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Aircraft bombs may kill off in-flight cellphone and Wi-Fi use

By Emil ยท 52 replies
Nov 3, 2010
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  1. Both the UK government and the US Department of Homeland Security are looking into the technology behind in-flight cellphone and Wi-Fi connections to determine whether it could be used in conjunction with bomb trigger mechanisms, according to New Scientist. It's possible they will conclude that cellphones and Wi-Fi connections are no longer allowed on planes.

    Read the whole story
  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,301   +1,752

    They need to carefully check what they actually put in those planes instead of trying to figure out how to defuse the bombs.
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,094   +1,545

    Cell phones are commonly used to detonate IDE's in Iraq and Afghanistan, so it doesn't surprise me they'd look at them as a potential triggers in aircraft bombings.

    To be honest, I don't see this as that big of an inconvenience. If you can still use your laptop - just not the wifi - well, that still gives you plenty to work with.

    And frankly, I'd rather not take the chance of being blowing into a billion bits over the Atlantic from the usage of wifi, thank ya very much. Just not that big of a deal...
  4. bangs777

    bangs777 TS Member Posts: 30

    6-7 hrs of flying,or say 12hr of LIVING without cellphone or laptop is definitely a much better choice than death..threats should be neutralize and as well as chances to it..
  5. blimp01

    blimp01 TS Enthusiast Posts: 144

    if it stops terrorists ill be happy
  6. customcarvin

    customcarvin TS Enthusiast Posts: 102   +8

    *Ring* *Ring*
    "Umm, Hello? Bomb? Ya, hi, it's Dr. Doom, I think we shall execute operation "boom boom" now... okay, good... yes... it was nice knowing you too, take care now."
  7. omega00

    omega00 TS Enthusiast Posts: 38

    I wonder if you could install a cell phone jammer on airplanes. Perhaps, airlines should jam all cell phone frequencies, except for emergency situations on-board or at least limit calls to 10 minutes.. up to the discretion of the flight crew. I'd rather be safe on an airplane than having to worry about updating facebook or tweeting about the crying baby two rows down.
  8. Hargert

    Hargert TS Rookie

    I doubt this would effect safety at all as a simple timer or pressure switch could time a explosive all most as well. With all of the threats to safety I doubt that this is the one that will happen. It will be the one that no one thinks of.
  9. mpribe

    mpribe TS Enthusiast Posts: 31

    Not very optimistic on this one. If we can't bring water bottles or hygenic products through security, there seems to be no way they would allow us to use such wireless devices on a plane. On the upside, we won't have to listen to jerks yap on their cellphones for a 4 hour flight.

    Maybe instead of wifi, select airlines will be able to install data (ethernet) ports at every seat? Or charge a premium for seats that are so connected?
  10. Richy2k9

    Richy2k9 TS Enthusiast Posts: 513

    hello ...

    as time goes by, threats are more & more adapted to actual technology, what will happen one day, some sci-fi based movies would become true, just because someone would give some innocent human something to drink & without any complex mechanic, just by having that person think or dream of something would blow off.

    brrr, i'm scared of what i can think of sometimes ... let's hope that there will always better counter-measures found for any threats & let's have real life Jack Bauers' :p

  11. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,441   +434

    Yah, I'm thinking this is going to be another flailing the arms around and screaming "the sky is falling!" situation again, just like every other time some potential terrorist threat is discovered. You know, like the shoe bomber - 1 yahoo gets through with explosive Adidas, and now we all get to take off our shoes going through security. Good times :)

    This will be no different. Let the terrorists win, cut off all in-flight cell phone and wi-fi, and then wonder why an attack still happened when a suicide bomber sitting IN THE PLANE used his laptop's local wi-fi to connect ad-hoc, or something similar. I mean, let's go overboard and completely ignore the fact that the bombs in question (leading to all this speculation) were on cargo planes, which have a whole slew of security issues upstream of them, and don't have passengers, in-flight cell phones, or wi-fi. Seems logical that a terrorist would rather blow something up when it can do major collateral damage (like when it's sitting at a terminal at an airport), not when it's way up in the air. In which case in-flight signals don't matter at all. But, of course, logic and common sense are never the strong suit for government agencies.
  12. By focusing on what could trigger a bomb, doesn't that take away from the amount of people and overall effort of physical airport and airplane security?

    Maybe instead of limiting the freedoms of 99.999% of flyers, government officials should focus on preventing such devices from ever being loaded onto a plane. You can't trigger a bomb on a plane if the device never got there.

    To me, this is just another way to stray from the actual problem and waste limited resources. Security officials need to stop worrying about these what if's and focus on the core problem: Bombs on planes. What do we [security officials] need to do to ensure this cannot happen. Not "Well, if they DO somehow succeed on getting a bomb on a plane, what if instead of suicide bombing, they decide to make a phone call or send a signal across the internet to the device."

    Work on solving the core problem, not spin-off's of it.
  13. In another 5 years airport security will be :-

    No laptops or anything over 1 kg, it might be used to bludgeon

    Oh dont forget belts, they can be used to strangle, as well as shoe laces

    What about fists, they might punch you, you will have to keep your hands open at all times, unless your a karate expert then you have to keep your hands in your pockets

    Look guys, no one is out to kill you, your a million times more likely to die crossing the road, from a disease (not bio terror) or a billion more times from a heart attack from all the shite your shoveling down your necks. How can you be scared of terrorists, just look at your belly, is it sticking out a fair way? If yes you should be much more afraid of that than an "unknown enemy".

    Get to the GYM fatties!

  14. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 846   +38

    The best way to stop terrorists...no carry-ons, cavity searches of all passengers, everyone boards naked and are strapped to their seats ("your chair may also be used as a toilet"). There, problem solved...thank God I never fly anywhere, lol.
  15. bioflex

    bioflex TS Enthusiast Posts: 72

    well in as much as i want to argue with u, i cant agree more......when we often here things like these we ask ourselves ....Where is this world headed to?......
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    Thems fightin' words........
    Using a cellphone anywhere, seems to have acquired the status of, "an inalienable right bestowed upon us by our creator"! Point being, don't let the average iPhone owner hear you say that...:rolleyes:

    You check, it's probably in the constitution somewhere.....BTW, don't take any fives if Lincoln is on a cell phone.

    That was a rhetorical question, I hope?
    Really, although I think all but the lowest budget airlines would supply chamber pots.....:haha:
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    Why go to such lengths when a simple solution would be to just "jam" the WIFI and wireless phone network signals.

    You prevent anything from leaving the plane, or entering it and your sorted. Preventing it from working inside the plane would also stop anything being detonated locally by radio/wireless too.

    Problem solved, time saved, and lives get to grow old. :D
  18. vangrat

    vangrat TS Rookie Posts: 223

    To all of these people who go about saying "I would rather the government take away my freedoms, than for me to live in fear." That is what the people of Nazi Germany told themselves, that is what the people of every communist society have told themselves, that is what the people of every fascist dictator and upright king from the middle ages told themselves. Do you see what I am getting at here? Yes bad people do bad things. But, why is it, that good people are being punished for these bad people doing bad things?

    The next thing you know, they are going to want to strip search everyone as they go through the airports before getting on the planes...oh wait, they have technology that can do that now...ffs.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    Aw...daddy Adolf won't let you use your widdle cell phone....?
    Well that's because if you're not allowed to use your God damned cell phone, you cry that you're being punished. Why don't you climb on a plane with a bomb in it, and run your yap all you want. Hey, then you can come back and tell us all about how your flight was. It will be fun! BTW, the people on Flight 93 were using their phones when that hit,.
  20. kazarm

    kazarm TS Rookie Posts: 29

    You cannot stop remote control by banding mobile phones.

    If the terrorist wanted to activate a bomb by remote control. They could just as well have used a normal radio (VHF/UHF/Walkie talkie), and then let someone trigger the radio from the ground at the arrival site.

    The problem is cargo do not undergo the same security scan as passenger luggage, when it is transported with a passenger plane.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    Yeah well you can certainly shut down that aspect of it, now can't you?

    And I thought that "banding" was something that you did to carrier pigeons.

    You seem to know a lot about this :suspiciou
  22. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,116   +13

    IMO this is crazy no phone on a plane who the hell would leave there phone with no way of contacting anyone at all for say a 5 day vacation away from there kids. The world is becoming ridiculous with all the bs that is going on lets ban all freedoms on a plane no getting up during flight no matter what you have to use the bathroom to bad set down. All the Flight attendants need to be Air marshals who rule with an iron fist. This is what is going to happen if something is not done about all the crap that is going on in our country right now. We set back and watch all this happen but don't stand up to do anything about it.
  23. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    It could be worse, you could be stripped naked, and then chained inside a padlocked cage... ;)
  24. Hargert

    Hargert TS Rookie

    That or just kept asleep during the flight via drugs and shipped in pods that can be blown off of the plane if you are still a threat.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    Well. I guess you're just going to have to wait for my book. I'm dedicating a special chapter on what to do with yourself if, "you're stuck on a deserted island with no phone, no internet, and only a picture of Christine O'Donnell for company"!

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