By Aliya Sternstein
Aug. 22, 2006
A public interest group wants the Federal Aviation Administration to
disclose information on the agency's efforts to protect air safety data
from thieves, hackers and cyberterrorists.
Americans for Safer Air Travel (ASAT), a newly formed advocacy group for
passengers and air travel employees, filed a Freedom of Information Act
request for nonclassified information on steps the FAA has taken to
guard information technology systems. The systems of concern contain air
traffic control reports, radar analyses and other security-related data,
according to ASAT.
The request, which ASAT filed Aug. 16, also seeks records on the number
and frequency of attacks into those systems since Sept. 11, 2001.
After a data breach at the Department of Veterans Affairs and two laptop
PC thefts at the Transportation Department's Miami regional Office of
the Inspector General, ASAT is raising questions about the FAA's
policies on taking laptop computers away from secured FAA facilities.
As people who fly on airplanes, it struck us that travelers and even
airline employees should get an updated picture of FAA cybersecurity
precautions, ASAT spokesman Jared Leopold said. We didnt see anyone else
pressing for details right now, but it sure seemed timely.
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