Homeland Security Will Use Laptop Ban to Punish Airlines
If they don't comply with new security measures introduced Wednesday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2017 4:02 PM CDT
The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday it would be implementing new security measures for incoming international flights in lieu of a total ban on laptops.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(Newser) – The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday introduced new security measures for international flights to the US in lieu of a complete ban on laptops, reports USA Today, which calls the measures a "massive escalation of airline security." The new rules will affect 180 airlines and approximately 325,000 passengers flying to the US every day. According to the Washington Post, DHS Secretary John Kelly says the new measures will "raise the bar" on security without being an "inconvenience" to travelers. “It is time that we raise the global baseline of aviation security," Kelly says. "We cannot play international whack-a-mole with each new threat.”

DHS isn't giving specifics about the new security measures, but they will generally include more stringent screenings of electronics and passengers both inside the airport and on the tarmac. Intelligence that terrorists were finding new ways to hide bombs in electronics spurred the new measures. But airlines worried a ban on laptops would mean fewer business class travelers, who pay a lot more for tickets. DHS is still reserving the right to institute a ban on electronics larger than cellphones—both as carry-on items and in checked luggage—for airlines that fail to comply with the new security measures, Reuters reports. Sources say airlines have 21 days to implement new explosive screening measures and 120 days to institute other new security measures.

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