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Should Airlines Ban In-Flight Wi-Fi?

Honestly, the whole security thing has gotten so completely out of hand that I hesitate to even write this, but since it’s come up:

The Association of Flight Attendants has asked the government to ban in-flight wi-fi because they believe it poses a security risk, and the pilots’ union ALPA has also said that they are concerned with passengers having Internet access in-flight.

The belief is that a terrorist could trigger a bomb using in-flight wi-fi in lieu of triggering a bomb with a cellphone, which is (of course) banned in-flight (except on planes where it’s not banned in-flight).

Smart intelligence (as we saw with the most recent Yemeni printer cartridge caper) is the only way to stop terrorists from doing horrible things to airplanes.  They have exploited every loophole in security, and they will continue to do so.  Essentially shutting down the commercial air system is the only way to keep it 100% safe (on a barely related note, people talking on cellphones are responsible for thousands and thousands of traffic-related deaths each year, and yet people continue to fight those bans or flaunt the rules; flying is incredibly safe, and would be incredibly safe even if we allowed 4.5 ounces of toothpaste on board).

I’ve stopped assuming I can guess what the government will do when it comes to airplane security, but just know that you will be no safer if they take away your wi-fi.

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  1. I have to agree with your statement that not letting people travel by planes is the only way you can guarantee 100% safety in the sky. Wi-fi is not the problem and it will not be the problem in the future either.

  2. Personally, I think:
    – ban cell phones on planes. And cars. No driving with cell phones. I’ve personally seen someone run through a lit and swerve to avoid a cyclist in front of my very eyes because the driver was texting. Stupid laws are due to stupid people, it sucks but I think the police should have the right to ticket someone who’se stupid enough to text and drive. On plaes, I don’t want to hear how important you are, keep it quiet and do something else.
    – ban wifi. YES, terrorists will try that, FOR SURE. They’re using cell phones now but IP-based stuff is just too much of an invitation. The DOD at one point wanted to build IP-based bombs, how scarry was that (think cyber terrorists blowing up the wharehouses from across the globe). No thank you, what happens in the place stays in the plane. And what happens outside the plane stays outside the plane.
    – invest a boatload of money into cargo scanning, scan every last bit of it, I’ve been thinking this for YEARS. Street gangs have control of the cargo hold, google graffiti plane cargo and see the images. If drugs can travel so easily in the cargo section, it’s a matter of time before some nutcase puts something more dangerous in there. And now we also have to worry about mail packages with print cartirdges and all, seriously, this is the low hanging fruit for terrorists, not the cabin and the zillion security checks and visibility. The cargo is below the radar and way too open.
    – get rid of the body scanners. For sure, I’m never going through one of those and I resent the fact that my tax dollars have to pay for them. I’d rather be strip searched than go through one of those that are “suposedly” safe and when someone counters my claim, they cite studies clearly biased towards them. Not for me. I don’t agree with bogging down the system on ThanksGiving. But seriously, they need to account for the people who seriously don’t want to go through them for whatever reason. I’m not going through an X-ray machine 20 times a year. No thank you.

  3. Why shut down just commercial aviation? A general aviation aircraft “loaded up” with the right freight makes a nice weapon and is not getting any attention at this time.

  4. MacGyver should not be allowed on planes at all. He’d be able to blow up the plane just using the drink cart, inflatable safety vest, and a rolled-up SkyMall catalog.

  5. I agree with Pierre. Cars should DEFINITELY not be allowed on airplanes.

    It’s hard enough to fit the bastards in wheelchairs down the aisle, now I have to dodge a K car?

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