Terrorists win again: Kid's toy car won't fly

It's going to break the kid's heart but getting through security already takes half a day: "Sorry, son, looks like your remote-controlled Grave Digger won't be going on the airplane." (For the uninitiated, Grave Digger is a monster truck and monster trucks can rule a 6-year-old's world.)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that its screeners will be turning their attention away from shampoo and baby formula long enough to give an extra-hard look-see to the latest bogeyman of air travel: children's remote-controlled toys.

From the Associated Press:

"While not associated with a specific threat at this time, TSA is aware that remote control toys can be used to initiate devices used in terrorist attacks," according to Monday's press release. "Transportation security officers have trained on this possibility and travelers may encounter additional screening when bringing remote control devices in carry-on luggage."

Left unmentioned was that travelers may also encounter additional temper tantrums.

As for the contention that this announcement is not associated with a specific threat, well, that's only half-true at best. There may be no fresh information linking terrorists and toys, but a recent news story from Florida seems certain to have prompted this latest security push.

From AP:

A college student facing a terrorism-related charge made a video showing how to detonate explosives using a remote-controlled toy, and the demonstration was uploaded to a popular Web site before he was arrested, according to court documents.

Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, who was indicted last month on federal charges, told authorities he made the video "to assist those persons in Arabic countries to defend themselves against the infidels invading their countries," according to an FBI agent's sworn statement filed Tuesday.

Yes, it was posted to YouTube.

Maybe the TSA isn't overreacting this time.

Welcome regulars and passersby. Here are a few more recent Buzzblog items. And, if you'd like to receive Buzzblog via e-mail newsletter, here's where to sign up.

Vinnie the IT pro vs. Verizon customer service.

Why phone-record thieves laugh at the law.

Santa's unimaginable data disaster to mean empty stockings on Christmas.

Gates on education: Knowledge is good.

Average Joe asks Bill Gates a priceless question.

BSA, software giants target little guys most often.

Can the geek press handle a Microsoft sex scandal?

Hacking for better grades gets 4 preppies bounced from elite school in Mass.

This year's "25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries."

When the patient is a Googler and the doctor is a pompous jerk.

Cell phone jamming on the rise.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Related:

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

SD-WAN buyers guide: Key questions to ask vendors (and yourself)