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United Airlines Kills In-Flight Video Chat Over Terrorism Fears

United Kills In-Flight Video Chat Over Terrorism Fears
Wi-Fi has been available on planes for sometime now. In fact, on our way to this year's CES, in-flight Wi-Fi ruined what should have been a few hours dedicated to catching up on some reading and getting a little extra shut eye. Instead, Team Switched spent the better part of the six hour flight to Vegas blogging and hanging out in our team chat room...which might have landed us in hot water had we flown United Airlines.

Yesterday, tech journalist John Battelle was minding his own business, video chatting with his wife and children from 30-plus thousand feet in the air, when a flight attendant informed him that he must disconnect the video stream for security reasons. Battelle was informed that the camera posed a security risk since he could potentially communicate with a terrorist. Of course, Facebook, instant messaging and Twitter would also allow Battelle to theoretically communicate with a terrorist; which leads to the rather confounding next step in the sequence of events. Battelle was then shown the United Airlines policy manual "which prohibits 'two way devices' from communicating with the ground."

That means that video chat is against its policy, the Switched team chat is against the policy, and United Airline's own in-flight Wi-Fi service is against the policy.

Good job. [From: Searchblog]

Tags: airlines, in flight wifi, in-flight wifi, In-flightWifi, InFlightWifi, terrorism, top, United Airlines, UnitedAirlines, video chat, VideoChat