A passenger aboard a plane at Los Angeles International Airport picked up a Wi-Fi hot spot named after a terrorist group. Authorities held travelers for hours as they investigated and then said no crime was committed. So, no harm-no foul, right? Wrong!
According to The Los Angeles Times, "The passenger on the American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to London alerted crew members about the network Sunday night, and the plane returned to the gate.
KABC-TV reported Monday that the hot spot was called “Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork” and that passengers were kept onboard for several hours amid the investigation. Los Angeles airport police said Monday that “no crime was committed and no further action will be taken.” Federal authorities who took over the investigation had nothing add Monday morning. An American Airlines spokesman says the flight was rescheduled for 1 p.m. Monday."
Why is this news? Well, there are a couple of important reasons. First, mixing a flight with a Wi-FI Hot spot named after a terrorist group is cause for a concern. But he fact that the entire passenger list was held during an investigation without a crime being committed begs the question of is the DHS being too strict and violating the very same freedoms they are supposed to be protecting? Additionally, why the entire passenger list? Couldn't the passenger who logged onto the HotSpot been left as the one being investigated? What if he didn't know the phrase was a link to a terrorist group? Was it even linked to a real terrorist group or someone being "funny" in a distasteful manner?
My point for all of this is that the DHS has to mix policy and procedure with common sense. We should protect people while respecting their rights. What are your thoughts on this latest Homeland Security news? Let's talk on Twitter. I hope you can join me for an open and honest conversation.
Twyla N. Garrett