Feeds

Mobile plane ban protects us from terrorists - FBI

The unfriendly skies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Judge nixes HP deal for director amnesty after $8.8bn Autonomy snafu
Lawyers will have to earn their keep the hard way, says court
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.