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Electronic Devices (New Security Protocols)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced new security protocols impacting the transport and use of electronic devices and related technology. These new protocols will apply to both personal and University owned resources and equipment and take effect on 03/25/2017.

All personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone (e.g. laptops, iPads, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, travel printers/scanners, and gaming units larger than a smartphone), excluding necessary medical devices can no longer be carried aboard in carry-on items.

The new protocols may impact any University travelers whose itinerary includes any direct travel from, or a transfer through, any of the following 10 airports to the United States:

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) - United Arab Emirates
  • Ataturk International Airport (IST) – Turkey
  • Cairo International Airport (CAI) – Egypt
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB) - United Arab Emirates
  • Hamad International Airport (DOH) – Qatar
  • King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED) – Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International Airport (RUH) – Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International Airport (KWI) - Kuwait
  • Mohammed V Airport (CMN) – Morocco
  • Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) - Jordan

Travelers are advised that the new protocols implement more stringent security measures related to the transportation of electronic devices. All such items must be secured in the traveler’s checked luggage. For more information, please see the Department of Homeland Security fact sheet.

Additional Restrictions:

Additional countries have or are considering the issuance of similar restrictions for air transport routing through their own domestic airports. Note that the list of countries, originating airports, and/or carriers may not the same for such non-U.S. government restrictions. In addition to the foreign country restrictions some carriers may implement their own restrictions.

The United Kingdom has implemented restrictions for all travel routing through any U.K. airport that originates from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Note that the U.K. restrictions include both Lebanon and Jordan while excluding others covered in the U.S. protocols. Egypt has likewise imposed a requirement that travelers on direct flights from the U.S. to Egypt will be subject to similar requirements. Based on security guidance there may be additional limitations imposed for transit through Canada, France and other countries.

It is advisable for travelers to contact their carrier(s) to determine if the restrictions will impact their travel.

General Advice:

Travelers should keep updated on changes to security and travel requirements for all international destinations and transport hubs through which they will be traveling. Individuals traveling with any University owned devices or University data on personal devices are advised to:

  • Consider whether such electronic devices are necessary to travel; leave unnecessary devices behind
  • Remove all controlled, sensitive, or proprietary data and information from devices that is not pertinent the travel
  • Consider leaving all data and/or information on network accessible resources and connect remotely to access such data/information using University VPN connections
  • Encrypt devices all devices containing any University data/information, especially if you must take sensitive or proprietary data (unless going to a country where this is prohibited)
  • Choose appropriate, complex passwords for devices and online accounts
  • Back-up all data prior to departure
  • Enable remote wiping capabilities, if available, in the event the device is lost or stolen
  • Ensure that electronic devices remain fully charged in case the traveler is required to enable it for any customs inspections
  • Travelers asked to provide access to any device with controlled, sensitive or proprietary data/information, should contact the University for assistance
  • Have the device scanned by IT support staff upon return to detect and remove any malicious spyware

Those individuals traveling with electronic devices that must be stored as checked luggage are advised to plan for safe storage of their devices, including the use of  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recognized locks for their checked baggage. The TSA website has tips to facilitate the security screening process.