If you use Gogo internet, Panasonic Avionics, or any other company that provides inflight internet, they are more than likely sharing what you do with the National Security Agency, NSA for short.
Gogo stated in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission that it has added new capabilities to its service that go beyond the scope of CALEA.
In designing its existing network, Gogo worked closely with law enforcement to incorporate functionalities and protections that would serve public safety and national security interests,” Gogo attorney Karis Hastings wrote in the leaked letter, which dates from 2012. He did not elaborate as to the nature of the changes, but said Gogo “worked with federal agencies to reach agreement regarding a set of additional capabilities to accommodate law enforcement interests.
Gogo, the company who provides the most inflight WiFi in the U.S., admitted to violating the requirements of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). CALEA is part of a wiretapping law which passed in 1994 and that requires telecommunication companies to provide law enforcement agencies with a backdoor to their systems in order to monitor telephone and broadband communications in order to aid in public safety. Panasonic Avionics, another inflight WiFi provider, is also sharing information with the NSA.
Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court for the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the NSA and is waiting on a ruling from a lower court before trying to have the Supreme Court hear his case.
I personally find this news disturbing and unprecedented. It will definitely make me reconsider using Gogo inflight WiFi again, as of right now I do not plan on using inflight WiFi because as an American, a true believer in the U.S. constitution and a law student, I find these policies to be a direct infringement of my constitutional rights.
The original news article can be found here.
Photo: Courtesy of Engadget