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Anti-hijacking nanny

Use word-recognition technology?
  [vote for,

Install "nanny" microphones and circuitry in area accessing pilots and in the pilot section itself, to covertly pre-detect suspect hijacking vocabulary/languages and warn accordingly.

Conceivably all conversations in planes could be monitored in this way.

A repulsive thought, but we may have to accept such measures.

rayfo, Oct 12 2001


       if there's one hijacker, he won't be having a conversation

if there's 2 they can communicate other ways

if there's none, then you'll be violating privacy

actually, if there's 100, you'll still be violating privacy

quarterbaker, Oct 12 2001

       "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.   

       If it exists, it will be used. Why should I, who have done nothing illegal, be watched constantly?
StarChaser, Oct 14 2001

       I see no contradiction in sacrificing our rights and freedom to protect our rights and freedom.
pottedstu, Oct 14 2001

       Then you wouldn't mind if I amputated your right arm to keep you from cutting your fingers?   

       If you sacrifice something, you no longer have it. How is that protecting it?
StarChaser, Oct 14 2001

       'Law is a collection of social bargains. We trade our freedom to enter the homes of other people for the right to deny unwanted intruders access to our homes. We trade our freedom to murder anyone we wish for the assurance that we ourselves will not be murdered. ' (Stephen William Rimmer)
angel, Oct 15 2001

       [angel]: But I don't want to eavesdrop anyone else's conversations, so why should they be allowed to eavesdrop mine?
pottedstu, Oct 15 2001

       Would you want someone to eavesdrop *that* guy's conversation if it would stop him from blowing up an aircraft? (Imagine for the moment that you're *on* the aircraft.) I don't want to look in the security guard's case, but I'm way happy for him to look in mine, and anyone else's.
angel, Oct 15 2001

       StarChaser, I presume you are paraphrasing Steven A Costello, of Lake Jackson, Texas, with your Franklin quote? (Time magazine, Letters Oct 15)
A Farrago Of Calumnies, Oct 15 2001

       I strongly encourage anyone who wishes to oppose ideas like this to avoid ideological arguments. That leads to endless debate. [see the discussion on the "ID Cards" thread]

Instead, focus on the purely pragmatic: will the proposal achieve its stated goal.

As I mentioned in my first post, this won't work if there is a single hijacker, or if they're not communicating verbally {good planning before boarding would eliminate the need to communicate much before the "go" signal}.

If the plane is already in flight, then who is listening to all of those conversations?

If you want to use "key word" or "key phrase" recognition systems, their efficiency and effectiveness is already on display in the form of net nanny software. Check them out. See if you're happy with the results. In short, they don't work. Add to that the complexity of multilingual passengers. Oh, add to that the possibility of using code words. Then add to that the likelihood that lots of folks on airplanes are going to talk in the hypothetical sense about what might happen, expressing their fears.

Then, add in the complexity of using voice-recognition software that hasn't been "trained" to each individual speaker.

Oh, there's also the problem of all the background noise. An airplane is a very noisy place. In my experience, I can't hear what the people in the seats in front or behind me, or across the aisle, are saying at all.

OK, so these are just minor technical difficulties to be worked out, right?

Let's assume that everything works as planned, and all conversations on every airplane everywhere in the world are monitored/recorded/analyzed in real time.

You will still have the threat of the lone hijacker, who will not be conversing with anyone about his plans.

You've increased the pressure on groups to develop non-verbal communication (ASL?, private code).

One last argument: cost. All expenses of this magnituted have to be weighed against their benefit. If you look at the risk potential (always based on experience), and the cost, you're asking for literally billions of dollars to be spent to prevent something that may never happen again anyway. "But if one human life is saved, it is worth the cost." You know that's not true. Insurance underwriters everywhere know that's not true.

I'm tired of this. Get your head out of your ass, stop your knees from jerking.

The world is a dangerous place. Many risks are unpredictable.

Extend your fear to the more realistic risks, and worry about making cars safer, design flame-retardant building materials, invest in renewable energy.

Stop making quixotic charges at illusory windmills.
quarterbaker, Oct 15 2001

       Farrago; no, I'm quoting Benjamin Franklin.   

       Quarterbaker, this IS an ideological debate. Someone wants to restrict and infringe on my freedom because it MIGHT stop something happening in the future. And as you yourself pointed out, it won't even work.
StarChaser, Oct 15 2001


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