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TSA Bans Toner and Ink Cartridges On Planes

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the there-goes-hp's-exploding-printer-product-line dept.

Transportation 633

Grond writes "The US has banned toner and ink cartridges from passenger aircraft in the wake of last month's bomb plot. 'The printer cartridge ban affects cartridges over 16 ounces.' No word yet on whether that's a weight or volume measurement or whether it's a per-cartridge or per-passenger limit." The ban comes alongside a prohibition on air cargo originating from Yemen and Somalia. Bruce Schneier's blog points out another potential consequence from the recent bomb plot: the end of in-flight Wi-Fi.

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633 comments

Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165126)

Nice. Its disturbing to see that the TSA is still behind the curve. Honestly, I am surprised that TSA did not ban underpants after the last idiot that tried to smuggle a bomb in his shorts and if they ban Wi-Fi., that is the only thing that makes cross country flights tolerable these days, especially in coach.

What is it going to take for us to realize that the TSA is simply not effective? All this reactionary effort is not helping us to be competitive in the business space and the costs are not insubstantial. My last flight on Thursday to San Jose got me a grope by the TSA agents who now apparently are permitted to do full on frisk-downs. What's next, squat and cough?

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165210)

My solution is to drive. :-)

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165480)

Hard to drive over the Pacific or Atlantic oceans...

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165654)

Take a car ferry. It only takes about a week.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165660)

Drive to Canada, and fly from there? I don't know much about Canadian airports since I live in Europe, but I presume it's got slightly more brains than US ones?

My reaction to this announcement was to smirk. How predictable, this is like dealing with a goldfish's thoughts process!

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (4, Interesting)

jmauro (32523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165284)

They're not going to ban WiFi. The airlines make too much money from it and will raise a storm if it goes away. The airlines only have a certian level of tolerance for these things, especially if it costs them money and inconviences business travellers.

The TSA is however quite effective. It's one of the more creative, pervasive, improve theatre groups that ever put to the non-traditional stage.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165336)

The airlines lose money with every new silly TSA regulation because it makes it more and more unpleasant to fly. Because of this, airlines have to cut costs to remain profitable which results in worse service which results in less people wanting to fly then the TSA comes up with a silly new regulation which makes it even more unpleasant to fly, and it goes on and on.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165502)

Look at the positive end result, though: Eventually flights will be so expensive and unpleasant that only terrorists will fly on them, and then we can simply reroute all flights to go to a federal prison or internment camp.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (1)

MichaelKristopeit129 (1934224) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165582)

less people flying makes it much more pleasant to fly...

indeed, it does go on and on.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165330)

My last flight on Thursday to San Jose got me a grope by the TSA agents who now apparently are permitted to do full on frisk-downs

They weren't allowed to do that until the full body scanners came into the scene. Now they are doing that to the people who opt-out, presumably on the theory that by making the opt-out extremely unpleasant they can discourage people from exercising it.

Personally, if I'm ever forced to fly again (+1 on the suggestion to just drive) I plan on raising my voice a few octaves, adding a lisp and doing my best Mr. Slave impression. "Oh, Jesus, Jesus Christ!"

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165434)

Actually, they can frisk you even when there is no body scanner present. I went through a standard metal detector after having removed my jacket, but the vest I was wearing got me a complete frisk.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165380)

What's next? Read the MIAC report. [google.com] None of these laws were for terrorists, they were for veterans, gun owners, and people who hold the constitution sacred.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165400)

Disturbing? I actually expect it!

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (-1, Troll)

Crazycatlady (1837966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165440)

TSA and the rest of homo-land security can fuck off. They won't even secure the god damned borders! They let any scum walk across the borders but molest kids in front of everyone at airports. motherfuncking perverts.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165476)

They simply want foreigners to stay out of the USA and you to stay in your own country to spend your cash.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (2, Insightful)

TelavianX (1888030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165498)

The TSA is a joke. If I was a terrorist I would find a way to sneak a bomb into every "normal" item that passengers bring with them. That way the TSA would end up banning everything. I would just sit back and laugh when all the passenger complain about sitting in an airplane, naked, and with absolutly nothing to do.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165538)

If I was a terrorist I would find a way to sneak a bomb into every "normal" item that passengers bring with them

Why go to that hassle when TSA has helpfully provided you with a easy to target group of victims at the security line?

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (0, Flamebait)

Crazycatlady (1837966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165612)

Just walk across the unguarded border with it. Homo Land Security is for US citizens not terrorists. Same with TSA they are there to get you use to being treated like a convict. TSA Toadies (Ass Kissers) Standing Around.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (2, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165640)

And, by the meaning of "terrorist" (someone who uses fear and terror as a means of coercion), then that means that you have won even if not a single one of your bombs actually goes off.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165684)

Drug the passengers to unconsciousness and transport them in small containers.

But that doesn't help against someone that has made a bomb out of themself and with a timing device inside the body.

And what about the measurements - if this is going to work internationally they need to specify in metric measurements.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (1, Insightful)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165578)

I'm not sure what is different "these days," but I've never used wifi on a plane, and I've been able to tolerate my flights.

More importantly, in what way is it so painfully obvious to you that the TSA isn't effective? Which recent bombing or hijacking is the evidence?

What is it about entering a plane (which, as we've seen, could potentially be used to cause great harm) do you think entitles you to more personal freedom than entering a venue for a concert or a sporting event?

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165602)

This week it is toners, last week it was underwear, before that it was shoes and liguid bottles, every one of these is a knee jerk reaction to a specific threat that was attempted. Whatever. This trend will continue until no personal belongings are allowed in the air craft including luggage and all passengers will be xray'd, swiped, and scanned, and then strapped naked to a flat surface for the length of the flight. Anything short of that can and will be a security risk. The terrorists have already won.

Our nations "homeland security" still thinks all bombs have blinking lights, and alert beep, and a digital timer that counts down and everyone sits down their suspicious package in the bus terminal four hours before it is supposed to go off. Anything that looks like that is a threat. Meanwhile during the ruckass that was so easy to create and the human nature of all security people standing around and wanting, needing, and striving to be involved in some way fall into a single user crisis mode with their blinders on and some dude slips right by with chemicals inside the hollow metal support tube of his carry on bag and a weapon disguised as an RF shield in his cordless mouse. Oh, btw.. now computer mice and carry on bags with metal handles will be banded from air travel.

Homeland security is a joke, at least at the level we see as citizens. I really hope, the stuff going on behind the scenes is actually useful.

Re:Disturbing to see TSA still behind the curve. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165646)

Let's play a game. What can we make the TSA ban next and how ?

Security Theater at its finest (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165158)

/popcorn

Re:Security Theater at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165340)

Pass that popcorn, home slice.

I do loves me some Mystery Security Theater 3000.

good thing (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165616)

It's a good thing they did not hide the bomb in coffee.

The illusion of security (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165172)

If it makes you feel better, you can keep playing this game. Or, alternatively, you could just man-up and accept that there will be some risks if you don't live in a shell and let yourself be terrorized.

Re:The illusion of security (2, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165362)

You're solution involves people growing a spine and/or recognizing reality. Which judging from the fact that the voters decided to promote bipartisanship by giving the GOP a majority in the house is pretty clearly out of the question.

Re:The illusion of security (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165448)

Please, see my sig. It explains everything.

Re:The illusion of security (1)

TelavianX (1888030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165596)

The people decided to try and prevent the loss of their country to dumb policies like this one from the TSA. Do you honestly think the USA is heading in a good direction?

Home Security Theater (3, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165176)

Oh good! I was wondering when the season premier for Homeland Security Theater was going to be broadcast. This is yet!

In this episode, the knee-jerk reaction is to ban toner and ink cartridges, because like bottled water and cola, some Macgyver type will be able to whip together a fusion bomb in those few hours of flying, without anyone noticing!

Yet another ban for show rather than actual security. How about, gee, I dunno, profiling passengers? You know, be politically incorrect and actually practice forensic science for a change, and stop harassing and inconveniencing the rest of us?

Re:Home Security Theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165344)

Yet another ban for show rather than actual security. How about, gee, I dunno, profiling passengers? You know, be politically incorrect and actually practice forensic science for a change, and stop harassing and inconveniencing the rest of us?

You must have missed the first episode, where the purpose of all this was covered, and are assuming it's to catch terrorists.

Re:Home Security Theater (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165386)

How about, gee, I dunno, profiling passengers?

Because it's obviously racism if security focuses on the nervous looking young Middle Eastern man instead of the 85 year old Caucasian woman in a wheelchair.....

Re:Home Security Theater (0)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165422)

Yet another ban for show rather than actual security. How about, gee, I dunno, profiling passengers? You know, be politically incorrect and actually practice forensic science for a change, and stop harassing and inconveniencing the rest of us?

Stuff like this [cnn.com] is why racial profiling won't work.

Re:Home Security Theater (1)

TelavianX (1888030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165708)

Racial profilling might not be perfect, but it is much more effective than attempting to ban everything. If a high percentage of negative actions are performed by one group of people should you not focus more so on that one group?

Re:Home Security Theater (4, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165450)

How about, gee, I dunno, profiling passengers? You know, be politically incorrect and actually practice forensic science for a change, and stop harassing and inconveniencing the rest of us?

This would work up until the point terrorists realize they should recruit suicide bombers who don't fit the profile of a terrorist. Actually, indications are that they've already started to do so.

Of course, the TSA can make airplanes more secure by simply expanding the profile to all humans in general. Then you'll have absolute security - sure it's useless, but it'll be secure.

Re:Home Security Theater (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165626)

This would work up until the point terrorists realize they should recruit suicide bombers who don't fit the profile of a terrorist.

Not only that, when the terrorists manage to recruit a caucasian terrorist, they can then guarantee that he (or she) will get through security by sending a group of young Middle Eastern men through the security checkpoint just before the actual terrorist goes in so that all officers are busy frisking them. The others have tickets to a completely different flight, of course.

Re:Home Security Theater (1)

crath (80215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165492)

Forensic science isn't necessary; plain old ordinary science will do. Too bad that requires more than simply a desire to abuse people.

Re:Home Security Theater (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165524)

I'm just waiting for the day when a TSA agent becomes a terrorist.

If I wanted to really do some damage to America, that's where I'd recruit if I were Bin Laden. Just look at the paranoia that happened when that Army officer went berserk.

Oh fuck you (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165682)

This is profiling. They're picking on people who, for whatever reason, need or want to carry toner/water/shoes or whatever on a flight. Changing the parameters of the profiling to skin colour or some such so that you, personally, aren't inconvenienced would not make it better.

Can you imagine the profit markup? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165182)

From all those novelty travel-sized toner cartridges they are going to start selling at the airport.

Don't go after the problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165200)

...cover it up with a band-aid!

We've Lost (5, Insightful)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165202)

The terrorists really did win...

Re:We've Lost (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165666)

The terrorists really did win...

Yes. Occasionally, you still see folks parroting that old line of "just live normally and the terrorists won't win."

Uh, excuse me, but having to take my shoes off and be strip searched by a radioactive machine (there is NO safe dosage of x-rays!) or have my dick grabbed by a TSA grunt is NOT living normally. After checking current procedures on the TSA's website only to have some TSA grunt pull a new rule out of his ass and lie to me that "it's a new procedure" (it never appears on the TSA's website) just shows me that they are just doing all of this for show.

Every time I hear someone say that they feel safer with all this security I just want to puke. They can't seem to understand that searching them or any of us who are not a threat is a waste of time.

Re:We've Lost (4, Funny)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165674)

It can get worse or better, depending on you view...

Step 1: Ban all cargo/luggage
Step 2: Forced clothing; wanna fly? here is your prison suit.
Step 3: Ban all people from flying
Step 4: Climate wins!

Just in time. (2, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165208)

Re:Just in time. (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165670)

"If you haven’t tried Chrome yet, remember to download the browser before you take to the skies, or try it when you’re back on the ground."

Three words: local airborne cache

There goes my Xmas tradition... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165234)

I fly all over the country bringing toner cartridges and Ink refills to needy executives all over the world...

See terrorists... you make baby Muhammed Cry!

Bottles vs cartridges... (1)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165250)

So, if you want a pint of water it has to go into a toner cartridge, do I understand this correctly?

Re:Bottles vs cartridges... (3, Funny)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165368)

Nope, you have to fill your empty water bottles with toner powder and the toner carts with water. But the water MUST be purchased after the security line, so only empty, water-tight toner carts are allowed through security.

Duh!

Re:Bottles vs cartridges... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165412)

That whole part of the system is complete bullshit. Sort of like how for years after 9/11 they'd allow folks to have lighters with them on planes. The ban on liquids would be reasonable if it were much more extreme. None of those items ought to be allowed on planes if you're that concerned with them

The threat they pose is significant and it's always been suspicious that the TSA was willing to allow any of that on, while going to ever more extreme measures against other lesser threats.

Re:Bottles vs cartridges... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165516)

The whole system is complete bullshit. You want to know why we haven't had any successful terrorist attacks on planes since 9/11? It hasn't been because of these systems it is because people feel threatened and are willing to do whatever it takes to prevent a terrorist or hijacker from carrying out their plots. Before 9/11 you complied with the hijacker, wound up in Cuba and so long as you didn't piss off the hijacker or were really unlucky you made it off alive. Today, people think that they will either go down with the plane exploding or have the plane run into a building.

Clearly.. (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165262)

Clearly the answer is to ban the thing the bomb came in and search those things because we all know that everything is going to be the exact same and its going to make us be safer! Whats next? Someone tries to put some explosives in gum therefore we ban gum while ignoring everything else?

Its becoming increasingly obvious that the TSA is designed to cripple airlines, make comfortable travel nearly impossible, violate privacy all the while doing nothing to stop a real terrorist plot.

Re:Clearly.. (2, Funny)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165460)

TSA bans gum on international flights!!!

Recently the TSA intercepted a plot to put high explosives capable of bringing down an aircraft into a package of chewing gum. The posting on an international terrorist site known only as /. brought the matter to the attention of authorities today.

The evil culprit known only by the pseudonym DARKNESS404 is being sought by authorities for further questioning.

A spokesman for the TSA stated today that "They will use every means at their disposal to bring this evil terrorist to justice."

----

Can of worms-opened. Now see what you've done!!!!!!

Re:Clearly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165530)

"Clearly the answer is to ban the thing the bomb came in and search those things..." Wow... what if somebody tries to hide a bomb in their anus?

Re:Clearly.. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165590)

It's becoming increasingly obvious that the TSA is designed to cripple airlines, make comfortable travel nearly impossible, violate privacy all the while doing nothing to stop a real terrorist plot.

You're joking, right? You mean that wasn't obvious to you way back in 2001 when they banned knives and box cutters, required removing your laptops because you might have hidden a knife in them, and required removing your jackets because the metal detector might not work and you might be carrying a knife in it? Really? It was to me....

In related news (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165274)

1. Google Sponsoring In-Flight WiFi This Holiday Season [slashgear.com] . Easy to offer something that's getting banned. Next: free bottles of water from the fountain of youth (in convenient 3oz sizes)?

2. Pilots protest of TSA's pat-down rules [dallasnews.com] . But only as concerns pilots. Everyone else should still be treated like cattle.

Full Monty (1)

losttoy (558557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165306)

How long before everyone is required to fly stark naked and without luggage on passenger planes? I know I have nothing to hide, do you?

Re:Full Monty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165394)

You would think that would be helpful. But I can tell you from experience if you try to go through and airport naked they will not appreciate it!

Re:Full Monty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165466)

Speedos and flip-flops

Details of the ban make little sense (4, Insightful)

Grond (15515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165310)

The official announcement is still light on details, but the ban will apply to both carry-on and checked luggage and will affect "domestic and international flights in-bound to the United States." Apparently ink and toner will still be allowed on flights out-bound from the United States.

The distinction between domestic flights and out-bound international flights makes no sense to me. If someone can target a domestic flight by assembling the toner-bomb in the US, why couldn't the same person target an international flight out-bound from the US?

Furthermore, is there any evidence that a toner cartridge and printer were selected for any particular reason? Is there any reason toner cartridges make for a particularly attractive bomb container? If not, this seems worse than useless, since an attacker would simply select a different container while the screeners are busy looking for toner cartridges.

Re:Details of the ban make little sense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165390)

The problem is, you're thinking logically about this. Stop that.

Re:Details of the ban make little sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165592)

We don't care if people leaving the country get blown up, the traitors.

Re:Details of the ban make little sense (1)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165624)

A toner cartridge is an effective screen for an explosives container because it has electronics built-in.

Re:Details of the ban make little sense (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165630)

"Furthermore, is there any evidence that a toner cartridge and printer were selected for any particular reason?"

They used HP cartridges because they were pissed about the ink prices.

Cargo? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165326)

Good thing nobody would put a bomb on a cargo flight...

Oh great now I'm going to have to use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165364)

A ribbon printer!

How else will I be safe??

Re:Oh great now I'm going to have to use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165518)

Delta is proud to offer in flight access to a typewriter to our business class patrons.

Hang on... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165370)

Is there something specific to printer cartridges that make it easier to hide bombs in them than any other object of approximately the same size? Or is this just another mindless reaction?

The next ban... (2, Funny)

tshadburn (958695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165372)

I can't wait until they ban passengers!

Re:The next ban... (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165566)

Actually, passengers are the second-worst thing about flying. Think about how quiet the plane would be! No screaming babies, no smelly people, etc...

old school (1)

Deadstar_lll (1915024) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165374)

Thank god I have my portable dot matrix printer thats almost bigger then the damn plane....

Re:old school (1)

TelavianX (1888030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165648)

You have one of those also? I thought I was the only one.

Diminishing returns... (4, Insightful)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165384)

The terrorists keep winning. I'm pretty sure we've done just about all we can do to protect ourselves without severely impeding our basic rights. Locking the cockpit with a bullet-resistant door and only allowing passengers to the gate (after screening) ensures we'll never have a 9/11-type attack again. Everything else is just really making flying annoying and more and more cost/time prohibitive. Basically, they keep winning despite not killing anyone.

Re:Diminishing returns... (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165568)

It's not diminishing returns for TSA though. Every time a terrorist plot is uncovered they need to do -something- to make it look like they're doing something real. The reality is that if someone is determined enough and not a goddamn idiot, they are going to be able to bring down a plane. Fortunately, the terrorists are idiots for now, but if most people realized how ineffective TSA was, we'd cut their funding dramatically and fire most of them.

Security theater actually works quite well for the actors and a gullible audience, though it does very little towards actually security.

Re:Diminishing returns... (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165614)

This /. so hopefully no one here is either an actor or gullible. That includes you, CleverNickName! Sorry?

No problem. (2, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165418)

Install plug-in ethernet ports (alongside laptop power outlets).

Re:No problem. (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165672)

Lol what about everyone with an ipad?

Id laugh if they banned wi-fi and installed ethernet ports.

Look on the bright side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165426)

Be thankful the terrists didn't try to bring aboard a seat cushion filled with explosives.

Weren't the bombs on cargo planes? (3, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165436)

I thought the bombs were on cargo/commercial (FedEx or UPS) planes, not passenger aircraft. If so, why are we (again) punishing the passengers for no apparent reason? Haven't we annoyed and inconvenienced the flying public enough already?

Re:Weren't the bombs on cargo planes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165604)

No, they were cargo on passenger planes. While they were addressed to Jewish places and some in the media picked up on that as though those sites were the targets, they were fitted with cell phone receivers and the final leg of their journey was on a passenger flight into the US. The presumption is that they were designed to be detonated either by an operative on board with his phone or by an operative on the ground when the plane was landing and in cell phone range.

Decent analysis, sorry for the long link but I'm not web savvy:

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20101101_al_qaeda_unlucky_again_cargo_bombing_attempt?utm_source=SWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=101102&utm_content=readmore&elq=16e84d87f84e4c73acc8bed5a1e3908c

the end of in-flight Wi-Fi ? (0, Flamebait)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165438)

This ban on electronics while in-flight is bullshit. I've "forgotten" to turn off my cell phone, and numerous other electronics and nothing has happened. I'm real sure an $300 electronic device is somehow goig to "magically" disable a $30,000,000 plane ... right... like the airplane engineers have never heard of a faraday cage for the cockpit ...

Re: the end of in-flight Wi-Fi ? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165526)

like the airplane engineers have never heard of a faraday cage for the cockpit

If you think all of the important electronics are located in the cockpit, you clearly have never seen an airplane before.

Re: the end of in-flight Wi-Fi ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165706)

Getting people to turn off electronics is really a means of getting people to put large items away during take off and landing, the times when they could become dangerous is there's any problem.

It gets worse (4, Interesting)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165446)

I'm far more concerned about TSA's new pat-down procedure [crunchgear.com] than I am about not being allowed to bring toner with me on a plane. Not that the ink/toner cartridge ban makes much sense, but how often do you bring printer supplies with you on a plane?

They should ban humans (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165454)

Only synthetics should be allowed on flight. That's easier to scan anyway and will drive the cost down.

Oops, I think I played too much Mass Effect.

TSA are terrorists (1)

Sean (422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165458)

Take your shoes off, let them strip search your wife, let them fondle your children. As if any of this is really about your safety.

Is ANYONE surprised at this development? (1)

yossie (93792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165470)

Yawn, this is so not surprising. TSA's entire security theater policy can be summed as 'close the barn door after the cows got out.' A well funded, basically useless, organization, whose role is to annoy travelers.. On a recent trip I forgot to take my toiletries bag out of my carryon luggage on the way out and wasn't challenged. On the way back I took it out and lost my shampoo bottle since it was 4oz (limit is 3) though it had barely a dab of shampoo left in it. Sheesh. Venting is such fun, sigh.

Why half-measures? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165484)

Ban passengers. Stop ALL passenger travel, throughout the world. Scrap all airliners, all passenger ships, all trains, trucks, cars, mopeds. Force everybody to stay home and kill everybody that comes out. It's the only way to stop the eeeevul terr-ow-rists to KILL US WITH FIRE!

TSA Security Theater (4, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165490)

As someone who has worked in the world's busiest airport during the world's busiest travel times over the past 5 years, every time I see the TSA ban stuff like this or add a new level of security it just makes me shake my head. You know the old saying about locking the barn door after the horse escapes? That doesn't fully capture it. This is more like locking the barn door after the horse escapes through the giant fucking hole in the middle of the barn wall. It does nothing to help what already happened and isn't going to solve the original problem at all.

Let's cut to the chase (5, Funny)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165500)

Let's just cut to the chase and ban people from airplanes. Every single terrorist plot involving hijacking or detonating an explosive aboard an airplane involved at least one person. By completely banning people from flights, it will make air travel completely safe. This has the added benefit of allowing the TSA enough time to give everyone a full-cavity search since they no longer have to worry about being able to depart on time. After all, you never know where those terrorists might hide their explosives. Of course to do all of this in a timely manner, we'll need to double the number of TSA security personnel, but it's probably worth the extra hundred dollars just to know that the flight you can't take is completely safe from terrorists. Can't put a price on piece of mind after all.

Re:Let's cut to the chase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165702)

no it won't.
The latest plot was about mailing stuff on a cargo plane, no humans aside from the pilot on board.

Becuase nobody EVER sent anything bad by surface (5, Insightful)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165528)

What I don't understand about the screaming to ban deadly packages flying by air mail is that for literally 100 YEARS letter bombs have been on the scene. I myself was in Washington DC in about 1975 when a letter bomb posted by the IRA was delivered to the British Embassy. It blew the hand off a secretary who opened it up. Yes, there was an investigation, the police were called, the IRA condemned etc. etc. but nobody suggested banning packages in the mail or removing the rights of anyone who went into a post office. Heck, these devices from Yemen didn't even explode and we're falling apart with fear!

What the hell is going on? Why has the US become a nation of panty-wetting idiots?

O.M.G. (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165532)

What? What?! Really? Again? Someone tried something, so NOW we will make it illegal. Yes, that makes so much sense. So by this logic, if someone tries to smuggle a bomb on themselves, the TSA will then begin banning passengers. You know, because someone may try again ! I'm not saying these is an easy solution to this, but really the solution is not banning random items that have been used in the past. How about spending money on good training and good employees? How about having a dozen lines for screening so that there's less need for urgency because there are plenty of screeners who can take their time to be effective?

I see this as a good thing (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165540)

We need new technology that could take a person anywhere in the world without having to spend 2 hours in the airport waiting to get onboard.

With the help of TSA and terrorists, this could well be achieved in our current generation, because airflight will soon be too inconvenient, if not cost prohibitive, to be economically viable.

We need to step ahead of the terrorists and eliminate the threat model entirely.

Issue with the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165548)

I had heard on the news early on that the SIM cards were removed from the phones, and they were just being used as a timer. If that's the case, then what the hell does their bombs have to do with cell service?

Did they think of the price of ink? (1)

acnicklas (1740146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165584)

For the cost of 16 ounces I could probably charter my own BBJ.

I want to know... (4, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165594)

how they did it. I work with diesel fuel systems. If I need to send a failed fuel pump back to the factory in Germany, it has to go by boat. The tiny amount of fuel still left in the pump after it is cleaned will get detected, and I will get a friendly visit from law enforcement if I try to send it by plane.

Can always make your own in-flight wi-fi (1)

Karger (259348) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165610)

So what if they don't offer in-flight wi-fi service. My laptop and bomb can always form an ad-hoc network. Guess they'll just have to ban laptops (or bombs).

Randomly generated password per flight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34165634)

... generated after the door closes... that way, the cat setting off the bomb has to actually be on the plane. And now we're back to baseline.

Problem (mostly) averted. $1M consulting fee please.

(Yeah, there would be an escalation from brute force, and then blocking based on failed attempts from a given MAC address to MAC address spoofing... whatever. Triangulate the position of the transmitter on-board via multiple wifi nodes, and you can eliminate spoofing by checking the position.)

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