Thursday, December 10, 2009

The unfriendly skies

USA Today:
A coalition of electronics manufacturers, phone service providers and consumer groups is trying to rally airline passengers this week to stop Congress from banning air-to-ground phone service.

The group says that airline passengers in the USA should have the option of using technology that's available to them to talk while flying just as passengers in 72 other countries can.

...Advocates of the ban, such as Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., say they want to protect fliers from the intrusion of phone calls in one of the last phone-free zones.

DeFazio, who introduced the ban last year before it was incorporated in the reauthorization bill, says passengers shouldn't be subjected to fellow passengers' noisy conversations.
Here's an idea: have airlines set their own rules about cell phones and then let consumers decide which airlines they want to fly. But perhaps that is less fun that running other people's lives, even though cell phone talking seems to meet with less than disastrous consequences in 72 other countries. Measures such as this proposed ban are nothing more than the death of liberty by a thousand paper cuts.

Update: Similar thoughts from Radney Balko.

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