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

Richard Brooks rrb at acm.org
Thu Jun 6 09:06:37 PDT 2013


On 06/06/2013 10:50 AM, michael gurstein wrote:
> Thanks Richard and this runs on the open Internet?
> 
> M
> 
Don't know the details about how they communicate from the end points
to the back-end, but it is easy to assume that it relies on Internet
infrastructure at some point in some way. I would find it hard to
imagine other configurations.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu
> [mailto:liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu] On Behalf Of Richard
> Brooks
> Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:00 AM
> To: liberationtech
> Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Airline Shutdown Because of Loss of Internet
> Service?
> 
> 
> On 06/06/2013 03:45 AM, michael gurstein wrote:
>> 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.?
>>
> 
> This one is easy. Logistics. Airlines have enormous optimization routines
> mapping planes, crews and passengers to flights. This allows them to shave
> off overhead and make a profit. If the network is down, they won't know who
> should fly where.
> 
>> M
>>
>>
>>
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