My friend and Heritage colleague, David Inserra, has just released a paper entitled "Considering the Laptop Ban: Risks, Costs, Benefits, and Alternatives." For anyone interested in the issue, it is worth a read. Here is the abstract:
Latest in Aviation Screening
Good news. Politico is reporting the breaking news that there will NOT be a ban on laptops on US-EU flights:
The U.S. today opted not to introduce a ban on bringing laptops into the cabins of flights to the U.S. from Europe, sources told POLITICO.
“No ban,” a Commission official said. “Both sides have agreed to intensify technical talks and try to find a common solution.”
the Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce tomorrow that it will ban all laptops and other large devices (like tablets) from being held in the cabin on flights originating in Europe. Expect a world-wide ban soon .....
Security and the facilitation of travelers are no longer at odds. More should be done to encourage and promote DHS’s travel facilitation programs—in the name of security.
The EU will now have a Passenger Name Record collection system for air travel. It's about time ...
In our new book, Whistleblowers, Leaks and the Media, my co-editors and I talk at some length about what we characterize as the "fundamental tension" that lies at the heart of news reporting today involving national security matters. The tension -- between transparency and secrecy -- is fundamental for two distinct reasons: First, because at bottom it involves two exceedingly important values -- government efficacy in protecting the body politic and citizen control of government
That question has taken on new significance after the Paris terrorist attacks, which have stoked fears that militants in Europe might exploit the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)—under which citizens of 38 countries may travel to the United States without a visa—to carry out similar attacks here.
Passenger Name Records (or PNR) are the data collected by an airline at the time of a passenger's reservation. The data in a PNR is often very detailed and robust. It may, for example, include a cell phone number for text updates or an email address. It will typically also include an address, a credit card number, the name of the traveler, seat selection and flight data, and a link to other travelers who are in the same group or made reservations at the same time. Beyond these basics the PNR can also include a host of other miscellaneous data, like frequent flyer numbers and such.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department issued revised Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies on the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity. The prior version---issued in June 2003---didn’t cover profiling on the basis of religion or national origin, and exempted national security and border investigations altogether.
Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has announced that she plans to introduce new legislation aimed to "significantly strengthen drone safety laws to protect U.S. airline passengers and U.S. airspace." The announcement comes in a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Heurta, in which she cites evidence of more than 190 drone safety incidents in the last nine months.