By Harry McCracken | Monday, December 28, 2009 at 10:55 am
Gizmodo has what’s supposedly Homeland Security’s revisions to TSA security rules in the wake of the failed terrorist attack on Christmas. They apply to international flights destined for the U.S., and I bring them up here mostly because they’re going to make it harder for international travelers to use tech: Access to carry-on luggage is banned for the last hour of flights, as are “personal belongings on the lap.” (It’s not clear to me what “on the lap” means–am I allowed to listen to music on my iPhone if I hold it a few inches above my lap, but not if it rests on it?)
The rules also seem to say that inflight entertainment and information services are now verboten, with the exception of canned movies and TV shows:
Disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight.
Can someone explain to me (A) what we learned from the Christmas attack that we didn’t know beforehand that makes it appropriate to change the rules; and (B) why would-be terrorists won’t simply attempt their evil before the final hour of a flight?