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Wired Magazine: Laser pointers a "huge safety risk" for aircraft

Those tempted to flash a laser skyward for a good laugh might want to think twice. In addition to potentially downing an aircraft, pranksters could get slapped with a $25,000 fine and/or 20 years in the clink. And officials are also considering prosecuting laser shining losers as domestic terrorists under the Patriot Act. Not something you want on your résumé.

According to The Washington Post, the FAA reports during the first half of this year [2008], there have been more than 175 cases of lasers shot at aircraft, and more than 900 incidents since 2004. In most cases these were not powerful industrial lasers, but the commonplace pointers wielded by countless college professors and mid-level management types.

Additional details from the
Wired Magazine blog post