Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Airline In-Flight Internet Access

Slashdot notes that the much-vaunted arrival of internet access in the friendly skies may come at the cost of heavy content filtering by the Airlines. Ars Technica's commentary is prompted by an Associated Press article which does its best to make checking your email seem sinister.

Seat 17D is yapping endlessly on an Internet phone call. Seat 16F is flaming Seat 16D with expletive-laden chats. Seat 16E is too busy surfing porn sites to care. Seat 17C just wants to sleep. Welcome to the promise of the Internet at 33,000 feet -- and the questions of etiquette, openness and free speech that airlines and service providers will have to grapple with as they bring Internet access to the skies in the coming months.

What if the passenger in front of you wants to recline, making it difficult to surf comfortably on your laptop? What if you're finishing a crucial e-mail on deadline and an adjacent passenger needs to leave for the bathroom? What if the person next to you keeps peering over while you're trying to review a confidential Web site?

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