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Privacy Government Transportation United States Wireless Networking

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

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

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  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @06:09PM (#46708891)

    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.

    That's all pointless. They've tapped your home connection too. Your ISP gives them anything they want on a silver platter.

  • CAPTCHA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KagatoLNX ( 141673 ) <> on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @06:26PM (#46709011) Homepage

    Interestingly, the article says that, at the request of law enforcement, they added CAPTCHA support. The article then goes on to say that this must be a deception because they used a plural, it "doesn't make sense", etc.

    Actually, it makes a lot of sense. How is every IED detonated these days? Cell phone. Buy a cheap, anonymous phone, wire it up, and call it to detonate it. Wifi that wasn't resistant to automated signup would make this trivial. They could just sign up with an anonymous phone and pre-paid Visa. Then, when it's in the air, *BOOM*

    It also makes a lot of sense that they don't want to talk about it. Don't want to give people ideas.

  • Re:And? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bob_super ( 3391281 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @07:38PM (#46709445)

    Actually, the people with enough disposable cash to use in-flight internet are the most likely to have an impact if they protest being spied on.

  • Re:But... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cavreader ( 1903280 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @08:14PM (#46709755)

    I don't think the problem is about corporations providing requested information to law enforcement. The problem is more about making sure there is a valid warrant before handing over the requested data. Court provided warrants have been a crucial and well litigated part of US law enforcement and are used to provide a level of protection that satisfies the requirements under the 4th Amendment. It's never been a perfect system but it is what it is.However the FISA warrants introduce a gigantic loophole into the entire process. People are just supposed to "trust" the government which is an absurd notion in the extreme. FISA warrants are basically requests for information that can be used to obtain a regular court approved search warrant. Any information collected using a FISA warrant can be presented to the court when trying to obtain a normal warrant but none of the information collected under a FISA warrant can be used in court against a defendant.

  • How dumb. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stonebit ( 2776195 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @09:57PM (#46710401)
    I work for an ISP that provides in air wifi wholesale to the likes of the goofy companies that sell it in air. We have traffic shapers. If you want to control connections of people in air, you must have traffic shapers. Traffic shapers in and of themselves massively report (by default) on the activity and log tonnes of data about each person connected. This is done for many reasons. Mostly to study and trend behaviour on one's network. CALEA requires a small subset of the reporting AND taps be in place. We also have taps to aid troubleshooting the network. If CALEA has done anything, it's required us to get more taps and put them in more places. We wanted them there to begin with; it's just easier to approve the hundreds of millions in taps if it's 'for CALEA' and thus a requirement.
  • by ubergeek2009 ( 1475007 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:16PM (#46710533)

    Agreed. I'm an engineering student and I'm the head of one of my student competitions which happens to involve building a high powered rocket. I had to travel on the day of an important meeting for the competition and was forced to leave the task to a rather junior member of the team. I couldn't check in on one of team members when I was in either airport because I was afraid of being labeled as a terrorist and end up in an interrogation room because I was discussing basic rocketry with a team member.

I've got a bad feeling about this.