Reports: Airline laptop, electronics ban could be extended to Europe

The U.S. ban on in-flight laptops and other large electronics could soon be extended to include U.S.-bound flights from Europe.

Such a ban is already in place for such devices on flights departing to the United States out of eight countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Now, that could be extended to include some European countries and possibly the United Kingdom, according to media reports. The move would prevent passengers from bringing devices larger than standard smartphones into the cabins of commercial flights to the United States.

CBS News cites “sources” in reporting Wednesday that “Department of Homeland Security officials are weighing the advantages of expanding the ban against disruptions it could cause. Government officials have been meeting with U.S. airlines on a nearly weekly basis and intend to do so again later this week. Officials say a decision could come in the next few weeks.”

Reuters also reported similar news, adding "the Trump administration is likely to expand a ban," though its sources declined to say when that might come. The Daily Beast, citing unnamed "European security officials" said "the announcement is expected Thursday."

The initial U.S. prohibition on in-cabin electronics was announced March 21, and Great Britain quickly followed with a similar ban, though it list of targeted countries differed than the U.S. ban.

The move to institute the ban now in place came after authorities discovered screening vulnerabilities that could miss explosives planted in laptop computers.

In April, federal authorities confirmed that recent FBI testing uncovered the screening problems, which prompted the indefinite ban on laptops and other electronics inside commercial airline cabins on U.S.-bound flights out of eight countries in the Middle East and Africa.

For now, U.S. officials are remaining tight-lipped on possible changes.

"We have not made any decisions on expanding the electronics ban; however, we are continuously assessing security directives based on intelligence and will make changes when necessary to keep travelers safe,” the Transportation Security Administration said in a Wednesday statement to CBS News.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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