I was hoping that American Airlines would stand up against religious groups' stupid demands, keeping their in-flight online service completely un-filtered. After all, they had great arguments: filtering porn sites will jeopardize the access to legitimate web sites, hindering the usability of their airplane wireless network. Not to mention the fact that people wanting to look at naughty bits in airplanes can always watch the porn stored in their computers, cellphones, and personal multimedia players. The network filtering is not going to change that. Sadly, they now have changed their tune:
Since the launch of Gogo, American has not experienced any reported incidents of customers viewing inappropriate content via the Gogo service. However, we believe this is an appropriate measure to take.
If they have had no incidents-as expected, just as you don't hear of many people watching porn in their portable DVD players in a plane-, why give up? What happened to their technical arguments? Is the filtering going to limit web access to legitimate services or not? Most probably, American Airlines will avoid answering those questions. But besides that, are they going to regulate people looking at porn on their own devices too? What about reading Playboy? Are they going to ban Playboy from flights? And are they going to filter Gizmodo because we post NSFW topless girls covered in oil playing Wii Sports once in a while? Of course, logical questions like these will probably find no answers from American Airlines either. Religious groups like Focus on the Family, on the other side, would probably love to answer them with axes, pitchforks, and torches. Another sad day in the history of a country that has defended personal freedom and responsibility as a core value since its very beginning. [Sky talk]