[hackerspaces] N.J. Assembly advances bill prohibiting sale of lasers used to point at airplanes

B F bakmthiscl at gmail.com
Wed Sep 26 01:54:47 CEST 2012

Pipe dream:
Put a mass of corner cube reflectors on the rearmost point of an
aircraft.  Laser reflects brightly from CCR's, so the ijits who shine
lasers at planes get their greatest thrill if it does NOT point at the
Now, if they use a bright enough laser, they themselves might be
illuminated by the reflections of their own laser, making enforcement
easy.  At very least, it would reflect brightly in the area
surrounding the ijit, possibly alerting the police.
Like I said, a pipe dream.  But wouldn't it be neat to hoist these
ijits on their own petards?!

On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 6:59 PM, Martin Ling
<martin-hackerspaces at earth.li> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 09:47:14PM +0200, Georges Kesseler wrote:
>> What the hell????
>> A 5mW laser is inoffensive. even if you point it into your eye, and
>> mostly invisible at long range.  The lasers pointed at airplanes are
>> already illegal (100mW range).  So the bill won't change a thing,
>> except making all CD players illegal :-)
> A 5mW laser can in fact be quite offensive. The green 532nm types in
> particular are much worse than a red 670nm laser of the same power,
> because the human eye is far more sensitive to the green wavelength.
> The spot it makes may seem rather weak at long range but in the dark, if
> you are on the other end looking back it is very bright indeed. At night
> it's quite sufficient to dazzle from a few hundred feet away, leaving
> you blinking and trying to see where you're going for a few seconds.
> Which is exactly the range that fucktards keep firing the things into
> aircraft cockpits from - either near airports at airliners on final
> approach, or at helicopters operating low over populated areas. Both are
> of course the worst possible situations for the pilots to have to be
> dealing with the effects in.
> This is a very real problem that has been getting more and more common.
> I know several commercial pilots who are quite legitimately concerned
> about it. So you may disagree with this proposed measure, but at least
> understand where the pressure for it is coming from.
> While I agree that restrictions on sale won't eliminate the problem, I
> can see why people think that it would help. Quite a number of idiots
> have now been caught & prosecuted for aiming lasers at aircraft, and
> routinely it's found that the pointer is a cheap one bought for an
> easy laugh. These are lazy assholes doing this, not ingenious hackers.
> In most cases, I doubt they'd bother if they couldn't just buy a cheap
> pointer with excessive-but-not-extreme power off the shelf.
> So there is going to be pressure to write laws like this. Probably many
> of them will be passed. They may even help with the problem they're
> aimed at. Let's be constructive, and identify how we can avoid them
> having other unintended consequences.
> Talking about "making CD players illegal" isn't helpful. If you actually
> read the wording of the current bill you would see that a CD player
> would be excluded from the definition in it, as would any other product
> which doesn't have a beam coming out of it.
> We need to list the legitimate uses and products that would actually be
> restricted by this bill, and bring them to the attention of those
> sponsoring it. The idea of using a pointable laser for anything other
> than waving at a screen in a presentation probably simply hasn't occured
> to them. Educate them.
> Martin
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