TSA bars battery-dead cellphones from flights

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by NYCUA1K, Jul 7, 2014.  |  Print Topic

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Does this latest TSA restriction make sense?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
    92.3%
  3. Dunno/Don't care

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Link to piece:
    =====================================================================
    By Gail Sullivan July 7 at 2:56 AM

    If your cellphone is out of power the next time you fly to the United States from overseas, you might have to leave it behind.

    The Transportation Security Administration announced Sunday that on certain overseas flights to the United States, it will not permit “powerless devices” — cellphones and computers that cannot be turned on. Airport security officers may ask passengers to power-on devices during security screening, which could mean slower security lines for travelers. Passengers could also be taken out of line for questioning, TSA said.

    Continue reading...
    ======================================================================

    This is of interest to me because just yesterday I came back from HKG with a dead smartphone (a DROID) that had inexplicably stopped working because it would not power up. Had this restriction been in effect I would have lost the darn phone, which came back on and is working just fine after I did a hard reset...

    P.S. Here's the actual TSA Press Release:
     
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  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    The wise agency in question might need to catch up with the latest Supreme Court ruling that warrantless smartphone searches are unconstitutional.
     
  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Outstanding point. However, the TSA's counter argument would be that they are not interested in searching smartphones. They simply want to make sure that a phone can be powered on, which would indicate that it was not rigged to explode...
     
  4. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Usual TSA stupid nonsense a cell phone rigged to explode cannot be rigged to be powered on?:rolleyes: What happens if your phone battery is dead? Is it blown up and/or will you banned from flying? Edited to add that its being reported that the latter will be the policy of BA ... just gives me yet another reason to avoid that airline.:(

    Plus why target the newer phone models? Are those the only ones that can be used for that purpose?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  5. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    According to one of the news radio stations I heard on the way to work, if the phone does not power up it may be required to be included in checked baggage.
     
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  6. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Seems like there's no longer any intel analysis on our end. Whatever the crazies feed to the listening bugs is being accepted as gospel.
     
  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I would content that you got that backwards. The lack of "intel analysis" is on the TSA side, since they are the ones who keep coming up with these bizarre restrictions. To provide TSA's rationale is hardly the same thing as to endorse or agree with it...I started the thread and cast my vote (it should be clear what it was) based on my own "intel analysis".;)
     
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  8. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    If they think it could be a bomb, they want to carry it on the plane in the luggage compartment? Say again?
     
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  9. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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  10. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    My use of the word 'our' above did not apply to anyone in this community. But you're correct that however we divide between us and them, the esteemed agency might as well be the enemy's agent. LOL
     
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  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    LOL. A "fifth column" within the US government?:D
     
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  12. nacho

    nacho Silver Member

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    I wonder which countries are the 'certain countries' in the article.
     
  13. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    Moderately old timers should remember this requirement from a decade or so ago - applied to laptops at the time, before smart phones.
     
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  14. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Ok... take a deep breath...
    If TSA received "credible" intel and do not act on it, they are screwed (9-11)
    If TSA received "credible" intel and acted on it, they are screwed...

    Reminds me of the security officers feedbacks at my work place. Enforcement vs convenience of "trusted" employees / management.
    Anyone remember the show "Firewall"
     
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  15. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Not to worry -that assumes intelligence! :p
     
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  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I remember and I did have to power my laptop on at airport security check a few times (in fact, I once had to do it prior to entering a federal building here in NYC). The logic then is that because not a single laptop has ever been found rigged with explosives, let's target smartphones?
     
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  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    There is a must-read piece in the NY Times that, as usual, is much clearer and provides more details and has this with respect to which countries are affected:
    I think that you have a point. Reading this must-read NYT piece suggests that we here may be a bit too cynical. Commercial airliners remain the terrorists' favorite targets because it achieves the most firework for the bang -- the very goal of terrorists. A plane has not gone down since 9/11/01 as a result of an attack, not because the terrorists have not tried to bring one down, but because of increased vigilance and sheer luck. So, we should probably give the authorities (TSA, DHS, Interpol, etc) some slack. In that light, I would like to recall this:
    because they might return to checking laptops and other devices, and we'll get used to it:
     
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  18. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

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    Not only your smartphone. but any I pad or tablet/ e-reader. So you fly from the UAE to land in LHR to fly to the US. You were using your I pad to read your book. You have run out of juice so you can't fly because you read a book, and don't have enough time to recharge your I pad. So no trip home for you. Must spend a night in London to charge your I pad. Brilliant!!!!
     
  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Too melodramatic. This is a more realistic scenario:
    They'll probably have spare chargers for those who do not have theirs handy. Thus, you would be able to travel except that you may have to leave your device behind if it flat out fails to power up. But is it not precisely the point that a device that fails to power up should not be trusted to get onto the plane?
     
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  20. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    They probably have boxes of spare chargers that travelers accidentally left behind at the checkpoints.

    I think the assumption is that bomb workings could be concealed in the electronics of a phone. But if that is the case, they could be concealed in a camera, phone charger, gps unit, headphones, or any of a million other devices. Will we have to power up our noise canceling headphones?
     
  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    According to news accounts, the available intel is that the bomb makers in Yemen have been modifying smartphones, hence the focus on such devices for the time being...
     
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  22. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    They are really just doing their job and acting on their intel.
    In this instance, I would rather have this check then to risk getting blown up mid-air by a terrorist using a smartphone bomb.
    The portable / external batteries has just got themselves a new demand stream.
     
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  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Indeed, and I always wondered back then what exactly I proved by having the BIOS startup message appear on the screen.

    And now that we have told them that we have that intel, they will switch to modifying electric toothbrushes.

    So those contract "security" workers that do the secondary screening at the gate at EMEA airports are now allowed by the TSA to confiscate my personal property?

    As for what's going to happen to them...

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14...certified-refurbished-unlocked-gsm-iphones-5s
     
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  24. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Yup. Either leave a large SASE so that it can be forwarded to you...by boat :D, or its fate might as well be what you surmised below...
     
  25. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    Dead batteries in phones. What's next, human rumps? I have good intel that people can use their rectum to store bombs that aren't detectable by nude o' scopes or metal detectors.
     
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