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TSA Could Expand Laptop Ban On Flights Indefinitely

First Posted: May 29, 2017 12:23 PM EDT
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One more headache for passengers dealing with the TSA.

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Officials at the Department of Homeland Security are considering expanding a ban on electronic devices larger than smartphones in the cabins on all international flights leaving and landing in the U.S.

In a Sunday interview with Fox News, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly elaborated on his thought process on the issue, claiming that for terrorist groups taking down a flight in mid-air was an extremely valuable target.

"That's really the thing that they're obsessed with, the terrorists: the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a U.S. carrier, particularly if it's full of mostly US folks," Kelly said Sunday.

The rules as they exist currently stem from a ban implemented in March, stating that electronic devices such as laptops and tablets would be prohibited as carry-on items from US-bound flights from eight Muslism-majority countries on the controversial "travel ban" list. The government of the U.K. also issued similar injunctions banning laptops from six countries.

If the expanded ban is implemented, it could cause thousands of business travelers leaving or coming the U.S. to scramble to find ways to work on their flights and keep sensitive work information on hand while they travel. A goal of the ban is to keep hidden explosive devices out of airline cabins, but some officials believe that the risk of fires in the cargo hold could increase with all of those electronic batteries in one place.

Recent travel security bans involving electronic devices have included the recall plagued Samsung Galaxy Note 7 tablet and the once hot fad of "hover boards" from the insides of U.S. flight cabins

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