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This week in cell phones

FBI and Department of Homeland Security object to a proposal to permit the use of cell phones and other wireless devices on airplanes.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are objecting to a proposal to permit the use of cell phones and other wireless devices on airplanes.

Unless telecommunications providers follow a lengthy list of eavesdropping requirements for calls made aloft, the FBI and Homeland Security don't want cellular or wireless connections to be permitted.

At the moment, technical and social reasons keep cell phones muted during flight: Few passengers relish the prospect of sharing a row of seats with a yappy fellow traveler. Also, concerns about overwhelmed cellular towers and interference with avionics systems have resulted in the current prohibitions.

As it appears likely that cell phones will become a fixture in airplanes, CNET has prepared a FAQ to clear up confusion on when the rules will be relaxed, the technology that will make it happen and why there's a ban in the first place.

Cell phone users also seem to be a little confused about cell phone viruses. Network security experts F-Secure say there's a relatively simple reason why even the savviest cell phone owners are falling prey to a new virus.

Phone owners are duped because the virus, known as Commwarrior, is attached to premium cell phone e-mail known as MMS, which makes incoming e-mail look as if it was sent by someone the victim knows. F-Secure's findings come on the heels of a survey of 300 American adults by security company Symantec in which 73 percent said they know cell phones are virus targets.