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Phones on planes will report directly to the NSA

by on10 April 2014

Gogo goes too far

Gogo, the inflight Wi-Fi provider, may be doing more than the law requires when it comes to monitoring US passengers.

Wired is reporting that a Gogo rep has told the FCC Federal Communications Commission how the company voluntarily exceeded the requirements of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, by adding capabilities to its service at the request of law enforcement.

Peter Eckersley of the Electronic Frontier Foundation said that CALEA itself is a infringement on user’s rights, but having an ISP like Gogo saying that CALEA is not enough is scandalous. Gogo provides inflight Wi-Fi and digital entertainment to Delta, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, US Airways and others using a dedicated air-to-ground network that GoGo says it designed in consultation with law enforcement.

Gogo attorney Karis Hastings wrote that although FCC rules do not require licensees to do more than CALEA Gogo worked with federal agencies to reach agreement with the spooks. The company’s 2012 letter was an effort to convince the FCC that special rules were unnecessary for in-flight Wi-Fi providers because they already gave the spooks what they want.

A Gogo spokesman insisted the company only added a single capability beyond CALEA, and it has nothing to do with monitoring traffic.

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