Politics

Trump Considers Banning Laptops On Flights From Europe

| by Michael Doherty

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a ban on laptops and other large electronics on international flights between some airports in Europe and the U.S.

The administration is reportedly looking into widening a ban on electronic devices larger than a smartphone on planes, which went into effect for eight Middle Eastern countries in March, Newsweek reports. Authorities are reportedly considering extending the ban to European countries, including Britain.

Under the rule, the devices are not allowed to be kept in carry-on luggage, and must be checked in baggage. Devices affected by the ban include laptops, tablets such as iPads, e-readers such as Kindles, portable DVD players and similar devices.

The rule was implemented over fears that terror groups had created a new type of bomb for airplanes, according to the Daily Mail. The Department of Homeland Security raised concerns that terrorists might try "smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items." The ban is reportedly expected to last until October.

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"We've said we will continue to evaluate the threat environment and make determinations based on that assessment, but we have not made any decisions on expanding the current restrictions against large electronic devices in aircraft cabins from selected airports," said DHS spokesperson Gillian Christensen.

The extended regulations may be implemented within weeks, but authorities have reportedly not decided whether Britain will be included in the ban.

"As with everything from Trump's America, there are conflicting reports about where, when, and what," said a source.

Under the rule implemented in March, those traveling to the U.S. from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia must put their larger electronic devices in checked baggage.

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Some Middle Eastern airlines have started to allow business and first-class passengers to borrow tablets during flights, The Guardian reports.

The countries affected by the electronics ban are different than those targeted by Trump's executive order restricting immigration and travel from six Muslim majority countries.

The travel ban was blocked in March by Hawaii Federal Judge Derrick Watson.

"The illogic of the government's contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed," Watson wrote, reports CNN.

In response, Trump said that he would take the case to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

"This is, in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach," said the president.

Hawaii's attorney general said the executive order was effectively a "Muslim ban."

Sources: Daily Mail, Newsweek, The Guardian, CNN / Photo credit: Iwan Gabovitch/Flickr

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