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Michael Adams Discusses Laptop Flight Restrictions on CNN International

March 22, 2017

Charlotte partner Michael Adams appeared on CNN International’s “The World Right Now” on March 21 to discuss the U.S.-UK ban on laptop and tablet computers on U.S.-bound flights from specific countries.

“There had to be very specific intelligence to require these sorts of decisions,” said Adams, who joined the firm’s data privacy and security team in February from the Pentagon, where he was a national security point person on cyber threats, intelligence, and technology and served as a top legal adviser to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“There aren’t a lot of decisions made lightly in this space about particular threats emanating from a variety of countries that would require the United States and the United Kingdom to both come out with these sorts of decisions. So it was quite intriguing to see this,” he said.

Adams, who also served for more than 20 years as a national security adviser in the U.S. Navy, said a ban on electronics larger than a mobile phone that is limited to specified countries is preferable to a general worldwide ban because it burdens fewer international travelers.

“[Y]ou would look to assess the intelligence that you have for its credibility, its reliability, and then you look to see where you really need to emphasize the decisions,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for the United States, United Kingdom and other states to ultimately draw different conclusions about the reliability of intelligence or the significance of a threat and to focus their resources and some of these policies in particular locales.”