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posted by Woods on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-could-put-an-eye-out-with-that-thing dept.

The FBI has announced that they are expanding their campaign nationwide aimed at deterring people from pointing lasers at aircraft-by rewarding those who provide information about individuals who engage in this dangerous crime and aggressively prosecuting the perpetrators. A key part of the publicity campaign is reward money. The FBI will offer up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any individual who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft. "We want to encourage people to come forward when they see someone committing this crime, which could have terrible consequences for pilots and their passengers," says George Johnson.

Since the FBI and the FAA began tracking laser strikes in 2005, there has been more than a 1,100 percent increase in the number of incidents with these devices, which can be purchased in stores or online for as little as a few dollars. Last year, 3,960 laser strikes against aircraft were reported. It is estimated that thousands of attacks go unreported every year. In March a 26-year-old California man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter and a hospital emergency transport helicopter. The man and his girlfriend were using a device that was 13 times more powerful than the permissible power emission level for handheld lasers. The girlfriend was also convicted and recently sentenced to a two-year prison term.

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  • (Score: 2) by WillAdams on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:02PM

    by WillAdams (1424) on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:02PM (#51762)

    Could one monetize this be creating a laser detection / point-of-origin finding system?

    How much would it cost to build a detection system near an airport?

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pert.boioioing on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:14PM

    by pert.boioioing (1117) on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:14PM (#51770)

    Something like this, perhaps? [] Not sure how practical this would be with commercial airplanes flying at altitude, but the video is still interesting.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:41PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:41PM (#51811) Journal

      That incident took a police helicopter, pilot and observer, several squad cars, and a dispatcher. Probably not cost effective.

      If the FBI offered 10K to any police force that arrested a laser jocky, you could pay for several of these operations per week. (Almost all police choppers are equipped with FLIR already.)

      Getting a citizen to report some gang banger with a laser is going to be a tough sell, as his buddies will surly seek revenge.

      Unfortunately, it will probably take a crashed airliner for this stupidity to stop. That has never happened (Yet)

      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:57PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:57PM (#51816)

        Are you implying that CNN hasn't reported yet how MH370 disappeared from being melted by a laser pointer?

        • (Score: 1) by Hawkwind on Thursday June 05 2014, @09:41PM

          by Hawkwind (3531) on Thursday June 05 2014, @09:41PM (#51920)

          I believe there are a couple of Aussies who saw this happen but they admit it might've been a meteorite. They're placing the odds of it being MH370 at about 20%.

  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:17PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:17PM (#51771)

    To make it really profitable, you have to find some way of duping people into shining laser pointers at aircraft, so that you can then collect $10k each for reporting them.

    This makes me with I had a super-power: mind control. I could have a lot of fun with this. I'd get a video camera, and use my mind-control power to make the executives of Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Best Buy, GoDaddy, Microsoft, Apple, and GM shine laser pointers at aircraft while I record them for evidence. I could do the same with many politicians, including my state governor, infamous for BridgeGate. Then I could not only profit handsomely, but society would be bettered by having these people imprisoned.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @03:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @03:13AM (#52506)

      Ooh! Sony and Comcast! PLEASE don't forget them!

  • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:48PM

    by mhajicek (51) on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:48PM (#51839)

    Stick a couple corner cubes on the planes, so the laserer lases himself.

    The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek