While interference has long been the official explanation for why cellphones have been off-limits on airplanes, that hasn't stopped folks from speculating about other possible motivations behind the ban, with the latest bit of rumination on the subject coming to us from Mike Elgan of Computerworld. According to Elgan, one of the "real reasons" cellphones aren't allowed on flights is because of the airlines' fear of crowd control problems should phones be permitted, including the possibility that disputes could erupt among passengers as a result of rude behavior (a pretty safe bet). He also suggests that the airlines prefer to have passengers "ignorant" about problems on the ground during flights, although that issue doesn't seem to have stopped airlines from providing their own phones. Among other reasons, Elgan claims that the government wants to keep the ban in order to avoid the expense of having to test and certify every gadget for use on planes. Of course, there's also the possibility that cellphones on planes are just a really bad idea, but unfortunately we're not the ones that make these decisions.

[Via Slashdot]

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Cellphones on planes banned for crowd control issues?