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TSA to ban uncharged phones, laptops on some flights

By Kate Stanton Follow @KateStan Contact the Author   |   July 6, 2014 at 7:43 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 6 (UPI) -- If you're planning a trip from overseas to the United States, get ready to fire up your cell.

The Transportation Security Agency said Sunday that officials may ask travelers on U.S.-bound flights to turn on their cell phones or laptops to prove that they're not explosive devices.

Unpowered electronics would not be allowed on planes.

"As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones," the agency said. "Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening."

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said last week in a statement that TSA planned to step up security on flights from overseas to the United States, prompted by intelligence about new explosive devices that are harder to detect.

TSA was not specific about which airports or regions would be affected.

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