So Much For In-Flight Wifi (and Snowden/Pulitzer)

Guardian and Washington Post win a Pulitzer — the “gold medal” Public Service prize, the most prestigious of the 22-odd prizes awarded annually — for their coverage of the Snowden files.

Speaking of Snowden revelations. Remember Glenn Greenwald’s 30C3 keynote? [1]

The one where he said airline in-flight wi-fi was the last, un-cracked-by-the-NSA bastion of privacy?

The last place you could go to indulge yourself watching people play with balloons on video… and not have it added to your Ft. Meade personality profile?

Sorry to, ah, pop your balloon, but nope. Turns out the NSA leaks by no means cover the US gubmint’s full capabilities. Their tentacles do indeed reach to the seatbacks-and-traytables world.

In fact, as you’re sitting there surfing away, ensconced in the loving embrace of a hard plastic window on one side and a belching fat man on the other… the Feds have a BETTER ability to watch you than they do normally.

That’s the conclusion one could draw from this article which made the rounds a while back and which I’ve been meaning to cover. In a nutshell, in-flight wifi firm Gogo has built in “law enforcement” spying capabilities that go BEYOND what is required by law.

And, the firm has made it clear they’re willing to bend over like a TSA checkpoint victim when it comes to all branches of the government.


Snowden’s stuff is great for giving you a “general sense” of what the spies can do… but it should NOT, I repeat NOT, be used as a be-all end-all reference for mapping out your defenses against their spying.


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