Feeds

TSA vows relaxation of carry-on liquid limits

Pulling the curtain on 'security theater'

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Airline passengers on both sides of the Atlantic could be free to carry larger bottles of liquids in carry-on luggage under a two-year plan to relax current security rules that sharply restrict the amount of shampoo, hand lotion, and other types of liquids that can be brought in a plane cabin.

Under an oft-criticized plan implemented a few years ago, liquids must be stored in containers no bigger than three ounces. Those containers, in turn, must be stowed in a clear, zip-locked bag no bigger than one quart, and each passenger is limited to bringing a single bag in carry-on luggage.

Critics have referred to the highly inconvenient restrictions as "security theater," saying they do little to actually prevent terrorists from smuggling explosives onto planes.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants you to know it feels your pain and is taking steps to end it. Under a plan outlined here, an official said size restrictions will be removed by the end of 2009, although liquids will still have to placed in a separate bin when passing through security checkpoints. By the end of 2010, there will be no restrictions.

"We are deploying the best technology and training as fast as we can get it," the official wrote. "The goal is to remove all the restrictions on liquids when we have automated systems that can accurately separate threat from non-threat liquids."

The TSA is working with its counterparts in Europe, Canada, and Australia to design "common design standards" to ensure the new policy is in harmony with those in other countries.

Enabling the change, the TSA official wrote, is new screening technologies that can tell the difference between hair gel and liquid explosives. The TSA is in the process of installing advanced technology X-ray machines throughout the country. The new machines should be in place by the end of 2009, but it will take an additional year for them to be outfitted with software that can identify threatening liquids.

Computed tomography scanners, explosives trace detection equipment, and spectrometers are also being deployed in increasing numbers to ferret out threatening liquids. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.