Feeds

Mobile plane ban protects us from terrorists - FBI

The unfriendly skies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The FBI is objecting to plans to relax the current ban on the use of mobile phones on planes. In a joint submission with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI says that unless carriers set up systems to allow law enforcement to wiretap phones owned by designated people then the proposals open up a loophole that might be exploited by terrorists.

Concerns about interference with avionic systems have meant cell phones have been banned on US commercial flights for over a decade. Recent advances in technology have allowed the use of Wi-Fi networks on airlines prompting air regulators to look ahead to a time when tight rules governing the use of cellular telephones and other wireless devices can be relaxed. One approach would be to house a "pico cell" inside airlines to allow access to voice calls using a regular mobile instead of only through satellite phones.

The Feds strenuously oppose any such plan. "The proposal raises not only regulatory and technical/operational issues, but also important public safety and national security issues, their submission argues. The Feds want airlines to satisfy a lengthy list of eavesdropping requirements as stipulated in the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) to satisfy their objections.

Kurt Opsahl, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told C/Net that the Feds had come up with a "wish list" that exceeds rules established by CALEA. "If the FBI succeeds in this context, what's to stop them from getting more wiretapping powers than they currently do in other contexts?" ®

Related stories

Wi-Fi takes to the skies
British Airways flies high with broadband
CAA mulls ban on laptops which don't exist
Mobile phone suspected in plane crash inquiry

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
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.