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Delta to filter in-air Wi-Fi

updated 12:25 pm EDT, Fri October 3, 2008

Delta to Filter Wi-Fi

Delta will filter the content on its in-flight Wi-Fi service, the airline said today. Although the company has previously been concerned about the ramifications of active censorship on its GoGo-based service and has intended to rely on attendants alone to screen out adult sites and other material that might make some passengers uncomfortable, it now says it will implement a content filter that automatically blocks certain sites before they reach cellphones, notebooks and other devices capable of a Wi-Fi link.

The transportation firm stresses that its system won't be over-broad, as with the filtering systems at some workplaces, and will be limited only to sites that are almost unambiguously objectionable for public viewing. Other carriers, including American Airlines, are implementing similar policies, though in most cases are relying more on staff than on computer-controlled systems.

Delta's effort follows concerns from both passengers and stewards about some customers potentially viewing sites before a timely response is possible. Critics have charged that any censorship would affect free speech and personal use rights.

By Electronista Staff


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    good idea

    I think flight attendants already have enough to do, they don't need to be also asked to be a net nanny and put themselves in potentially confrontational situations with passengers who think they have a Constitutional right to watch p*** while a 6 year old is sitting next to them...

  1. darkelf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003



    sounds reasonable to me. free speech rights don't particularly apply when you're in someone else's private flying tin can, and everyone nearby gets to "enjoy" goatse along with you.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Sounds consistent

    If you can be arrested for watching p*** on your own home TV with window curtains open, or for watching it in the car (which you can in many US jurisdictions), this doesn't seem out of the ordinary.

    I have to say, though, the extent of the law that allows prosecution of people who choose to watch p*** inside of their own cars (on ceiling-mounted displays) seems a bit over-reaching. This law seems to be protecting peeping Toms who intrude on other people's privacy by looking inside their cars (or homes) at what they're doing.

    Am I the only one who thinks this isn't quite right (regardless of its connection with p***)?

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    re: sounds consistent

    1) it's not a law, it's an airline policy
    2) the Bill of Rights pertains to what government can and cannot do, not what private parties can or cannot do.

    I am a huge civil libertarian but this is a non-issue. I have no kids, never will, but I sure don't think it's a good idea to let people watch p*** on their iPhones on airplanes, where anybody else (including children) can see it.

    What I want to know, though, is how you filter content on the web without being overly restrictive, I mean if you tried to filter obvious p*** site that's one thing, but to try to filter ALL nudity, good luck with that.

    One of my pet peeves is when people holler about censorship because, say, a newspaper refuses to publish this or that. It's only censorship when the government does it. When a newspaper on its own - without government pressure - decides whether or not to print a particular photo or piece of information, it's called 'editorial decision-making'.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Because we know how good these filters are!

  1. dimmer

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Feb 2006


    Well damn

    You mean I have to bring my p*** with me on DVD when a travel? That's just wrong: what if I scratch the disk?

    Would ANYONE watch p*** in-flight? What would the point be?

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