Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Government Transportation United States Wireless Networking

In-Flight Wi-Fi Provider Going Above and Beyond To Help Feds Spy 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the come-fly-with-the-friendly-spies dept.
An anonymous reader sends in a report from Wired that GoGo, a company the provides in-flight Wi-Fi access to airline passengers, seems to be making every effort to assist law enforcement agencies with wiretaps. From the article: "Gogo and others that provide Wi-Fi aboard aircraft must follow the same wiretap provisions that require telecoms and terrestrial ISPs to assist U.S. law enforcement and the NSA in tracking users when so ordered. But they may be doing more than the law requires. According to a letter (PDF) Gogo submitted to the Federal Communications Commission, the company voluntarily exceeded the requirements of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, by adding capabilities to its service at the request of law enforcement. The revelation alarms civil liberties groups, which say companies should not be cutting deals with the government that may enhance the ability to monitor or track users."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

In-Flight Wi-Fi Provider Going Above and Beyond To Help Feds Spy

Comments Filter:
  • And? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @05:39PM (#46708647)

    And yet nothing will happen to them but have some impotent nerd rage flung at them.

  • The last time I used gogoinflight I was using it to search for and download freely available academic papers for work. I know I should be appalled at them giving up the data, but I wouldn't use a service like that for anything that I would be worried about the feds looking in on.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @05:54PM (#46708775) Journal

    I have OpenVPN installed on my portable devices, and it connects back to my VPN server, using my own CA. I have the devices set to use the VPN server as the gateway so when I'm doing any kind of data retrieval that I want to keep confidential, it's going through an encrypted tunnel. Yes, it does slow things down a bit, but I find most public WiFi sucks pretty serious donkey balls anyways.

    Nothing is 100% secure, but I pretty much treat any public network; airport, airplane, hotel, restaurant, or the like as hostile territory.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @05:58PM (#46708797)

    While it would be nice to have Internet access on a domestic US flight, I find it's a nice break to not have it. Things I can do 'offline' are, read, nap, converse with strangers sitting next to me, admire the view from the window, hit on the cute female flight attendant, sketch... If you need to be connected for business that's one thing. For 90% of people on planes, that probably isn't that case!

    Now, Internet on international flights? Absolutely!

    Take a moment and unplug, people! It will do you some good!

  • by Chelloveck (14643) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @06:01PM (#46708829) Homepage

    Can't say I blame them. What's the downside for GoGo? They're not going to lose any revenue over this. They have monopoly control over a captive audience that literally can't go elsewhere for service. On the other hand, the airline industry is already deeply, deeply in bed with law enforcement. When it comes time to get a franchise as an in-flight provider I expect that an endorsement by the TLAs is only going to work in GoGo's favor.

    It'd be nice if they'd keep their hands off our packets, but who are we kidding? Unless all network providers suddenly get regulated as common carriers that's just not going to happen. Whether you're in the air, in Starbucks, or leeching wi-fi from your next-door neighbor you have to assume that your packets are being logged and analyzed.

  • by Guppy (12314) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @06:23PM (#46708987)

    The last time I used gogoinflight I was using it to search for and download freely available academic papers for work. I know I should be appalled at them giving up the data, but I wouldn't use a service like that for anything that I would be worried about the feds looking in on.

    In my case, being a medical student -- what if I happen to be studying infectious diseases at the moment? Maybe some novel Influenza strains, or bacterial antibiotic resistance profiles, or epidemiological models of disease spread? Possibly even actual bio-terrorism agents, as these were a pretty big item on my board exams (probably someone at the federal level pushed the NBME/NBOME to emphasize them, there was way too much given the relative clinical utility of the topic).

    My colleagues would find those topics perfectly normal and usual items of study, but I'd hate to end up on a watch list because MUH TERRORISM.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @06:55PM (#46709181)

    Are you talking about the TSA? The Bush junta created the TSA and continues to force them upon us.

  • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sabri (584428) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @07:02PM (#46709207)

    ...terrorism!

    No, Lawful Intercept.

    Don't shoot the company that is complying with government wishes. When the FBI knocks on a CEO's door and says "you need to do this and this", the CEO will have little choice but to comply. Yes, in theory he may refuse an order if it is not 100% a requirement per the law, but that will only make his own life difficult. Remember that it is the same government that hands out licenses for the CEO's business, and the same government that collects that CEO's taxes. The government can make life very, very difficult for the CEO, even while staying within the boundaries of the law (tax audits, anyone?).

    When focusing on a single company, you're losing sight of the bigger picture. The problem is that the government has little regard for the end-user's privacy, and sacrifices civil liberties in the name of security. It is the government that needs a slap on the hand, not the company that has been "exposed" (but I do agree that morally, the company is on the wrong side in history).

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison

Working...