American Airlines Caves In to Religious Groups' Pressure, Filters In-Flight Porn

Illustration for article titled American Airlines Caves In to Religious Groups' Pressure, Filters In-Flight Porn

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]



Having Internet access on a plane makes it a lot easier to access porn. Most consumers of porn don't schedule their port fetish ahead of time, so they won't necessarily think to pre-load their laptop before hopping on board. But if it happens to pop up while browsing it's an easy reminder that it's there and easily accessible.

Not only do I not want any kids subjected to this stuff, I don't want to be either. If someone is sitting an isle seat, everything they are doing on their laptop is visible to a whole lot of passengers. This is a welcome change in my book.