Porn Air

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4 Responses

  1. antony says:

    The issue is not completely hypothetical: what if your seat neighbour on a flight “reads” playboy-magazine because it was distrubted by the airline? This happens on flights of Air Berlin in Germany, see (NSFW) for instance on this blog.

  2. Jay Levitt says:

    “There is, of course, technically no First Amendment issue here (assuming flight attendants are not required to monitor usage pursuant to some government mandate).”

    But what about the law that requires me to comply with the instructions of a flight attendant? Doesn’t that bring the government in somehow?

  3. Miriam Cherry says:

    Hi, Tim,

    Glad to see you back! Provocative post (pun intended).

    I spend a lot of time in coffeehouses, and have yet to run across this, but I assume that if someone was viewing porn on their laptop, the management would have the right to exclude the offending patron. There’s no obligation in public accomodations law, or otherwise, to have to put up with someone who is being offensive or otherwise a bore.

    One assumes this is the same issue in the air, except that in the air it’s kinda hard to exclude someone (except if the passenger also happens to be a parachustist or, say, DB Cooper). Technology might work for this situation better than flight attendant monitoring, but any technological solution like this is going to be expensive… not something airlines are likely to do in this climate of high fuel prices.

    And the same issue arises in more low tech settings.

    Everyone talks about public transportation as being such a great thing for the environment, etc. But many women (myself at times included) try to avoid these settings because of the potential for harassment.

    Responding to Jay, I don’t see a government actor here. Unless the government is telling me that I need to eat the peanuts and not get into air rage about it.

  4. Tim Zick says:

    Sorry for the late replies. Thanks, Miriam. I agree that we don’t have a First Amendment issue yet — although some are urging appropriate agencies to get involved.

    Antony — I can imagine that there have been instances of passengers “reading” sexually explicit magazines, although I have never personally witnesseded it or seen much in the way of reporting on this sort of conduct. In other contexts, computers and other technologies seem to give users the (false) impression that they are in a “bubble” when they are viewing, talking, etc. And if they think they are being discrete, users may engage in this activity on a more frequent basis.