TSA Might Make You Turn Your Phone On to Prove It's Real

Rick Moser/Shutterstock.com

The Transportation Security Administration is about to make our security check process a bit longer. TSA will now be checking electronic devices to make sure they are not cleverly disguised explosives.This comes as a larger push from the Homeland Security Department to strengthen airport security for flights coming into the United States. 

The easiest way to make sure an iPhone is not an iBomb is to, well, turn it on. The same rule applies for most electronics, including laptops. This means the TSA may ask flyers to turn their devices on and off, to prove they are real. In the event the device doesn't turn on (you're going to want to charge that phone in advance, or bring a battery pack,) the TSA will not allow your device onto the plane and you will have to go through additional security screening. 

Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security, told NBC,  "In this instance, we felt that it was important to crank it up some at the last point-of-departure airports. And we'll continually evaluate the situation. We know that there remains a terrorist threat to the United States. And aviation security is a large part of that."

While checking electronic devices for explosives is a logical step for the TSA to take, (we hope they were already doing this in some way?) the announcement seems like a how-to for potential threats. Considering how sophisticated technology has become, it would seem possible that an explosive could be detonated by pressing the power button alone. 

(Image via Rick Moser/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.