- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2006

I’m writing these words while “on hold” with a telephone-answerer for the Department of Homeland Security, who is informing me — and, apparently, many of the 37 people whose telephone calls preceded mine (a count from the automatic call system) — that no, you can’t carry a laptop computer on a flight these days. Check it in your luggage, and good luck.

“And the way they throw those suitcases around,” the operator said, “you don’t want your laptop in there.”

I am no longer on hold, by the way — DHS’ phone system cut me off.

As supportive as I am of Homeland Security, there has to be a better way. Thousands and thousands of commercial travelers, let alone students and digital junkies, fly the friendly skies daily. To banish computers is to impose a horrific inconvenience and open up the possibility of massive loss and damage. It’s wrong, and someone needs to make that point to DHS, and pronto.

Anyone up on the Hill listening?

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