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Skype, Porn May Not Fly In Friendly Skies

Illustration for article titled Skype, Porn May Not Fly In Friendly Skies

The good news is, all you guys who have been dreading the use of internet calling on airplanes may be in luck, because airlines and airborne service providers alike are considering a ban on Skype. The bad news is, they're also considering a ban on that age-old lonely traveler's companion, porn, says the AP. Here's a list of soon-to-be-Wi-Fi'd airlines and what services they plan to ban:

American Airlines and Alaskan Airlines are saying ix-nay to Ype-Skay, but say there's no plan to lock out the nudie sites. The head of Aircell, which is wiring up these planes, cited a likelihood that "decency and good sense and normal behavior" will guide people's surfing decisions.


Virgin America is considering a Skype ban. Virgin's director of in-flight entertainment cited concerns about passengers "yapping away or playing on a boom box." (Boom box? WTF?) Virgin will give parents the opportunity to control their kids net access, and may limit large downloads.

Australia's Qantas Airways is testing high-speed net access by Panasonic Avionics Corp., which plans to block sites from "an objectionable list," including sites that feature porn or violence. (Note to grammar nuts: we're pretty sure they mean the sites are objectionable, not the list itself.) They may block Skype calls on the PC, but not on Wi-Fi handsets, which demand less bandwidth. Panasonic says that airlines could block incoming calls—and annoying ringtones.


Air France is going to wait and see about its OnAir system for cellphone calls, setting up rules only after complaints start coming in. How laissez-faire!

The AP story also raises an important legal question: If you hack a website or engage in some RIAA-hatin' file swapping on a flight between New York and Nova Scotia, which country's laws apply? [AP; source image]

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Maciek -

I believe it's the rules of the operating carrier's country of origin apply. The reason I'm saying this is because I work for a foreign carrier (with a bunch of stupid rules). Whenever we had drunk passengers being disruptive on the flight (rude or abusive to f/a crew) the airline never pressed charges against any of them. In Poland when you call a flight member a "cu..t" it's considered a petty crime and as such courts don't do a crap about it. In the US you could sue the ass that offended you and win. However when incidents involved something related to the security of the flight..jerks were arrested upon the arrival in the US and had to go to court but it was still up to the airline to press the charges.