Feeds

Patriot Act used to quell laser pointer terror

Don't look now

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A New Jersey miracle man has been charged under the Patriot Act for allegedly shining a laser into two pilots' eyes.

David Banach could face up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for disrupting the operator of a mass transportation vehicle - a charge covered under the controversial Patriot Act - and lying to the FBI. Authorities claim that Banach, 38, admitted to shining a laser at a jet plane and at a helicopter flying over his home. The jet pilots were momentarily blinded by the green laser light, according to state officials. Their Cessna Citation flying at 3,000 feet had six passengers.

Earlier this week, the FBI dismissed the idea that a string of "laser in the cockpit" incidents were part of a terrorist plot to bother pilots. The Feds, however, have now applied the long arm of the Patriot Act - invented after the Sept. 11 attacks - to Banach's supposed crime.

"We are not saying this is a grand terrorist incident," U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie told the New York Post. "We have to send a clear message to the public - no matter what the intent was."

Banach says he was simply playing with his daughter, showing off the new laser bought for his job as a fiber optic cable tester. His lawyer Gina Mendola Longarzo said the state is using Banach as a "sacrificial lamb."

"I don't think the Patriot Act was enacted to cover this kind of unintentional conduct," she told the Post.

Beyond the possible misuse of the Patriot Act, there are other issues here. After reading our laser story earlier in the week, a number of Register readers questioned the odds of anyone on the ground being able to shine a laser into the eye of a pilot. Banach is supposed to have hit the jet three times with his laser, managing to strike the pilots' pupils at least once. That's quite an amazing feat.

Maybe the FBI should really be looking for Cyclops. The X-MEN are headquartered in New York after all.

Elsewhere, gang members are also being charged under the Patriot Act. Don't plenty of laws already exist for sentencing thugs and murderers? ®

Related stories

FBI clears terrorists of shining laser pointers at pilots
ESA on mission to surf gravity's waves
Police to trial plasma stun gun

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.