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Cell phones on planes worry US law enforcement ! - 5/27/2005 5:54:08 PM   
SiliconFreak


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The U.S. Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation late on Thursday outlined the potential dangers associated with allowing cell phone use during plane flights, as the  Federal Communications Commission has proposed if safety issues can be resolved.

The Federal Aviation Administration would also have to approve any rule change.

At present personal cell phones and other communication devices must be switched off at takeoff, landing and for the duration of commercial flights because it could potentially interfere with the operation of the plane.

While some have told the FCC they worry about an increase in loud, irritating chatter on flights, law enforcement officials were focused on preventing a possible attack.

"The uniqueness of service to and from an aircraft in flight presents the possibility that terrorists and other criminals could use air-to-ground communications systems to coordinate an attack," they said in comments to the FCC.

During Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, passengers and crew on the hijacked planes used cell phones as well as phones embedded in the seats to call for help and talk to loved ones.

If the cell phone ban were lifted, law enforcement authorities worry an attacker could use the device to coordinate with accomplices on the ground, on another flight or seated elsewhere on the same plane.

If wireless phones are to be allowed in-flight, the law enforcement agencies urged that users be required to register their location on a plane before placing a call and that officials have fast access to call identification data.

"There is a short window of opportunity in which action can be taken to thwart a suicidal terrorist hijacking or remedy other crisis situations on board an aircraft," the agencies said in the comments.

The security officials also worried that personal phone use could increase the risk of a remotely-controlled bomb being used to bring down an airliner. But they acknowledged simple radio-controlled explosive devices have been used in the past on planes and the first line of defense was security checks at airports.

Still, "the departments believe that the new possibilities generated by airborne passenger connectivity must be recognized," they said.

MORE AIR RAGE?
In other filings with FCC, several flight attendants worried that allowing cell phones to be used on planes could make their jobs harder during an emergency and lead to further cases of air rage by passengers.

"The introduction of cell phone use in the cabin will not only increase tension among passengers, it will compromise flight attendants' ability to maintain order in an emergency," said American Airlines flight attendant Joyce Berngard.

The possibility of air rage incidents also raised concerns among law enforcement who feared that it could complicate the job of armed air marshals disguised as passengers who are deployed on thousands of U.S. airline flights each week.

"The first and overriding priority of federal law enforcement on board aircraft is to ensure the safety of the aircraft and the flight," the law enforcement officials said.


Source : YahooNews
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RE: Cell phones on planes worry US law enforcement ! - 5/27/2005 6:31:49 PM   
MP3Mogul


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Joined: 4/11/2002
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Oh lord, Big Brother on the move again.  Did the Fed Govt forget that it didn't know two of the planes "WERE" hi-jacked until civilians called???




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(in reply to SiliconFreak)
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RE: Cell phones on planes worry US law enforcement ! - 5/28/2005 5:20:35 PM   
SiliconFreak


Posts: 12104
Joined: 7/4/2003
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
Status: offline
Sad, but 100% true...its exactly how it was...and if Osama didnt come to White House to have coffee with mr.President....even today they also wouldnt know who to blame for all that....

(in reply to MP3Mogul)
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