Logan Versus Continental: Yeah, Right, It's About Security

Logan Versus Continental: Yeah, Right, It's About Security.
Continental Airlines has been offering free WiFi in their President's
Clubs for quite a while now (a service that I take advantage off
whenever possible). Although, in truth, it's not actually free Wifi,
because access to the lounges is paid for (usually an annual fee to
Continental or a partner airline).
But Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) which operates Logan
International Airport in Boston has a problem with the free WiFi.
Massport has warned Continental that its antenna “presents an
unacceptable potential risk” to Logan's safety and security systems,
including its keycard access system and state police communications.
This one stinks on multiple levels.
For starters, if a WiFi antenna could harm keycard access systems and
police communication equipment then this would impact more than just
Logan Airport. Just about every major office building in just about
every major metropolis would be vulnerable too.
And if it were actually true, that somehow Logan was more vulnerable to
risks posed by WiFi, well, I'd have thought that Massport would address
those security vulnerabilities. After all, Continental aside, there's a
whole lot of WiFi traffic in the air coming from laptops, PDAs, and
more. I'd hate to think that the act of turning on my laptop would
suddenly render all airport keycard security useless.
But it gets better. Logan offers WiFi service itself, via a business
partner, for a mere $7.95 a day. And magically the paid WiFi does not
present those unacceptable security risks! I guess they must have done
something special to the WiFi equipment and signal for the paid service
to be so much safer than the free service.
And very generously, Massport has offered Continental an option of
using Logan's Wifi network at a “very reasonable rate structure”.
Yep, don't compete, and pay us a reasonable fee, and then we'll be so
much more secure! [Ben Forta's Blog]

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