Either that, or this was the least suave NSA spy operation to date.
Capping off a bad week for airplanes, American Airlines flight 24 was forced to land in Kansas City this weekend while flying from San Francisco to New York, due to a possible bomb threat. The passengers were told at the time that there was an issue with the air circulation, but they found out after landing that the plane was grounded because a passenger reported a device taped suspiciously to the lavatory wall. (If you're on an airplane, there's no way to non-suspiciously tape mystery devices to the bathroom wall.) Initial reports revealed the device to be a USB drive. This could have been exciting. Maybe the airplane bathroom is where spies leave secret documents for other spies, discreetly taped (still ominous, though) to the wall.
Before long, however, the investigation revealed something that made far more and less mysterious sense: it was a small camera disguised as a USB device. If this was the airplane cockpit, we'd still believe it was terrorism. If it was in the main cabin, we'd believe it was terrorism. If it was in the luggage compartment, we'd believe it.
The bathroom? Someone just has a great (read: immoral and illegal) idea for making money on the Internet—either you catch people having sex in an airplane bathroom, or you can just watch them all go to the bathroom.
I have still never heard of anyone actually tampering with the lavatory smoke detector though. Some pretty stiff penalties for that.
(by Johnny McNulty)