US announces new mobile security measures for flights

US announces new mobile security measures for flights

Mobile devices could be banned from flights bound for the US if they are not charged, the US government has warned. Smartphones from Apple and Samsung have been identified for extra security checks on direct flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to the US.

The security message comes following fears of an terrorist attack involving the use of electronic devices to conceal controlled devices. The US believes al-Qaeda extremists are planning to use suicide bombers in the West.

UK passengers will be required to turn on laptops, tablets and mobile phones at the security gate to show they are working as they prepare to depart on direct flights to the US.

In a post on its website, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said: 'During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveller may also undergo additional screening.'

The US government said: 'TSA will continue to adjust security measures to ensure that travellers are guaranteed the highest levels of aviation security conducted as conveniently as possible.'

Nick Clegg, Britain’s deputy prime minister, said extra security checks were unlikely to be terminated anytime soon. 'I don't think we should expect this to be a one-off temporary thing,' he said on a radio show.

'I don't want people to think that this is just a sort of a blip for a week. This is part of an evolving and constant review about whether the checks keep up with the nature of the threats we face.'

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