As recently as last week, a laptop ban on all European flights headed to the U.S seemed like a done deal. Reports indicated that the Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration were getting ready to put the measures in place, and airports began to ready themselves for the new rules that were meant as a preemptive strike against terrorist plots involving laptop batteries hiding explosive devices. Now, however, Politico says the U.S. has decided against such a ban and plans to work with European officials to find a more practical solution.
Politico reports that the call to sideline a potential laptop ban was decided during a conference call on Tuesday between U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, European Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, and Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. While safety is obviously of paramount importance on the matter, finding the best and most reasonable avenue to put a stop to terrorist attacks makes more sense than a blanket canceling of life as we know it, which is exactly the reaction said terrorists are looking for in the first place. According to those involved with the decision, that’s the exact dilemma they face as they look to solve the laptop issue, via the Politico report:
“We continue to stress that any and all security policies should constantly be reassessed and evolve as appropriate, and that measures should be pursued that effectively cope with valid threats while minimizing disruption of legitimate travel,” U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President Jonathan Grella said in a recent statement.
Ultimately, the biggest bit of news to come out of this entire laptop discussion is still Donald Trump spilling the beans to Russians about the potential ban (and how he came to find out the information he received). Speaking with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak earlier this month, Trump boasted of the “great intel” he receives. It was a move that led to much scrutiny, all while Trump complains of other leaks that paint his administration in an unfavorable light.