Jul 07 AT 8:02 AM Nick Sarafolean 13 Comments

Charge up your Androids, TSA now blocking uncharged devices on some international flights

TSA

We all know the frustration of waiting for a flight. Fortunately, our phones can make that wait a bit more bearable. But before you depend on airport charging ports for your next international flight, you’d better bring your device to the airport fully juiced up. The TSA has announced that it’ll be banning uncharged mobile devices on some international flights. This canvasses not just phones, but tablets and laptops as well.

As well as going through the usual security rigmarole, travelers will now need to power on their device to prove to the TSA official that it’s actually a phone. The move will be taking place in undisclosed airports in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. This new measure is reportedly aimed at preventing an al Qaeda terror plot to blow up a plane. Along with phones getting an extra check, shoes will also be looked at more closely.

The move may cause some inconvenience, but it’s a good safety feature in the midst of a terror scare. Sound off in the comments with your thoughts on this latest move by the TSA.

Via: The Verge

Source: TSA

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @Zricon15.

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  • A. Tasso

    More security theatre. Do we really think that an Al Qaeda engineer couldn’t figure out a way to build a bomb with an Android GUI?

  • Haggie

    A person that can build a bomb can’t build one that can power a display long enough to pass security? This has gone from security theater to theater of the absurd.

    How long before we fly naked and possessionless?

  • apgrijalva1

    Although it might be a slight inconvenience, I would hope that everyone goes to the airport with at least some charge in their devices, its second nature. And come on it’s for the safety of the people. The moment a powerless device discharges in a plane, people will scream bloody murder for the TSA not enhancing their security to screen these things. So damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Moral of the story? just charge your devices.

    • Mike C.

      Say you are in Paris. Your flight home is at 21:00, so you spend the day walking around Paris snapping pictures and showing off to your friends on facebook. By the time you get to the airport your battery is dead. And the think about people with connecting flights who left home 12 hours earlier … easy to run out of battery if you pass the time playing games.

    • Joshua Katz

      Huh? Did you actually just type “the moment a powerless device discharges in a plane”?

  • NamelessTed

    This is so stupid it hurts. Where does it end? Are they going to have to extensively test every single piece of electronic to make sure it is “real”? I feel really bad about all the people that think this is a good idea, you have all been brainwashed into a false sense of security. This does nothing to actually increase security in any way but only leads to one more inconvenience to the general public. It can only possibly lead to longer wait times if the TSA is going to check phones.

    What about other electronic devices? How about this battery backup charger that I have sitting on my desk that I take everywhere with me? Does the TSA know how to verify that it is a genuine battery charger and not a bomb? And what about the possibility that if somebody was making an explosive device sophisticated enough to be built into a mobile device that they would also be able to make it turn on? What if the tablet works and turns on, but the explosive is in the keyboard/dock.

    I just fail to see how having a person turn their phone or tablet on makes any difference in helping determine if it is an explosive or not.

  • Algoz

    The illusion of a threat, the illusion of security. I believe your National Anthem says “land of the free, and home of the brave”.. don’t see either butIf you want your hard earned tax dollars to fund a spying agency that snoops on you, that’s that’s up to you Americans. What gets me is that your TSA/NSA etc are allowed to operate on foreign soil with no legitimate jurisdiction. I was once stopped in a German airport by a “US Official” who asked me where I was going, purpose, etc. Frankly I told him to shove it, being a European citizen on European soil!.. and carried on my way! Just who appointed the USA the police of the free world!

  • CJ

    Idiots commenting and postulating about complex subjects they haven’t the slightest clue about. Telling the public every detail of why certain steps are being taken isn’t necessary. There’s obviously actionable information out there that has concerned security officials.

    • Joshua Katz

      Obviously? Because obviously governments never do anything stupid?

      As an aside, the government works for us, so yes, when asked, it is necessary to tell me why you’re seizing a phone for being uncharged. There are these things called “laws” and some of them deal specifically with the government taking your property.

      But let’s get real, shall we? This lets the government seize phones. The phones sell on the secondary market (this will probably be done illegally by TSA agents looking for side income) and also contain data. The government likes collecting data. Good deal all around on their end.

  • hate TSA

    TSAnal agent

  • vasra

    Only in USA. The land of the stupid.

  • Mike M.

    What a crock of shit. Oh yeah, it’s for your safety to prove its a phone, even though it will pass through an x-ray anyways where they can clearly see if it’s a phone or not. Who do they think they’re fooling? They only want your phone charged so they can “scan” your personal files and data. If you really wanted to and were committed, it wouldn’t be that hard to hide something in your phone and still make at least the screen turn on.
    It’s time to draw the fkn line. We need to start fighting these government scumbags, it’s bad enough that we already know the NSA is watching our every move, and nobody does jack shit about it. If we let them pull this shit even more, then there is no end to what they can do, because no one has the balls anymore to stand up and fight. Everyone just bends over willingly so they can shove the stick of anti-freedom/privacy right up their asses, while they are updating their facebook status’.

  1. A. TassoGuest 10 months ago

    More security theatre. Do we really think that an Al Qaeda engineer couldn’t figure out a way to build a bomb with an Android GUI?

  2. HaggieGuest 10 months ago

    A person that can build a bomb can’t build one that can power a display long enough to pass security? This has gone from security theater to theater of the absurd.

    How long before we fly naked and possessionless?

  3. Although it might be a slight inconvenience, I would hope that everyone goes to the airport with at least some charge in their devices, its second nature. And come on it’s for the safety of the people. The moment a powerless device discharges in a plane, people will scream bloody murder for the TSA not enhancing their security to screen these things. So damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Moral of the story? just charge your devices.

    • Mike C.Guest 10 months ago

      Say you are in Paris. Your flight home is at 21:00, so you spend the day walking around Paris snapping pictures and showing off to your friends on facebook. By the time you get to the airport your battery is dead. And the think about people with connecting flights who left home 12 hours earlier … easy to run out of battery if you pass the time playing games.

    • Joshua KatzGuest 4 months ago

      Huh? Did you actually just type “the moment a powerless device discharges in a plane”?

  4. This is so stupid it hurts. Where does it end? Are they going to have to extensively test every single piece of electronic to make sure it is “real”? I feel really bad about all the people that think this is a good idea, you have all been brainwashed into a false sense of security. This does nothing to actually increase security in any way but only leads to one more inconvenience to the general public. It can only possibly lead to longer wait times if the TSA is going to check phones.

    What about other electronic devices? How about this battery backup charger that I have sitting on my desk that I take everywhere with me? Does the TSA know how to verify that it is a genuine battery charger and not a bomb? And what about the possibility that if somebody was making an explosive device sophisticated enough to be built into a mobile device that they would also be able to make it turn on? What if the tablet works and turns on, but the explosive is in the keyboard/dock.

    I just fail to see how having a person turn their phone or tablet on makes any difference in helping determine if it is an explosive or not.

  5. AlgozGuest 10 months ago

    The illusion of a threat, the illusion of security. I believe your National Anthem says “land of the free, and home of the brave”.. don’t see either butIf you want your hard earned tax dollars to fund a spying agency that snoops on you, that’s that’s up to you Americans. What gets me is that your TSA/NSA etc are allowed to operate on foreign soil with no legitimate jurisdiction. I was once stopped in a German airport by a “US Official” who asked me where I was going, purpose, etc. Frankly I told him to shove it, being a European citizen on European soil!.. and carried on my way! Just who appointed the USA the police of the free world!

  6. CJGuest 10 months ago

    Idiots commenting and postulating about complex subjects they haven’t the slightest clue about. Telling the public every detail of why certain steps are being taken isn’t necessary. There’s obviously actionable information out there that has concerned security officials.

    • Joshua KatzGuest 4 months ago

      Obviously? Because obviously governments never do anything stupid?

      As an aside, the government works for us, so yes, when asked, it is necessary to tell me why you’re seizing a phone for being uncharged. There are these things called “laws” and some of them deal specifically with the government taking your property.

      But let’s get real, shall we? This lets the government seize phones. The phones sell on the secondary market (this will probably be done illegally by TSA agents looking for side income) and also contain data. The government likes collecting data. Good deal all around on their end.

  7. hate TSAGuest 10 months ago

    TSAnal agent

  8. vasraGuest 10 months ago

    Only in USA. The land of the stupid.

  9. Mike M.Guest 10 months ago

    What a crock of shit. Oh yeah, it’s for your safety to prove its a phone, even though it will pass through an x-ray anyways where they can clearly see if it’s a phone or not. Who do they think they’re fooling? They only want your phone charged so they can “scan” your personal files and data. If you really wanted to and were committed, it wouldn’t be that hard to hide something in your phone and still make at least the screen turn on.
    It’s time to draw the fkn line. We need to start fighting these government scumbags, it’s bad enough that we already know the NSA is watching our every move, and nobody does jack shit about it. If we let them pull this shit even more, then there is no end to what they can do, because no one has the balls anymore to stand up and fight. Everyone just bends over willingly so they can shove the stick of anti-freedom/privacy right up their asses, while they are updating their facebook status’.