I imagine "blocked" means that the flights in question are not displayed? Despite a user presumably uploading the metadata for the flight in question as part of their feed?
And thus, can't someone still see these flights with their directly-connected SDR device?
And thus, can't someone just start a new FR24 service that doesn't censor these data?
> There is a discussion on FAA meetings about encrypting the ADS-B signal. By angering the authorities, we will only speed up this process.
Holy hell, for real? At this point, there are vanishingly few laws with which I agree even in principle, but "if you are going to fly a 375-ton hunk of metal through the air, you need to clearly broadcast flight details in plain text" is a pretty damn reasonable one.
What possible justification can there be for targeting services like FR24?
And now imagine a website called numberplateradar24.com that aggregates the feeds from 1000s of number plates scanners around the country. Which means you can track an individuals car.... does this sound like an invasion of privacy. Where's the dividing line? I think it's totally reasonable that private planes are allowed to encrypt their identities. As long as their position is still trackable it doesn't matter if the general public don't know everything.
*On the other hand, the government using public funds to do this, combining the data with private information, and trying to keep the fact that they do this secret is wrong in my book.
The DMV records are not supposed to be available to anyone but the police. The ability to abuse that for crime is huge.
So it sounds like an illogical configuration on its face then.
...and no, I don't recognize a right to "privacy" that is so tentacular as to prohibit people from walking around with a camera, running some computer vision on it, and sharing the result with like-minded hobbyists doing the same thing.
Exactly. A lot of people seem to think they can have (and therefore expect) a world in which they can cover the eyes to make themselves invisible. Like little kids, they say "I have my hands on my eyes, you can't see me!". And when that fails for obvious reasons then, unlike kids, they want this magic to be enforced by law. "How dare you look at me? You're not allowed!".
I guess this has been tried before:
Why should governments and corps have all the fun? (Insert sousveillance/transparent society/David Brin rant here).
Are there any decent open source number plate recognition libraries yet?
This doesn't prevent you from seeing those aircraft via your own ADS-B receivers like directly-connected SDR devices, nor does it apply to any of the other flight tracking applications or services like PlanePlotter, FlightAware or PlaneFinder to which an aircraft owner would need to apply separately.
I can't say I disagree with FR24's position on this, seeing as though if they didn't offer it there would be a lot more pressure on the FAA and others to introduce an encrypted form of the ADS-B standard and because when ADS-B was introduced nobody foresaw consolidated services like FR24 which could provide not only an extraordinary level of crowdsourced data but also historical data.
This is a problem for air forces, which are are required to use ADS-B in certain areas but for obvious reasons don't want other countries to be able to see exactly when, where and how their aircraft fly. It's also an issue for private companies, where the ability to track the movement of corporate jets might give competitors extremely good intel on what a company's plans are based on where its execs are flying to and when.
This has only been compounded by the introduction of multilateration which allows for aircraft using only Mode-S and without ADS-B onboard or activated to be tracked with the same level of positional data.
Why? I obviously get why you have to tell all the relevant authorities and so on and so forth, but why do you have to tell your nosy neighbor where you went on holiday last weekend.
Or did you mean that the rule should only apply to "hunks of metal" 375 tonnes and over (which is pretty damn huge, given that an A330 has a maximum takeoff weight of around 230 tonnes)?
The reason is: planes are a life-threatening situation. You cannot live in a plane. They are a temporary place in which you must park your body during periods of extremely high risk.
If two planes crash, because: IT HAPPENS, then not having to decrypt the flight manifest to determine who was on the plane, is a mighty fine use of public force, i.e. law-making.
I care not a fig for someones' privacy, if it means life-saving activities have one less layer of human cruft attached to the process.
If you're coming to find my body on the side of the mountain because I was unfortunate enough to hitch a ride with my rich millionaire and his drunk pilot, please know exactly who I am, and how to contact my immediate family, in case of my demise.
Realistically speaking, the only traveling you can do with perfect privacy is that which you do without involving others. If you use a travel service your desire for privacy becomes an imposition on the free speech of others.
- The broadcast of your location data is analogous to a turn signal.
- The FR24 community is analogous to a group capturing data about use of turn signals at various intersections and aggregating them.
Both are perfectly reasonable analogies.
And yes, it's completely possible for people using only publicly-visible information to put together your entire turn signal history and make it searchable.
E.g. American Airlines AA1 recent flight history: http://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/aa1/
And here I was, thinking that HN crowd is so pro-privacy.