Demand Trump Rescind Electronics on Flights Ban

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Rescind the ban on most electronics on commercial flights.

The US government recently issued a controversial ban on all electronic devices larger than a cellphone. This ban applies to foreign carrier flights to the US from 10 airports in Muslim majority nations, and covers devices such as laptops, Kindles and iPads. Passengers can still travel with these devices, but they’ll have to place them in checked luggage.

The government claims the ban will protect passengers from attempts to down aircraft using explosives smuggled aboard inside electronic devices. However, the ban has been met with skepticism by experts, who argue the move could actually make flying more dangerous.

“If you assume the attacker is interested in turning a laptop into a bomb, it would work just as well in the cargo hold,” Nicholas Weaver, researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley told The Guardian newspaper.

In fact, the ban could even make it easier to smuggle explosives aboard, according to Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International.

“Encouraging people to check laptops, and other such items, into the luggage hold simply makes the [security] challenge even harder,” he told the Independent.

So while the ban does nothing to reduce the risk of explosives being smuggled aboard, it could pose numerous safety risks to passengers.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at the aviation consultancy StrategicAero Research, said some common batteries are known to ignite during flights. This risk is minimized when the batteries are in the cabin, while in the cargo hold an ignited battery can burn unnoticed – until it’s too late. This exact scenario took place in 2010, when a freight aircraft crashed after a lithium battery exploded in the hold. Other experts have also argued the ban could lead to a spike in luggage thefts, not to mention many more cases of fragile electronics not making it to their destination in one piece.

If you agree this ban is nonsensical and counterproductive, then please sign our petition to demand U.S. President Donald Trump order the regulation be rescinded.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. President,

The U.S. government’s new ban on most electronics on foreign carrier flights from 10 airports in Muslim majority nations is counterproductive, and should be rescinded immediately. Experts agree the ban will force passengers to place electronic devices in cargo holds, where any potential explosives will be harder to detect. It’ll also increase the risk of batteries’ exploding in the cargo hold, where they can cause unstoppable fires with the potential to down the aircraft. Once case of this occurred in 2010 in Dubai.

Along with increasing the risk of flying, the ban will also inconvenience passengers. More passengers can expect to see their luggage stolen, and fragile electronics are far more prone to breaking in cargo holds during turbulent flights. In short, the ban increases the risks of terrorism and accidental fires, while inconveniencing passengers and leading to more crime and property damage. For these reasons, we demand you order aviation authorities to rescind this ban.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Richard Eriksson

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One Comment

  1. I totally agree that this ban is nonsensical and counterproductive. Trump’s paranoia and xenophobia apparently know no bounds.
    Besides all the excellent points the petitioner brings up, another point is that if someone wanted to bring and use an electronic device on a plane for a nefarious purpose, all they would have to do is go to a country that is not on the list and travel from there.
    Either Trump is either not quite in his right mind, or he has other motives for instituting this absurd ban.

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