Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Enhanced In-Air Internet Surveillance Sought
Federal law enforcement agencies are seeking enhanced surveillance powers over Internet service on airplanes, an effort to shape an emerging technology to meet the government's concerns about terrorism.Let me see if I've got this straight: after being practically strip-searched and forced to take off shoes and being x-rayed and having fingerprints and retina scans and whatever, and being put thru the colander of database searches and being confused with people having the same name, you get to your seat, relax, open the laptop, and start receiving your orders from bin Laden via email. "Roger, Osama," you reply, and zombie-like, you remove the bomb from your carry-on, remove the kitchen match you've hidden in your collar, and light the damn thing.
Authorities want the ability to intercept, block or divert e-mail or other online communication to and from airplanes after obtaining a court order. Internet providers would have to allow government monitoring within 10 minutes of a court order being granted, be able to electronically identify users by their seat numbers and be required to collect and store records of the communications for 24 hours.
Or maybe you're Osama. You're flying home from a visit to bin Laden relatives in the States and decide to catch up with a little office work on the road. You send an email to your Sleeper Cell Yahoo Group, lean back, and let the carnage commence.
And now good night.
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