Electronics Ban: All the Facts about Carry-on Restrictions

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The United States and Britain have initiated a ban on certain carry-on electronic devices on flights coming into their respective countries from certain regions, but one of the biggest questions facing business travellers is – “how will this affect me?” In the corporate travel blog post below, we’ll not only answer this question, but also clarify a few or the hazier details of the ban.

What Constitutes a Banned Electronic Device?

There is a blanket carry-on ban on all of the following personal electronic devices that are larger than a cell phone:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • iPads
  • Electronic Games

Please Note! In the United Kingdom, the ban also covers smartphones that are larger than 16.0cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm.

Which Countries are Affected?

Passengers travelling to the US or Britain from the following countries will be affected by the Carry-on Electronics Ban:

The United States of America:

  • Jordan
  • Egypt
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Morocco
  • Kuwait

The United Kingdom:

  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

What Does This Mean for Corporate Information Security?

This ban on personal computing devices within the cabin will mean that there will have to be a major rethink on how businesses, and business travellers in particular, approach their journeys. As we stand right now there is still a large degree of uncertainty about just how draconian the new inspection and seizure rules will be, but there is a very good chance that corporate information security could be at risk. Thankfully however, there are a few company technology and travel policies that can be implemented or updated to mitigate this.

Restrict the transportation of information

If there is not already a policy like this in place in your organisation, which there should be, immediately stop the transportation of any sensitive corporate information via laptop, mobile phone or portable media device.

Business focused devices only

Business travellers should be provided with a company laptop that is regularly “wiped clean” to prevent the removal of sensitive business information. This device should use remote desktop or other virtualization technologies to allow business travellers to communicate with clients and the office using encrypted communications paths.

Why Ban Laptops and Not Cell Phones?

It is believed, although neither the US or UK authorities have confirmed this, that the reason for this ban coming into effect can be traced back to a February 2016 terrorist incident in which an explosive device in a laptop was used to damage a Somali passenger jet. During this incident, the aircraft was forced to perform an emergency landing when the bomb blew a hole in the side of the plane, killing the suspected bomber. It is thought that smartphones generally do not pose the same kind of threat.

Why ban carry-on devices but allow them in checked luggage?

Simply put, checked luggage undergoes a far more stringent screening using highly advanced technology that subjects all bags to an explosive detection screening process. This is way more advanced than the basic x-ray machine check used at carry-on security checkpoints. Additionally, by removing the device from the cabin a potential terrorist has no access to it.

Want to Know More? Then Watch This Informative Video Below:

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