April 18, 2017
United States Announces New Security Protocols on Certain Inbound International Flights
The Department of Homeland Security recently announced new security protocols that impact the transport and use of personal and MIT issued electronics taken abroad for research, collaborative, or conference attendance purposes. Direct travel from, or a transfer through, these 10 airports to the United States are impacted by these protocols:
- Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) – Amman, Jordan
- Cairo International Airport (CAI) – Egypt
- Ataturk International Airport (IST) – Istanbul, Turkey
- King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED) – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- King Khalid International Airport (RUH) – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Kuwait International Airport (KWI) – Kuwait City, Kuwait
- Mohammed V Airport (CMN) – Casablanca, Morocco
- Hamad International Airport (DOH) – Doha, Qatar
- Dubai International Airport (DXB) – United Arab Emirates
- Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) – United Arab Emirates
Carriers on these routes include Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudia, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad Airways.
Travelers to these destinations will be subject to more stringent security measures. ALL personal electronic devices larger than cell phones (e.g., laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras), excluding necessary medical devices, may no longer be taken on board as carry-on items. They must be placed in checked luggage. For more information, please see the Department of Homeland Security fact sheet.
The United Kingdom has also issued a similar set of restrictions for inbound direct flights into the U.K. originating from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia.
Individuals traveling with university owned devices or university data on personal devices are advised to:
- Consider if electronic devices are necessary for their travel, and leave unnecessary devices behind
- Remove all sensitive data and proprietary information from devices that is not pertinent to their travel
- Encrypt devices, especially if you must take sensitive or proprietary data
- Choose strict passwords for devices and online accounts
- Backup all data
- Enable remote wiping capabilities, in case your devices is lost or stolen
- Ensure that your devices remain fully charged in case you are required to enable it for inspection
- Have the device scanned by departmental IT staff or EITS upon return, to detect and remove any malicious spyware
Those individuals traveling with electronic devices that travel as checked luggage are advised to plan for safe storage of their devices, including the use of TSA recognized locks for their checked baggage.