Security Directive 1554-10-05 is out: starting tomorrow, November 8, the TSA is expected to announce that airline passengers will be prohibited from flying with printer ink and toner cartridges, sized at 16oz (by volume) or larger. This ban will cover both carry-on and checked baggage.
But there’s a problem: ink or toner volume is not readily listed on the cartridge itself. That’s going to make screening interesting!
One DOD terrorism analyst told Flying Fish:
“The prohibition of printer ink and toner cartridges does nothing to enhance the security of passenger flights."
This is not surprising. After all, terrorists do not play the same cards more than once. Once again, the TSA is pandering to the naive public, engaging in security theatre to mollify anxieties that are exacerbated by the TSA and DHS in the first place.
The Yemenis bomb plot that was foiled the week before last was due to intelligence gathering, not careful security screening. That should be the focus of the TSA.
Reactionary polices are rarely effective. I trust that the TSA will quickly realize that a blanket ban of ink toners will do little to keep us safer and serve only to burden us with further inconvenience. I say that as a traveler who frequently flies from coast to coast and has flown with a large ink toner in my checked bag twice this year.