Go Go gadget: Inflight Wi-Fi intercept!

Photo by Sam Buchanan

A prominent privacy activist has discovered a previously little-known filing with the Federal Communications Commission showing that GoGo, an in-flight Wi-Fi provider, has voluntarily done more to share user data with law enforcement than what is required. While GoGo and its competitors must follow the same wiretap provisions outlined in the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), Chris Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union recently found that GoGo takes its information volunteering further.
Soghoian tweeted a link to a July 2012 letter submitted from a GoGo attorney to the FCC, which states:
The Commission’s ATG [air-to-ground] rules do not require licensees to implement capabilities to support law enforcement beyond those outlined in CALEA. Nevertheless, GoGo worked with federal agencies to reach agreement regarding a set of additional capabilities to accommodate law enforcement interests. GoGo then implemented those functionalities into its system design.
GoGo’s willingness to go beyond the legal requirements of the CALEA is bolstered by its terms of service, which indicate that activating in-flight Wi-Fi authorizes GoGo to “disclose your Personal Information… if we believe in good faith that such disclosure is necessary” to “comply with relevant laws or to respond to subpoenas or warrants served on us” or to “protect or defend the rights, property, or safety of GoGo, you, other users, or third parties.”
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