The only motivation I can imagine is: They want these devices in checked luggage because checked luggage can be inspected without recourse by customs, and without an on-site confrontation. With care, it can be done without even notifying the people who are being checked.
And given the pushback on social media credential disclosure and the reveal that the CIA (and presumably FBI and other agencies) have physical access exploits (probably via USB or DisplayPort) for most of these devices, this seems like a move who's only logical motivation could be easier digital inspection.
Remember, it's the position of the TSA and CBP that non-citizens don't have rights of any kind until they're allowed through customs, and by simply inspecting devices they're interested in quickly and without publicity or confrontation they will certainly be more effective at it.
I'm going to start putting a USB nuke stick in my luggage in an envelope. Just for fun. Maybe I'll label the envelope something nonsensical like "12-16" just to make sure people know it's useless. And in case I (or someone investigating my luggage) needs to plug something into a USB slot.
It seems like we're getting closer and closer to being in a situation where people who can should avoid going to the US at all, and make their reasoning known. Ie, refuse to give talks, attend conferences, etc. in the US.
[10min audio] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDYMw1p8s9M
Ex: "what shops are you planning to go to". It's fine to answer "I don't know yet". They're just testing behaviour. If you start being defensive or aggressive, pretend to know their jobs better than they, etc, it's suspicious. Although yes, in general, the US agents are really bad at doing behaviour testing.
Anecdotal: Last year, I crossed the border a few times by car, visiting a friend I met on Tinder. I completely got away with it, giving honest answers at the border. Recently met someone else (a girl) who was stopped and accused of prostitution for doing the exact same thing. :/
You may not understand quite how much most Americans hate CBP. I use "hate" here deliberately. It represents the worst part of our government and a codification of our racist laws and culture even at the best of times.
They find a way to weaponize ignorance and shame people who are different at every turn. They have tackled people and held them at gunpoint for LED shirts, they've publicly shamed women for having vibrators in their luggage, they've delayed flights because people speak Tolkien's elvish leaving comicon.
And their definition of sincere risk? Brown people or people who are different. They can detain Americans and non-Americans alike without due process and stories report they do just to make a point.
And the worst part? They are bad at their jobs. The FBI is a problematic institution as well, but at least they can point to data that suggests they're doing things here and there to actually foil people who genuinely want to cause domestic problems.
Even conservative Americans hate the TSA and CBP face to face. We're all scared of them, because we know they're stupid and bad at their jobs but terribly powerful.
No, because you didn't do anything wrong.
Border crossing is not a crime, last I checked, despite the best efforts of some to make it feel that way.
Contrast that to this (6min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV-wgZBGfCo
None of those stories are that important in and of themselves, it's the whole normalized atmosphere of fear, guilt and almost agony that I don't understand.
Of course there is going to be someone who reacts badly, but you would think that they have professionals at the border that know this, from what I've seen when disembarking in London there are people who know how to handle these things. I've seen the same situation being descalated in 10 seconds.
I'm guessing there is little pay and pride to be had for a border guard in the US, so little incentive for being anything else than a git.
However, Canada can be just as bad. Bottom line: know the law, be polite/calm, travel light, be honest but keep answers at a minimum. Unfortunately, since I travel often for business, that means I've spent way too much time at social events exchanging about travel tips, rather than actual productive conversation. It's also silly that we're adding barriers instead of removing them. What a waste :(
I just visited some of my friends in Japan, many of whom wanted to visit me in the US once their children got a bit older, and they all said they are straight up frightened of simply trying to enter the US. These are some of the most upstanding people you can meet with jobs like being teachers, government employees, etc. They are the last people who should be afraid of being found as suspicious persons, yet the reality is that based on what they see in the news, I can't blame them.
Popular culture likes to portray Japan as a weird outlier country- but that's only if you compare it to the US. If you include the aforementioned European countries in the comparison, the US is the weird country.
I have bit heard anything of the like in Japan, but as you say it could be because they don't have the same measures/report rate we have, or that I don't check Japanese statistics as much.
You may notice is less and less diversity, but it's already pretty low, and we're often not very good at noticing that.
When was the last time your laptop's USB controllers had a firmware upgrade for security hardening?
Now with airlines actually removing in flight entertainment, flying from the Middle East to New York can be quite a long trip: no laptop to watch a movie, no screen in front of you.
I guess the US will stop banning as soon as one of these policy-makers is on the same flight as a few bored kids ;-)
For me already well past that point, no way would I travel to the US for any reason, work or pleasure.
I'm from the UK and I'm seriously contemplating getting out of here while the going is good as well.
Frankly, it seems the US policing practices have been looking more and more USSR like. And i dont just mean since trump arrived to power.
how is that going to protect the US? [...] perpetrators
will not transport any digital devices with incriminating
1. Bad guys with imperfect opsec (I see in your unallocated space there's a deleted TAILS ISO... onto a watchlist with you!)
2. Friends and relatives of bad guys (I see your nephew e-mailed you holiday photos from cybercafes near two different suspected terrorist training camps... onto a watchlist with him!) a bit like social media companies' 'shadow profiles'
3. Non-terrorist targets, like good old corporate espionage and political blackmail (Oh, you're a journalist/oil industry exec/prostitute? Let me just take a copy of your contacts, records and reports)
I love the idea but I can't help but think that even with a completely airtight reason to be traveling with that item (e.g. you're a security researcher) you would be accused of terrorism. Somehow.
Unfortunately, Liberals have weakened the 2nd Amendment to mean "only if you have a good reason", and weakened the 1st Amendment to mean "as long as you don't offend someone", while Conservatives have weakened the 4th amendment to mean "we suspected it without good cause and it turns out we were right which made the whole search ok."
I think if we stop weakening the ammendments we'll stop seeing violations of our basic civil liberties. But when California passes laws that regulate firearms you can wrap a thumb around (yes, this is a real thing), and Arizona passes a law that allows police to stop you if they suspect you're an illegal immigrant, we'll be in a slow spiral with decreasing rights.
The desire to strengthen old laws is interesting. Why is it that they seem better than the laws we can create today, given our advancements in education and ethics? Pining for the past due to the absence of 'something better'. Why does that 'something better' not exist?
Rights are granted with the intent to increase power/wealth for those who grant rights. Based on results, those in power no longer believe that granting rights to commoners is in their best interest.
Average citizens have less impact on that now. The constitution and amendments come from a time when they applied to fewer, more powerful people. The erosion of those rights is to be expected unless you're living in an altruistic utopia.
Highly recommend you watch CGP Grey's Rules for Rulers for another perspective.
And your nuke device might be worthless if they install a firmware exploit that will work later.
They might not be able to force you but it seems that they can lock you up indefinitely for contempt of court in the US and for they definitely can give you five years in the UK because it is a specific offence there under RIPA.
See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13919115 and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6248902.
I don't see how that will be fun since the only way you would find out if "it worked" would be by getting pulled from your flight and detained.
Doesn't take a large stretch of the imagination for a CBP official to declare that a "detonation device". Now you're really screwed.
Arrive in country then restore backup remotely.
What if I actually bought a new cheap phone because I'm afraid of getting robbed abroad, and even tell the agent?
I ask because I would think that being afraid of losing your expensive phone on a leisure trip is common enough and harmless enough (and totally real reason) that it wouldn't provoke or trigger an agent.
Or am I being delusional?
Yes. Remember, they don't need proof of anything. You're not on trial. It's largely up to the judgment of the individual officer whether or not someone can enter the US as a visitor.
If they ask you why there's nothing on your phone, you'd better be able to convince them that it's for some other reason than "I don't want you to see it". Can you do that? Well, it depends on how persuasive you are and whether the officer is in a good mood that day.
I mean, I've been buying burner phones when crossing to the US since several years ago, just because I do am afraid of getting mugged and losing everything while traveling, and since every trip to the US has been for vacation, I really didn't need anything on my phone other than emergency contacts (insurance, etc) and my reservation numbers for whatever I was going to visit.
So hopefully if I ever travel to the US again, and they want to check my phone, I hope they really believe me when I Tell them the truth... but like you said, it will depend on the judgment of the agent so I guess I'm screwed anyways if they want me to be so.
This is just... wow.
CBP officers working in secondary inspection to this all day, every day, they know what they're looking for, they will lie to you if necessary and chances are that they have heard the same explanations many times already. Secondary inspection is not a pleasant experience at all and you don't want to make it worse by trying to outsmart people who do this for a living.
However I think my case still applies in the sense that I would expect a lot of people to also buy a burner phone for a vacation trip just as a way to avoid loss in the event of a robbery, instead of as a way to try to outsmart border agents, so I would hope I would not be alone in giving them this reason as to why my phone is clean.
You raise a good argument though. If I'm already in secondary inspection I guess anything you give them or fail to give them will in any case be used against me, basically depending on the mood of the agent at that time.
I guess an interesting statistic to know (not that government would publish it willingly...) would be how many people that went through secondary inspection where denied access and how many of them were not.
Out of the 375 million passengers processed in FY 2014, 34 million was referred to secondary inspection and about 223,000 was found inadmissible. Keep in mind that these numbers also include US citizens who cannot be found inadmissible, but could be referred to secondary inspection for other reasons.
So ~10% get secondary inspection, and of those ~0.65% where found inadmissible (non-citizen as you point out).
Not sure how to feel about it. On the one hand 10% sounds like "not so bad" in that it's actually a minority getting secondary inspections.
On the other hand... if I'm waiting for border agents to let me through and 1 in 10 will get secondary inspections, which by the looks of it would include access to your accounts and such, it sounds like a terribly high percentage.
Using a parcel-handling service, gov't or private, along with some tamper-indication of the package interior seems much safer, though not perfect by any means.
(HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13702981)
Specifically, this part:
“A month later, André attempted to fly to New Orleans again. This time, he brought what he thought was ample proof that he was not a sex worker: letters from his employer, pay stubs, bank statements, a lease agreement and phone contracts to prove he intended to return to Canada.
When he went through secondary inspection at Vancouver airport, US Customs officers didn’t even need to ask for his passwords — they were saved in their own system. But André had wiped his phone of sex apps, browser history and messages, thinking that would dispel any suggestion he was looking for sex work. Instead, the border officers took that as suspicious.
“They went through my computer. They were looking through Word documents,” André says. “I had nude photos of myself on my phone, and they were questioning who this person was. It was really humiliating and embarrassing.”
“They said, ‘Next time you come through, don’t have a cleared phone,’ and that was it. I wasn’t let through. He said I’m a suspected escort. You can’t really argue with them because you’re trapped,” he says.”
He wasn’t necessarily declined solely because he wiped the phone (they already suspected him due to the previous encounter), but they made it pretty clear they don’t like it since they considered that reason enough to not let him through a second time despite all the supporting paperwork.
Have you ever used hotel wifi?
Give me a break.
What am I to do? Networks simply aren't fast enough to deal with my data sizes.
Label it "Very Bad USB" and put a bunch of noise in there. When you get detained tell them that you forgot the second part, "corrupts data"
Do you actually have one? I searched for a bit but it doesn't seem like they're sold.
My favorite is the USB-C one, because the USB-C spec supports 100W...
After huge demand, the USB Kill V3.0 comes in an anonymous version.
No branding - No logos - Generic Case. The anonymous version is perfect for penetration testers that require discretion.
There's no way this thing would be used in a pentest. It destroys computers. Generally pentesters try not to destroy the client's property.
Amusing way to frame it, though.
It does however force business travelers to rethink flying Emirates, Etihad, etc and fly United, etc instead. I'll be interested to see if these airlines sue.
A half gallon of petrol sitting inside your fake laptop in the hold is no biggie. A half gallon of petrol in the cabin is a whole different ballgame.
It's also beyond bizarre that the US trusts Abu Dhabi's security enough to locate its only Middle Eastern Customs/Immigration preclearance facility, but not enough to let passengers who have gone through security bring tablets...
In 2016, the United airplane I was in still did not have a seatback screen and they expected all 200+ passengers to connect to the wifi to try to get in-flight entertainment. Of course no one got on. So all of us were left craning our necks trying to catch a glimpse of whatever was on the CRT in the aisle.
Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines has a touchscreen interface with beautifully done transitions and an amazing selection of movies and music. I remember seeing Radiohead's Kid A on there, along with the Blade Runner soundtrack.
Next month, I'm flying to Berlin via Turkish even though it will take 4 more hours because the price and comfort are worth it. Only problem is, this electronics ban may compromise my electronics.
(And yes, I'm aware of early adopter pitfalls and government subsidies for airlines, but United has no qualms treating non-status passengers like trash.)
This is a deliberate decision that airlines are starting to make. If most passengers are bringing a wifi-capable device (ipad, phone, etc), then why go to the extra expense (and weight) to support seat-back screens?
Now, my main experience with this has been flying within the US where none of the newest planes have screens. Internationally, there may still be screens included in newer planes, but when screens = weight, and weight = $$$, it's not surprising that they are getting removed. Moreover, screens = depth, which when removed can make room for more rows, which means more money.
If this electronics ban takes hold though, I'd expect for there to be a big rethink about this.
I'll gladly let the airline shove more seats in by thinning them out, than by reducing my leg room any further.
So United saved costs by not retrofitting their airplanes with seatback screens and by offering shit wifi.
Of course Louis CK would say: https://youtu.be/ZFsOUbZ0Lr0
Also their primary hub Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) was attacked in 2016, which left 45 people killed and more than 230 people injured.
I am not sure what criteria they use to issue this award, but they do not look safe enough to me to be on the 7th best position in the world.
I knew of the attack at Ataturk Airport and I'm fine with a layover there. I'd even change to a stopover to hang out in Istanbul again, but don't have the time this trip. If you can get over your fears and fly the two airlines, I'm sure you'll find Turkish to be a better experience than United.
This just depends which plane you get. They all have new and old planes, you can get unlucky on any airline.
The entertainment system on the seat backs was Linux in a reboot loop.
JAL/ANA have very new planes with cool entertainment systems, but they also fly their older planes on some routes with a bunch of stuff that looks like it's powered by VCR.
To your question: they probably don't for their major international flights.
(Plus, can confirm that the ME airlines are highly competitive. They're subsidized by their governments: http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2015/03/airline-subs... (thanks hueving)).
That's not true, at least not for Emirates and Etihad, which were the main airlines accused.
Delta and other US airlines did accuse them of violating the Open Skies agreement, yes. Which is quite hypocritical since Delta (like other US airlines) has also taken direct subsidies from the US government.
But, as Emirates showed in their subsequent lawsuit, their financial records prove that they have never taken government subsidies, despite Delta's accusations. Etihad did, but long before Open Skies was signed (1999).
This behavior isn't unusual; the Big Four are just using this as an easy way to smear their biggest competitors, while ignoring other airlines that have similar financial history (China Southern, etc.). But China Southern isn't (currently) drawing passengers away from the Big Four, whereas Emirates/Etihad/Qatar are.
The Gulf aiflines are more efficient than the US airlines because they exclusively serve one city - Emirates, for example, flies only flights to or from Dubai (with a couple of tiny exceptions). That makes it a lot easier to provide excellent service and cheap flights.
American doesn't fly to any Middle Eastern cities but they partner with both Etihad and Qatar, who do.
I wonder if including Kindles is more a jibe against Bezos. Perhaps this is a stretch.
Abu Dhabi security was far more stringent than anything I have been through in Europe, (and ironically Brussels, when I was in the Brussels airport in transit when it was attacked).
This is not correct Quatar has one as well.
I'm also unsure why you would find this "bizarre" as all of the Emirates are incredibly wealthy.
And the bizarreness is that they're simultaneously trusting them enough to handle immigration, but not trusting them enough to handle passenger screening.
> It's also beyond bizarre that the US trusts Abu Dhabi's security enough to locate its only Middle Eastern Customs/Immigration preclearance facility, but not enough to let passengers who have gone through security bring tablets...
It's a good question.
However, I don't see that as a vote of confidence in them since they are still permitting flights.
I think similar could be said of the TSA in the US - the DHS trust them enough to let passengers who have gone through security bring shampoo as carry on but not enough if those shampoo bottles are greater than 3.4 ounces, despite having gone through their security.
I think its less about a vote of confidence and more about absurdist theater.
This is not about DHS trusting TSA, since the specific part of DHS that makes that regulates that is...TSA.
Someone answers their cell phone mid-flight - BOOM! Down goes the plane, steep descent, passengers screaming, masks drop from the ceiling, until that phone call ends and the plane straightens up.
Blanket ban on electronics is the only way to stop this happening.
One time I was flying and someone had forgotten to turn off their phone until the plane was in the air and it interfered with the navigation systems and we landed in London instead of Paris. Very ocnfuisng.
That's an RF induced race condition. Someone may be using radiowaves next to your keyboard. Now imagine that happening to the auto pilot system.
I laughed more though at the comments to this - one person genuinely not sure if humor or not, and one guy, smart, that somehow managed to figure it out without a /s. Welcome to next generation of software engineers.
Let's say you saw a similar comment on HN describing why the Earth is flat. Would you have reacted the same way?
It is far less plausible that they could genuinely believe they have witnesses, first-hand, several instances of a passenger using a cellphone on a commercial flight and causing it to crash, plus instances of navigation and other failures caused by personal electronics.
The big problem with cellphones on planes is that they overwhelm the signalling networks on the ground - when the carrier tries to determine which cell is best suited to handle your call, it basically polls the neighbouring cells for the received signal strength from that particular phone. When you're on a plane, your phone is seen from an awful lot of cells.
Also, some systems (GSM, for instance) relies on your velocity compared to the base station not being too large to allocate you a slot in the time-multiplexed channels. Depending on the geometry of the cell network, you may not be able to connect at all when on a plane - but your phone may create all sorts of grief for the network operator.
Or, put another way - if there really was a non-zero probability that a working cellphone on a plane would cause trouble, the TSA would simply collect the phones during boarding and being caught with one would give you the full terrorist treatment.
Given the abundance of cellphones and the sloppiness of people, I think it is probably safe to say that no commercial flight has taken off without at least one active cell-phone aboard for the past twenty years or so.
And this is in a fiberglass airplane that's basically radio transparent. Now try it in an aluminum airplane at 30,000+ft. I doubt the cells can even hear your phone in the first place.
There's enough radio transparent openings in an aircraft fuselage for it to be a reasonably inefficient faraday cage - say, windows, for instance. (Or are those portholes on an aircraft, too?)
It would be non-trivial to determine the phone's altitude, but you could make a pretty good inference from the number and location of cells reporting that they 'see' it - and the velocity should be a no-brainer to figure out with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Hm.
Just a semi-educated guess. (I haven't looked at cellular systems since I was in university 15-20 years ago.)
Methinks you are probably right.
I don't want anyone to suffer, and definitely don't want anyone to die. I'm not calling for turning our backs on every idea to improve safety. Just don't apply this safety under the false premise that things are more dangerous than they were.
The whole thing was a much smaller scale than Syria, but still generated a "flood" of refugees: http://www.thejournal.ie/northern-refugees-ireland-state-pap...
The situation was very weird - a civil war within the UK, effectively, complete with troops on the street and armed checkpoints - but only in very specific areas. A quasi-democracy operated: Gerry Adams MP was permitted to be elected but not allowed to speak on television. Bobby Sands was elected while in prison.
Rightwing reporting of incidents did a lot to drive anti Irish sentiment, leading to forced confessions by innocent Irish people for terrorist attacks like in Bermingham and Guilford.
Political leaders who liked to use zero tolerance rhetoric like Margaret Thatcher did a lot to help the IRA recruitment cause.
It was different, but not completely different to what we see now in the US.
By coincidence onetime IRA commander Martin McGuinness died today, a man who's conversion to pursuit of political aims through diplomatic conciliation rather than hardline methods is one of the great examples of how the former works better to end conflicts.
Find an old source saying "Blimey, we hath hadd 200 of thee black cryme of murder thys annus!" and cross-reference it against recorded population at the time, and there's your homicide rate.
It's weird, for all this terminal rhetoric I read about the end of America I still drove to work this morning and still had faith in American values, not to mention a crazy belief that what's right will ultimately prevail in the face of great adversity. What's more, I feel uniquely empowered as an American to roll up my sleeves and create the America I want to see and believe is good for the rest of us, and I didn't even need Gandhi to teach me that one.
I guess I need a sandwich board instead, because what's the point? Are we merely South Canada now, waiting for an eventual invasion that will take our economic, military, scientific and cultural leadership away, leaving a skeleton of a sovereign state that barely made it out of puberty? What coffin do you think Trump is building? I'm about as disapproving of the current administration as you can get, but I've also studied just enough of the world to understand that things tend to endure, even when the situation looks most hopeless to all involved.
Look at the Big Bads that the British survived throughout their centuries of history. Sure, Pax Britannica and their colonial adventures around the world have come to a close, but I don't see any comments saying "the world won, Britain lost, might as well yield the Crown and just absorb into the EU." Nope: they still fight for what they believe to be good and properly British, including giving the finger to the rest of Europe when they feel it necessary. We should learn from that example, of those with the learned memory of an empire from which they descend, deflated by the world changing around it, yet avoiding the adoption of a fatalist nostalgia that impedes all progress and hope for the future.
If the British aren't a good example, look at the Germans who still live in the punchline of uncomfortable jokes. They're still here, still making some mean beer, and still a valuable member of the world. Not even a particularly misguided government pissing off the entire planet could get rid of a German ideal that lived in its citizens' hearts, and they had a God damned wall down the middle in the wake of that mess to constantly remind them of how hopeless it got.
We are due to be knocked down a couple more pegs than we already are. If you're of the mind to give up when that happens, then you can identify yourself as a member of the "winning" army. Saying UbL won and giving up makes him win. How do you not see that?
That doesn't mean Bin Laden won - history is not a game, the round didn't end yet. US can still recover - if it choses to.
But America in general didn't spend even a second considering this.
Like the comment I linked says - terrorist goal wasn't that you get patted down when traveling, or surrendering your privacy to the encroaching surveillance state. Those are goals of the US government, and here, the government is winning. The terrorists however, are definitely not.
I am aware some feel that erosion of civil liberties in response to terrorism has destroyed what they feel to be America. We are still having a conversation about those very flaws and I'm not blindfolded before a firing squad for having an unacceptable opinion, so I think the rumors of America's death are greatly exaggerated by those who benefit the most from her continued protections. Before terrorism, it was communism^. We grow out of things because eventually sanity wins out. It always does.
Do not take that to mean it's time to kick back. Quite the opposite: sanity wins because people choose to be sane en masse.
^ The trend line on irrational national fears is interesting. After terrorism should be nice.
I've been thinking about that, and trying to put my finger on when things changed, and I realized it's not the US that changed, it's the internet!
Every single complaint and little thing now has a wide wide audience. The good stuff does not however, since it's [relatively] boring.
Talk to some people 40+ and ask them when they thought things went downhill, then ask them when they started using social networks.
We were told the world had changed and that we had to fear the unknown. We have been a nation of frightened children ever since.
older, 22 Nov '63.
We still need to worry about that. We seemingly keep adding things to worry about, antibiotic resistance, climate change, big data, and not solving many. Hmm.
It's really hard to understand how we went from tolerating MAD to freaking out about a handful of people with box cutters in only a decade. I guess people have really short memories.
I remember being a kid in the 1980s and my dad explained why there were air raid sirens.
And then the wall fell and all was peaceful until around September 11. For some reason the regular Irish troubles never really registered.
... and while terrorist strikes do happen and nuclear war doesn't, the fear of terrorist strikes is much greater than the danger they represent.
It's sad to watch the country I was born in dying, but it's a lot safer doing so on the other side of the world.
Then someone had the idea to treat corporations as people and legalize bribery. Leadership sets the tone as they say in corporations, so what kind of tone do greedy politicians set?
Our upward progress was doomed to stall bigly thanks to that decision.
I see. You missed out on the Reagan years.
EDIT: Also, no airline that I know of will insure these items when checked in for more than $100 on international flights (please correct if I'm wrong). So if you can get them in at all, like the article says, they will be stolen.
This is incorrect, only spare batteries aren't allowed in checked baggage, computers are fine. From your second link :
> Lithium ion batteries installed in a personal electronic device can be transported as checked or carry on baggage. Lithium ion batteries not installed in a device (spares) must be in carry-on baggage and no more than two (2) spares between 100 and 160 watt hours are allowed.
Very, they are subsidized by their governments.
If you're someone who flies for work, there's no way you're going to take a flight where you can't use your laptop.
Done that, security check on one flight I was on at boarding forced all liquids to be emptied.
Get off one plane, go through security to the transit terminal.
Wander around, refill water bottles.
Buy some duty free, get it put in a cardboard box with a ziptie.
Go to gate, go through ticket check, some corridors to gate lounge.
Get cardboard box confiscated and put in a pile of similar looking cardboard boxes.
Asked to empty water bottle... where? You can't turn around. Chug a litre of water.
Have bags 'checked', go into lounge, refill water bottle again.
Pee three times.
Still better than flying through any US airport tho.
>The official said the move is partly based on intelligence that they believe indicates Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is close to being able to hide explosives with little or no metal content in electronic devices in order to target commercial aircraft.
It's a particular concern at these airports because of screening issues and the possibility of terrorists infiltrating authorized airport personnel, the official said. Flight and cabin crews are not covered by these new restrictions.
In February 2016, a bomb hidden inside a laptop detonated aboard a Daallo Airlines flight out of Mogadishu, Somalia. The bomber was killed and a hole was blown in the side of the fuselage. The aircraft landed safely.
I was training getting into R/C helicopters. No, not the toys they sell at the mall but the more sophisticated models flown by R/C pilots. Needless to say, they are not easy to fly. Even with twenty years experience flying R/C airplanes of all kinds I had to start from scratch.
R/C heli's can be very expensive to crash. A set of carbon fiber rotors and related mechanics will easily set you back well of $200. I was intent on learning without crashing. How? Use an R/C flight simulator and log hundreds of hours before flying the real thing.
I was flying back and forth to Europe a bunch during that time. It was only logical to take my flight simulator with me and practice during the long flight. That meant my laptop along with a special full size R/C controller with a USB cord instead of the antenna.
This rig always called attention to itself and was a pretty good conversation starter. I always had to explain what it was while going through security. On two flight the pilot came over to my seat to check out what I was doing. In both cases they asked to see if they could fly the simulated heli. And, sorry to say, in both cases they failed miserably. It was a great way to get 16+ hours of practice.
Not sure I could do that today.
There's something uniquely geeky about flying in a flight simulator while flying on a real plane. Like I said, good conversation starter.
Which means, in turn, that I'm less likely to visit. Why take a 20-hour flight and subject myself to "extreme vetting"?
More advanced versions would involve modifying the BIOS to add a SMM-mode hook. That way the malware runs completely outside the view of the OS. Alternatively, any device with DMA access could have its firmware altered to read sensitive information from memory.
Physical security is an unsolved problem.
Mine isn't - I have GRUB installed to my BIOS chip, and I decrypt the single encrypted partition from there.
>More advanced versions would involve modifying the BIOS to add a SMM-mode hook.
That one could still get me though, yeah.
And/or they might think Netherlands and France is just as attractive for the terrorists as the US, i.e. the terrorists won’t bother taking that second flight.
BTW, I think Russia should be the 9-th country on that list, as they have long history of sponsoring terrorism.
Russians ordered bombings in Warsaw, Poland in 1920-s.
Shipped weaponry to Irish Republican Army and Palestine in 70-s. Speaking about Palestine, some say Russians have invented plane hijacking as a terrorist tactic: http://web.archive.org/web/20130102051626/http://www.nationa...
Killed many political opponents abroad, Alexander Litvinenko in UK, Sulim Yamadaev in UAE, Stepan Bandera in Germany.
If you want more, read books and articles by Stanislav Lunev, Ion Mihai Pacepa, Viktor Suvorov. Those are high-ranking KGB officers who surrendered and were cooperative. Alexander Litvinenko also published stuff about state-sponsored terrorism in modern Russia, but he concentrated on domestic not international.
At the rate we are going, it's not going to be long before you will not be allowed to bring any carry on luggage at all when flying from certain airports. Maybe everyone should fly naked. Who knows, someone might have plastic explosives sewn into their clothes. Wait, what if someone swallows the explosives? Maybe everyone should be forced to take an emetic and get a colonoscopy before flying.
If there's a threat this only introduces a minor inconvenience to those looking to carry out an attack. Is getting a connecting flight in some country like Germany going to be hard?
If they allow phones at all, then the threat cannot be an issue of a passenger sending a command out of one of these. The threat has to be the device itself.
Now, a standard issue iPad is no threat, so we're talking about a customized device made to look like on.
Except, if terrorists are going to the trouble to do this, they can just as easily put whatever bad thing they want to put into the case of an insulin pump, and bypass the ban.
This. Is. Bullshit.
Though, I'm open to the alternative theory that having people place their laptops in checked luggage gives them greater opportunity to do targeted surveillance without their target being aware.
There's commercially available penetrating X-ray human body security scanners, but afaict those just have been used in prisons, not in airports (yet!).
Since then it has been repurposed for extreme cases like unconscious car crash victims in order to determine the extent of injuries. Or so I learned in a medical imaging elective.
The technology behind it is really cool! By using temporal separation for the different parts of the image they reduce scattering blur, allowing them to use a much lower dose to get the same image quality.
Also you're very wrong. You can defeat a millimeter scan just by placing the contraband between your palms while your hands are clasped above your head.
I think the person at the monitor wants to look at my weiner.
Since then, I always transit through Heathrow. It's a logistical nightmare with all those buses, but they've never coerced me to go through a scanner. Those biometric checkpoints, on the other hand...
[Note: This was with Dutch staff for British Airways; not sure if that's relevant.]
From Heathrow's security FAQ page (http://www.heathrow.com/more/help-with-this-website/faqs/sec...):
The only alternative that can be offered to a scanner is a private search which allows for a more extensive hand-search than usual. Passengers will be escorted to a different location in the airport from the main search area (eg a private search room). The private search may involve the loosening and/or removal of clothing. A person undergoing a private search may ask to be accompanied by a witness.
This alternative screening method will take significantly more time than passing through a security scanner.
The point is their technology is terrible and they are easy to defeat, as has been proven many many times.
They are security theater and they were only put in place because the guy in charge of what scanners were allowed at US airports happened to have a financial interest in the company that made the millimeter wave scanner.
Yup. I have been to many airports in Africa and SE Asia that have only a metal detector, manned by someone who barely cares enough to stand there, and no one has successfully committed an act of terrorism (a la 9/11) with a plane due to it.
Also when I was traveling in Japan, they had machines that could scan the contents of your water bottle so you didn't have to empty it or throw it away while going through security.
I'm mildly convinced other countries don't have this because the beverage industry can sell more water/soda you're forced to throw it away when you go through security.
I've also stopped arguing about going through the machines. I know they do nothing, but it's not worth the hassle security employees give you to opt out. Just stand there, knowing it's pointless, and move on.
Every major U.S. airport I've been to in the past 5 years has had ample bottle filling stations.
I think Israel is special, because they use behavioural profiling on you as well.
I've been through Frankfurt on an inter-EU flight, and we were put into the priority lane because things were quiet. The priority lane only had (has?) a metal detector, no body scanner.
So if the body scanners were really about security, why would they have a lane that allows you to bypass them completely?
I once flew from Frankfurt to Barcelona without anyone checking my passport (I am not European but have a valid residence permit for an EU country). Did online checkin and printed my boarding pass. No checked luggage, and automated boarding pass scanners at the gate. So yeah, really thorough...
I am aware. My point wasn't clear. I wasn't surprised I was not asked for my passport, however I was surprised I was able to fly from Germany to Spain without anyone verifying I was the person my boarding pass said I was.
I could have given my ticket to a friend and they would have been able to fly under my name, because at no point did anyone ask for government ID to confirm I was the same person as my boarding pass.
I value the freedom of movement Europeans have very highly, but it just goes to show how dead easy it is for someone to travel undetected (e.g. have an associate buy your ticket).
That makes sense, Japanese airports have distinctly non-airport prices for food and drinks even past security.
The science is still out on whether it's harmful or not. I got TSA pre so I can just avoid it, but before that I always opted out.
"The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Its major goal is to identify causes of cancer. The IARC has classified RF fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” based on limited evidence of a possible increase in risk for brain tumors among cell phone users, and inadequate evidence for other types of cancer."
I would not call that "thoroughly settled".
So, an organisation that basically labels everything in the world as either a potential carcinogen or carcinogen  when the second lowest score they award still reads as 'potential carcinogen' is more powerful than actual evidence, accrued across enormous longitudinal studies, first from scandinavia  but backed significantly by australia  and integrated into a plausable mechanism for increases in >70 year olds  combined with a finding that would actually revolutionise physics and biology for suggesting a new mechanism for the interaction of electromagnetism and biology?
Alarmists are everywhere . But that doesn't mean they are right. It's easy to listen to fear, but just because someone is screaming and crying doesn't make them right. Serious claims deserve to be looked at seriously, and this one has been throughly examined, in research that is continuing. And it continues to be debunked by huge datasets - not just the referenced studies but also the million woman study  and others.
So yes, I repeat, for anyone versed in science, physics and with their head screwed on straight, the science is settled, and I challenge you to demonstrate either a mechanism or a throughly vetted dataset that proves otherwise.
And i'll remind you that hitting the first answer on google does not constitute research.
Perhaps it doesn't cause cancer per se, but promotes tumor growth or otherwise creates a more favorable environment.
(Try pouring out your biggest spinning rust drive out over any port that can keep up with the drive. It takes hours nowadays. SSDs can bottleneck at the port instead of the drive, but you can't count on your target having one yet, nor can you count on the fastest ports being available. And we're certainly not going to mass-disassemble laptops to dump their drives.)
And, still, at bulk these things aren't feasible, or even necessary. You're not taking your cynicism far enough. Why does the government need to sorta kinda hope that you might maybe take a flight with your gear someday when they're already capturing all your email and web browsing anyhow? It's a ridiculous theory that you're only entertaining because our trust has decayed to the point that the mere fact that something is an accusation against our government is all but proof that it must be true, no matter how silly it is.
No, the government is not going to set out to physically attack every laptop passing through an airport, because what would that give them that they don't already have, except huge operational costs and risk of detection?
Or maybe make even more feel yet more in fear of terrorists. Which the cynic in me thinks might be the point
From the CNN article on this new policy: >The official said the move is partly based on intelligence that they believe indicates Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is close to being able to hide explosives with little or no metal content in electronic devices in order to target commercial aircraft.
It's a particular concern at these airports because of screening issues and the possibility of terrorists infiltrating authorized airport personnel, the official said. Flight and cabin crews are not covered by these new restrictions.
In February 2016, a bomb hidden inside a laptop detonated aboard a Daallo Airlines flight out of Mogadishu, Somalia. The bomber was killed and a hole was blown in the side of the fuselage. The aircraft landed safely.
Yeah. With Nitroglycerin, the stuff that explodes when you move it too fast. You could still bring this on a plane undetected in 3.4oz containers. And you can check a bag with much larger amounts.
But there was not just "a plot" to blow up a plane with liquid explosives. There was a successful attack on a South Korean plane that killed everyone on board with liquid explosives, used in 1989. Yet they don't even mention this, probably because the policy was put in place after 9/11, partly as a fear tactic to get US citizens to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, partly to prevent fear from ruining the airline industry, and partly to support the new jobs program called the TSA (which was also created after 9/11).
Without fear and extensive unnecessary security measures, the TSA would not be the size it is, nor would it get the investment it gets. If you don't believe TSA is primarily a jobs program, consider that according to NPR in 2006, a government report showed that Research & Development programs were delayed when TSA funds were redirected in order to pay for personnel costs for screeners. And the TSA receives 8 billion dollars a year.
There are many ways to detect liquid explosives. By removing them from their container (or requiring specific kinds of transparent containers) and using laser scatter plotting or microwaves, or by detecting vapor emissions from an opened bottle, for example. But nobody cared about them when planes were bombed using them, and they're still not using any of these methods, 17 years after the policies were put in place. These policies are just tools used to control people.
Personal electronics are near-indispensable. By restricting their carry from Muslim countries, freedom of movement to and from those countries is significantly curtailed. This is about getting around the illegality of the Muslim ban without banning any persons or groups. This is about "cultural protectionism" through isolationism, not terrorism, and it's not even trying particularly hard to pretend otherwise.
This was my first thought until I saw a Saudi airport on the list of originating airports that will be impacted by the ban. Trump avoided listing any countries where he had business connections with in his ban orders, so I'm more likely to believe this is the result of actionable intelligence than xenophobia/Islamophobia-related bullshit.
Still, I could be wrong and it could just be the current administration keeping on their anti-Islam crusade.
My point is specifically that I don't believe it'll impede freedom of movement meaningfully. People will simply pack their devices in luggage. Interestingly, it might result in fewer laptop searches at the airports (whereas they might have asked someone to open / turn on / provide a password), among that targeted population.
I don't think that's right. Such demands are not generally made at airport security at the origin, but at the CBP checkpoint at the arrival airport. There, passengers have already retrieved checked bags.
Neither Bloomberg nor this Reuters article mention the period it will be in effect.
At least we can rest assured this has been as carefully prepared, vetted, and communicated as other recent policies. </s>
You put up this headline without any of the other political context and I am right there with you. But there is no shortage of context.
"Brian Jenkins, an aviation-security expert at the Rand Corp., said the nature of the security measure suggested that it was driven by intelligence of a possible attack."
"The ban would begin just before Wednesday's meeting of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Washington. A number of top Arab officials were expected to attend the State Department gathering. It was unclear whether their travel plans were related to any increased worry about security threats."
The X rays are certainly not perfect and there is certain probability something goes unnoticed. In normal case we just make a trade off between convenience and security. In this
special case somebody wants to play it safe.
(just guessing, if at all "it was driven by intelligence of a possible attack")
(Totally not picked because they're muslim, I swear, wink wink.)
That's kind of a massive segment of the population.
Also, the one time I came into the US, I carried my checked bags through customs.
"cellphones and medical devices were excluded from the ban."
It's not the electronics per say, it's the difficulty of checking inside them. That's why only certain airports are included, those that check things properly are not.
2) So the bomb is now in the hold. That's not really much of an improvement.
>It's a particular concern at these airports because of screening issues and the possibility of terrorists infiltrating authorized airport personnel, the official said.
I guess you could do the crazy plastic bag warp thing. But that doesn't answer the question of your things being stolen in the USA, which seems even more likely due to the people on the line knowing the value of the things in your pack.
Maybe it's time for a kickstarter for an accelerometer/wifi network logger/audio recorder/camera that all activate when the bag is open so you can receive audio and video of the person stealing your things.
Checked in bag is not free. Checked in bags also get manhandled unless you pay hefty to get the fragile tag and insurance. For someone cheap like me who carries a backpack which is free so far, the extra cost is my biggest concern. Hope something like this doesn't happen in domestic flights.
Assuming it arrives at all... it could be a very expensive bag. And laptops in checked luggage is just asking for them to walk off. There is absolutely no way I'd check my laptop, then again, I'm not planning on going to the United States before the madness stops and if I would I probably would not fly through any country that this is all about.
Even so, it does not strike me as a policy that has been thought about for a very long time. Having laptops in the passenger area means that if something bad does happen something could be done about it.
Having them in the cargo compartment means that if a fire should start it could get quite bad before it gets noticed and the extinguisher gets used.
If they're scared of bombs then they should not be on board at all, cargo hold or passenger compartment doesn't matter.
So I really don't understand the point of this, maybe time will bring me to see the reasoning but right now I can't.
This is a good time to make sure that you have full-disk encryption enabled, and to brush up on what few rights remain yours at a US border.
And you're right! It isn't.
But then you realize that the special interests that came up with this policy were paid LARGE SUMS OF MONEY to impress Trump and all of his supporters and career politician allies. And then you once more realize how incredibly stupid this policy is in reality.
But then it dawns on you that Trump and his allies are either criminally idiotic, or criminally wasteful in their policy pursuits.
this was sometime in the months following 9/11.
It seems they've taken a keen interest in making travel very painful for select foreigners. I don't think this is a policy from anyone other than the new government?
Or the current ban on liquids?
Or the even better idea I saw in Brussels airport of two semi-identical security checks; one to get into the airport and then the "regular" second one. I can only wait for the next improved version of three security checkpoints, which will add 50% more secure then the current two.
After 9/11, sensibility went out the window. This new move is quite far from the stupidest I have seen.
A reasonable way to detect threats would be to hire more investigators and bomb dogs patrols. Both has shown to be cost-effective and to produce results, in direct contrast to the TSA screening method.
How big portion of terrorists is likely to completely ignore the fact of one screening but be deterred by the existence of a second one?
With two serial 90% effective checks, you have a 99% effective system. Such a low chance of success means attackers should try something else instead.
Now, with probably not even close to 99% screening, along with cockpit doors and fight-motivated passengers, the deterrence seems powerful enough that we are seeing other kinds of attacks.
People don't believe 90% in a fake pill, and by eating two get to 99% belief. Either you believe the fake pill will work or you don't. The number of pills don't multiply the placebo effect.
Why believe that security theater, ie fake security, increase the physiological effect in multiplicate way based on the number of identical copies?
If the placebo effect could be multiplied in such a way, every sickness could be cured by just eating more and more sugar. If a fake pill had 1% placebo effect, eating ~500 fake pills would reach 99% effectiveness. That is obviously not how the placebo effect works.
And yes I know there are failures. But it's not reasonable to say that the current security check is placebo only. Ask yourself: would you put a gun or knife in your carry on to prove the point?
The 90% figure I made up as an example. I don't know the real figure. But I don't fancy my chances getting a weapon through security.
To quote: "Security theater is the practice of investing in countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to actually achieve it"
Security theater do not cause 90% prevention. And to be clear, I know several personal cases where a knife has gone through the security check because the person carrying it had forgotten that it was even there. Its not effective, no research say its effective, and all benefits that security checks provide against threat to airplanes are the placebo effect.
Strong doors, investigators, and bomb sniffing dogs. Those are some real security measures found to be effective on airports, airplanes, as well as other places where dangerous people need to be stopped. They are used by both police and the military, and shown to be cost effective. The methods used by airport screening is used by airports, not by the police or the military, and the results are clear.
If you were in charge of a plot, would you base your plan around getting a gun through airport security?
Nope. You'd do something else where you are more likely to succeed.
And the assertions are not mine. Security researchers has published multiple articles on it, and finding commonalities between police and military is just public data. There is not a single security expect that claim that airport screening is cost effective form of security. Feel free to prove me wrong.
Why would a laptop go into checked when an equivalently sized battery not be allowed?
Further discrepancies that show we don't have a rational executive branch.
Relevant XKCD: https://xkcd.com/651/
The idea that we can't criticize someone because of X, Y, and Z is ridiculous. Trump is now President. It is now his problem to solve.
Generally I doubt that a president deserves credit, positive or negative, for changes in random agencies like the TSA. Like, does Obama really deserve bonus points for us being able to use cell phones during takeoff+landing? But you have to admit that a country-specific ban has Trump written all over it. People are rightly pointing out why it's a misguided policy.
And if Trump admin disagreed with it, they wouldn't implement it.
What if they wait more than 96 hours? What does checking electronics into bags do to keep us safer?
The subtle arrogance in you asking for the threat Intel is utterly astonishing.
I also respectfully need to say that any arrogance you perceived from me was something you were reading into in my opinion, rather than something in my words that directly showed arrogance.
I exist to provide logic based and relatively emotionless arguments, not too much cynicism or ill will to fellow commenters.
Why do you think you know more about international counterterrorism than... Well, anyone?
(I understand that you did see the 96 hour temporary ban in some reports; but even 14 hours ago there were reports not saying that, reports you accused other people of not reading, apparently without reading them yourself (the Bloomberg article didn't contain a time frame when I read it last night, nor the Reuters article I linked in my other reply))
I wonder if the true reason is because USA does not trust overseas security (which doesn't make a lot of sense, you have to recheck your carry-ons/luggage after customs), or if it's a means to get a closer look at your electronics when you're not there, or just because there's been an incident (the TSA actually managed to catch a threat) that we're not privvy to. From what I understand, laptops are a bit harder to xray which is why they're screen separate from other items.
(I suspect they are acting on some more credible intelligence in this matter, but clearly not so specific that they can target their actions and have to come up with something that itself poses a risk.)
>The ban was indefinite, said the official.
But our new fun game should be putting usb nuke sticks in a small, conspicuous envelope in our luggage, maybe with a few crips hundred dollar bills.
That's impossible since neither Saudi nor Jordan were on the old list.
It is nothing to do with safety of people. Period.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13918493 and marked it off-topic.
I would then make rational suggestions on how to fix it.
When an administration routinely refuses to follow logic, compromise, betterment of humanity- this law doesn't even help Americans!- then that administration earns my cynicism and disrespect.
OK, I'll give you that.
> drone strikes
What? Republicans never had any problem with Obama's drone campaigns, and if you compile a list of Trump's policies Democrats have an issue with now, I doubt drones will be in the top #10. It would be nice if people kept talking about drone strikes and their victims, but we don't. Either under Obama or under Trump.
You can't be seriously saying Obama had a Russian connection? Remember, "Hillary will start a war with Russia" was literally a major talking point by Trump supporters.
Rand Paul (R)
Ted Cruz (R)
Marco Rubio (R)
Mike Lee (R)
Pat Toomey (R)
John Thune (R)
John Barrasso (R)
Tim Scott (R)
John Cornyn (R)
Jerry Moran (R)
Ron Johnson (R)
Jeff Flake (R)
Mitch McConnell (R)
Saxby Chambliss (R)
Mark Kirk (R)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D)
Afraid of an iPad being used on a plane.
Also, America is a big place .
Note: Not a snarky comeback at your post per se, just that a lot of people tend to be oblivious to generic stereotyping unless they are the subject of it, and I am hoping that others reading this thread may have an "Aha" moment.
Addendum: As big as the US is, if you pooled all land masses that have a majority Muslim population, I believe it would dwarf the USA.