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

Kyle Maxwell kylem at xwell.org
Thu Jun 6 10:04:27 PDT 2013


You could do it with leased lines, but (a) given cost pressures on
airlines, they might choose other options, and (b) as noted earlier,
the information was likely filtered through some non-technical folks
and this was their understanding of a slightly different problem
("network is down" -> "Internet is down" or similar).

On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 11:06 AM, Richard Brooks <rrb at acm.org> wrote:
> 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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>>
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>
>
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