Earlier this week the FBI denied air travel to Chris Roberts due to his sarcastic tweets about United Airlines’ security system on board. Now, for the second time in a row, Roberts has been denied air travel via United.
Apparently, United Airline isn’t very keen on letting Chris Roberts travel on their planes. Roberts, acclaimed computer security expert, was denied travel from a United Airlines flight by the FBI earlier this week and yet again the same has happened.
The somewhat sarcastic tweet from Roberts about messing with the airlines’ in-flight security systems definitely has landed him in unexpected trouble.
In his tweet Roberts joked: “Find myself on a 737/800, lets see Box-IFE-ICE-SATCOM, ? Shall we start playing with EICAS messages? “PASS OXYGEN ON” Anyone ? :)”
Actually, Roberts was relishing his finding that he can hack into the airlines’ in-flight communication systems and can even make oxygen masks appear.
Neither the FBI nor United commented on this report but Roberts’ new attorneys at the Electronic Frontier Foundation did publicly confirm the news. They acknowledged their client was denied the right to travel despite having cleared the TSA checks and possessing a boarding pass.
Andrew Crocker from EFF stated: “Roberts was told to expect a letter explaining the reasons for not being allowed to travel on United. He was flying from Colorado to SFO. United has already said that they would provide a refund.”
Reportedly, Roberts was scheduled to make a speech at the RSA Conference. When he was removed from the United plane, he securely boarded Southwest Airlines flight to attend the conference.
According to his lawyers, Roberts still hasn’t received his laptop and other electronic devices, which were returned to him by the FBI post the first removal incident.
Roberts, however, admitted that while tweeting, he was “probably a little more blunt” than he “should have been.”
This latest incident has been described by EFF as “disappointing and confusing.” The firm further added: “As a member of the security research community, his job is to identify vulnerabilities in networks so that they can be fixed.”
A GAO report published this Tuesday also backed the findings of Roberts and another security expert, who was also mentioned in the Fox News report.