Jul 6, 2017

US laptop ban collapses with no evidence of claims of original mini-bomb threat

It has taken more than three months for the US to back down on apparently fictitious claims of a micro bomb risk on selected ME carriers and routes

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Emirates is no longer selectively disadvantaged by claims of a never proven security threat

America’s selective bans on laptops being carried by passengers inside the cabins of successful Middle East carriers including Emirates and Etihad  has now all but totally collapsed, apart from Qatar Airways at this hour.

The roll back of the widely ridiculed restrictions is proceeding faster than news services can post updates, and the wilful dangers imposed on airlines and their passengers of having to pack lithium-ion battery powered devices in harder to reach under cabin floor locations have all but totally receded.

But the fact remains that it took more than three months for the Trump administration to revoke a manifestly stupid and ill-informed decision which caused serious inconvenience to a large number of travellers on key routes into the US.

No evidence was ever produced by the US authorities to support the claim, late in March, that there was evidence of an intention for terrorists to place very small amounts of explosives inside devices such as smart phones or small laptops where they could by unspecified means, be combined into bigger bombs or individually detonated.

The new American position is that the Mad March Bans on personal electronic devices carried in cabins on certain airlines and routes can be voided by the implementation of better security measures on passengers departing from those cities to the US.  These ‘better’ measures seem very, very similar to those that are currently in use.

While terrorism risks are a matter of immense concern for airlines and their customers, so is casual and contemptible lying by authorities.

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4 thoughts on “US laptop ban collapses with no evidence of claims of original mini-bomb threat

  1. comet

    It makes you wonder why the UK went along with this madness, and Australia indicated it might follow.

    I guess it’s a bit like Sadaam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’, which turned out to be a fabricated fantasy. But Australia and the UK were quick to follow that too, with no independent analysis needed.

    1. Dan Dair

      Somewhat surprisingly,
      the UK didn’t actually slavishly follow all of the USA’s lead.?
      Plus, they added a couple of interestingly-iffy nations to their own list.?

    2. Uwe

      Forcing computing hardware out of sight of the owner is perfect
      for illicit skimming of information by some notorious 3letter org or other. Note that the eager beavers are all “5eyes”.

  2. pieter

    In the meantime the FAA has done some testing with laptops in the cargo hold. The results were – in their own words – “most troubling” https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info/all_infos/media/2017/InFO17008.pdf

    I wonder how airlines will respond.

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