uncharged Gadgets Can't Fly

Credit: NAN728

(Image credit: NAN728 )

Travelers flying into the United States from certain overseas airports will be required to turn on their cellphones and other electronic devices for the preflight scanning and inspection, the Transport Security Administration (TSA) announced yesterday (July 6).

People with a unpowered device will not be allowed to board their flights, the TSA said in an online posting, and those passengers "may also undergo additional screening."

MORE: Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

The increased security measure is a response to new intelligence about possible terrorist plots, a DHS official told CNN, adding that the affected airports are mostly located in the Middle East and Europe. The airports were not named.

The new regulation comes from a directive by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

"DHS [Department of Homeland Security] continually assesses the global threat environment and reevaluates the measures we take to promote aviation security," Johnson wrote in a statement on the DHS's website last week.

Neither Johnson's statement nor the TSA announcement yesterday specified what other kinds of electronic devices would be affected. TSA agents have occasionally asked flyers to power up their laptops, but the practice does not appear to be official policy.

Though this increased inspection is required in order to board your flight, U.S. citizens still do not need to divulge their device passcodes or encryption codes during border searches.

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  • timaahhh
    "We don't need you to give us your password, we already have that"
    Reply
  • icemunk
    Kind of clever if you think about it. Partly so they can't somehow hide a bomb in the battery (unlikely), and probably mainly so the phone remains active, and data packets can be snooped as needed.
    Reply
  • everlast66
    This is getting ridiculous! If you are carrying a laptop it is quite likely you will use it while waiting to kill some time and watch a movie or two or do some work. So if the battery goes down I have to bin it at the airport?
    Any terrorists can always replace the normal one with a smaller capacity one, but same voltage and still get a laptop working. Stupid!
    Reply
  • everlast66
    Kind of clever if you think about it. Partly so they can't somehow hide a bomb in the battery (unlikely), and probably mainly so the phone remains active, and data packets can be snooped as needed.
    If your right about that, their next announcement should be - no linux or other custom OSes on board.
    Reply