[ISN] Comdex issues laptop reprieve

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Nov 07 2001 - 01:25:10 PST

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    By Scott Ard
    Staff Writer, CNET News.com 
    November 6, 2001, 2:55 p.m. PT 
    Laptops and Comdex do mix after all.
    The tens of thousands of technophiles who will descend on Las Vegas
    for next week's Comdex trade show will be allowed to carry laptops
    into the show, but there is a catch.
    As previously reported, laptops were on a list of contraband posted on
    the Web site of the show's organizer, Key3Media Events. The ban was
    among many changes Key3Media instituted to beef up security following
    the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
    Specifically, attendees were advised to "please leave bags,
    briefcases, backpacks, laptops, etc. at home or in your hotel room."
    On Tuesday, the organizer made a subtle modification to that list,
    removing the word laptops. However, the site still warns that "no bags
    of any kind will be allowed on the show floor," meaning laptops cannot
    be tucked into shoulder bags or roll-along Samsonite luggage.
    Banning laptops "wasn't our intention," said Rick Moore, head of
    communications for Key3Media. "But the way we worded it, that's the
    way it came across."
    The organizer's site lists many general security dos and don'ts, as
    well as even tighter restrictions for keynote speeches being delivered
    by tech industry leaders such as Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and
    Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison.
    But Moore warned that the rules could shift further as the conference
    approaches. There will "probably be more of those issues between now
    and next Monday," he said.
    Indeed, as Moore explained the current policies, the rules apparently
    shifted again. On Monday, the site clearly stated that there would be
    a bag check, but on Tuesday it warned in bold capital letters "No bags
    will be checked at the convention center. There is no place for them,
    and they will not be stored."
    Asked about the apparently new restriction, Moore said, "That is
    certainly not accurate."
    The lesson for an estimated 150,000 attendees trying to plan their
    trip may be to bookmark this page and refresh it a couple times a day.
    Later on Tuesday, the security page changed once again, stating in
    bold capital letters: "There will be a bag check area outside the
    convention center."
    For now, anyway.
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