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[liberationtech] Airline Shutdown Because of Loss of Internet Service?

michael gurstein gurstein at
Thu Jun 6 00:45:18 PDT 2013

This is probably not a Liberation issue directly but I'm not sure where else
to address it...

Sunday I was flying (Porter Airlines--small short hop Canadian carrier) from
NYC to Ottawa, ON with a plane change in Toronto. When we arrived in Toronto
we were informed that "because the Internet was down" planes were not able
to land or depart.  The company's service was completely shut down for
roughly 4 hours until the "Internet service" was restored (presumably by
their ISP).

I understand that other airlines have had similar experiences recently.  

My question... how exactly is Internet service so intertwined with flight
operations that service can function only if the Internet is operational?
(And I guess the Liberation angle... if this is now pervasive for all
airlines what is the hackable element of all this and where are the points
of vulnerability etc.etc.?


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