Consumer tech plane ban was triggered by iPad bomb threat

Both the U.S. and the U.K. recently banned most consumer gadgets from flights originating from several countries, a move that Canada is also considering implementing. The move is unusual given that the bans went into effect only hours apart, leading to speculation about possible security threats that had been discovered. Now, according to a new report, we have more info on that — sources say the threat of a bomb disguised as an iPad had spurred the restriction.

Such information comes from sources speaking to The Guardian, which reports that authorities got word of a terror plot that in some way involved a bomb that was disguised to look like an iPad. That isn't said to be the only reason for the ban, but instead a contributing factor. No further information about the plot, nor the individuals behind it, have been revealed.

The ban only applies to a handful of countries, and isn't entirely the same for the U.S. and U.K. For flights inbound to the U.S., the ban is in place for 10 airlines located in eight countries, including the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others. The U.K.'s ban is similar, but includes places like Tunisia and Lebanon.

The ban applies to consumer technology devices excluding cell phones and smartphones. No tablets, laptops, and similar are allowed on these flights. The reason for the respective U.S. and U.K. bans covering differing countries is unclear. How long the ban will remain — and whether any other countries will join it — is also unclear at this time.

SOURCE: The Guardian