PHOTO: TSA security checkpoint. (photo via Flickr/Ben Popken)
Based on Tuesday's announcement from the Department of Homeland Security, it appears the current ban on electronic devices on specified flights to the United States is likely to expand in the future.
According to CNN.com, the current electronics ban prohibits items such as laptops, tablets, cameras, children’s video games and more on flights from nine Middle Eastern and African airlines along with 10 airports with direct journeys to the U.S. scheduled.
Any electronic device larger than a cell phone must be stowed in checked luggage. In addition, a source reported to CNN.com that the Department of Homeland Security has started isolating certain aircraft arriving in the U.S. in order to further screen the passengers upon landing.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan told reporters that while the expansion is not imminent, it is something the agency is seriously considering. He also added that it was too soon to know if any of the airports currently on the banned devices list would be removed or if any new countries or airlines would be added.
“It is always our goal to prevent somebody from seeking to get an explosive device on an airplane and so we put things into place to try to mitigate that to the greatest extent possible,” Lapan told CNN.com.
“But, short of having people stop flying completely — that's the only way you can guarantee that no one will ever get blown up in an airplane.”
READ MORE: Qatar Airways Skirts Electronics Ban
As a result of the recent legislation, travel advocacy groups such as the International Air Transport Association, the U.S. Travel Association and the Global Business Travel Association have expressed concern and frustration over the electronics ban.
Law enforcement officers and government officials are adamant that the ban on larger electronic devices from eight Middle Eastern and African countries was a result of intelligence which indicated a greater threat to airports and planes.
While there are questions about why the new electronics regulations were instituted in the first place, officials in the intelligence field reported that terrorist organizations have developed new ways to plant undetectable explosives in large electronic devices, justifying the current ban.