September 10, 2008

The Great National Terror Of Pornography Continues

Once again, our great national fear of pornography manifests itself. That guy sitting ahead of you who paid good money to use wi-fi provided on board an airplane might surf a porn site.

Forgive me if I seem blasé about this. Somehow, we’re able to get on board airplanes without unreasonable fears that our fellow passengers will be reading pornographic magazines, which have existed for decades. Or, even if they do, they are discreet about what they are reading. Why should we assume that onboard internet users would be any different?

Besides, think about this. If there had been airplane wifi on 9/11, the passengers could have used twitter or e-mail or other ways to communicate with the outside world about what was happening and maybe have prevented or mitigated the tragedy.

Still, in response to the threat of seeing peoples' hoo-hoo dillies and vajayjays, now the flight attendants will have the power to monitor your in-flight internet use for "inappropriate" sorts of sites you might be viewing. Which is an issue for people like me, because when I'm traveling for work, I may well be working on something that is privileged. Granted, at a glance you should be able to tell if its porno or not, but all the same I have a responsibility to control who sees and has access to my work.

Of course, if you absolutely must look at porno on the web while in flight, I suggest you adopt a reasonable strategy for keeping your viewing habits private. One suggestion follows:

(Photo from geekologie.)

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