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Air traffic controller who leaked Air Force One flight info suspended for 3 months

15 Comments

An air traffic controller who leaked classified Air Force One flight plans of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo last year on his personal blog, was suspended Friday for three months by the transport ministry.

The incident came to light amid a worldwide travel alert issued by the United States ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The transport ministry said the 56-year-old controller obtained the flight plans -- detailing scheduled routes, transit times, and flight altitude -- from computer screen shots he obtained while working at Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

The controller also disclosed data on the U.S. surveillance jet Global Hawk, which has flown above the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant several times since the March 11 tsunami triggered Japan's nuclear crisis.

The controller has told investigators that he wanted his friends to see what he obtained, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper said.

Since the incident came to light, the transport ministry has imposed new restrictions on air traffic controllers. They are now forbidden from posting information about their work on blogs, and are not allowed to bring cameras and cell phones into the control tower.

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15 Comments
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under US directive/pressure, my guess.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well, he was an idiot, and got off lucky, in this security-conscious, privacy-tight world. He was showing off - he is 56, not 15.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But apparently not breaking any laws, and by the look of the Transport ministry response not breaking any work related restriction either.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Isn't the punishment a little too light? I assume under the present law, criminal charges coudn't be pressed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Suspended for 3 months, is that with or without pay?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Workers who get suspended for any amount of time tend to quit in shame in this safety island burg; I wonder if he'll quit or he stick it out. And the same question as O'Neill - paid or unpaid leave?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He got 停職3カ月の懲戒処分 (suspended for three months), there is no pay. 減給 (pay cut) is mentioned if there is any pay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm wondering as to why Global Hawk UAV positions were even given to the air traffic controllers in the first place? Isn't their air position at any given time regarded as Top Secret information by the US government?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm surprised the US government isn't trying to get a harsher punishment. If a US citizen did that they'd be fired and jailed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ astrogaijin A US citizen would probably be punished because he broke US law. However it seems this man did not break any Japanese law. That is probably why US isnt bleeting about this publicly. I am sure they will close this loophole in the law soon. A case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He did not break any written laws, so it is kind of weird. Just spank him and tell him to be a good boy or take away his toys.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

lucky he didnt get fired..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why are you people talking about "breaking any laws"?

This idiot should have a little bit of common sense, especially at 56 years old and being a air traffic controller. I just hope he and his "buddies" are not on duty whenever I fly in/out of Haneda.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ihrwjns Law is mandatory, common sense is not. Many people are intelligent, but if common sense were explosive they wouldnt have enough to blow their hat off :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is scary indeed as a low- ranking controller at Tokyo Haneda Airport could access to the highly classified data : Fine the Air Force One was supposed to land at this Airport, but Global Hawk's schedule in the Tohoku too ? That is shocking..well this ok !

What is more shocking is the corrective actions described as ' guys, from now on, no cameras, no cell phones in the control tower.." That is ?! Pretty cool though that can hardly stop a causal thief not to mention the professional terrorists ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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