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Porn on a plane: Flight attendants fret over inappropriate Web surfing

Bloomberg is reporting that American Airlines flight attendants are concerned that they and passengers might be exposed to some uncouth surfing habits of users of American's in-flight WiFi service, Gogo.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
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David Carnoy
2 min read

I recently wrote a column about using American Airlines' new in-flight Wi-Fi service to blog at 37,000 feet. I did a couple of speed tests and ran some Hulu video, but the one thing I never thought of doing is pulling up a porn site.

Now, Bloomberg is reporting that American's flight attendants are concerned about just that--that too many passengers will try to get their mile-high Web porn fixes.

It's unclear whether those worries stem from a specific incident or incidents, but it appears both passengers and flight attendants raised some red flags and the leaders of the American Association of Flight Attendants brought it up with American Airlines' management. They urged the company "to filter its in-flight Internet service to block access to pornography and other Web sites the workers said were inappropriate."

No mile-high Web porn fix for me. John Falcone/CNET Networks

Personally, I get a little embarrassed when even a semi-nude scene flashes on the screen of my iPod or portable DVD player while I'm watching a movie on a plane (we're talking R-rated here). If there are any younger fliers around I'll do my best to shield the screen or jump ahead a chapter. But people do some crazy stuff on planes, so it wouldn't totally surprise me to hear about a passenger casually perusing some porn sites and thinking nothing of it. There are people out there who think, "I bought this seat, I can act or smell as badly as I want in it."

Moral majority aside, I can see where the flight attendants are coming from. They're the ones who have to deal with passengers' complaints and will be forced to regulate what people are looking at. Better to nip it in the bud and block sites like they do at a lot of workplaces. But the problem is there's some subjectivity when it comes to what's offensive or not. Just ask Janet Jackson.

Anybody have any solutions? Or good stories about people watching sketchy material on a plane you were on? Let us know in the Talkback section.