I’m sure you follow the news as fervently as I do—most of the times I’m interested only in the news that directly affect my business or my client’s operations. As you might (correctly) assume, I take generic news with a grain of salt and I tend to read between the lines whenever possible.
One type of news that I’m not particularly interested are the bans that the US imposes under their new president—but one caught my attention the other day: The US ban on laptops and other electronic devices on flights.
If you haven’t read the news, here it is in a nutshell: The United States has announced that laptops, e-readers and almost any other electronic device that is not a phone will be banned from cabin luggage on some flights. Normally, that title, considering that it says “some flights” wouldn’t be at all alarming, except for the fact that the ban contains 10 airports, including the busiest airport in the world, Dubai International. Other airports included in the ban are Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan, Cairo International Airport, Egypt, Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey, King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait International Airport, Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco, Hamad International, Doha, Qatar and Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates.
What the ban states de facto is that “Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone will not be allowed to be carried onboard the aircraft in carry-on luggage or other accessible property.” and anything larger will have to go in checked luggage in the cargo hold.
The ban doesn’t imply any measurements, saying simply that “the approximate size of a commonly available smartphone is considered to be a guideline for passengers”.
Now, what does this have to do with data exchange?
First of all, we need to take into account what the banned devices are used for: work and entertainment, both of which are data intensive. Imagine not being able to work or watch a movie (or even play games) for 10-12 hours. Just imagine the loss incurred by remote workers not being able to do their jobs on a long flight or not being able to communicate during layovers.
Second and most importantly, the dangerous precedent this ban sets: If we ban devices used to handle information from being used for prolonged periods of time, it’s just a matter of time until legislators will try to ban the exchange of information between the US (the EU is much more open when it comes to this) and non-grata parts of the world. We’ve already seen this happening, but from the “other side”—just consider China and the Great Firewall and North Korea. Now try to imagine the US being digitally “walled off” from the rest of the world. Fact is that if a president is willing to build a physical wall to ward off so-called threats, a digital wall that costs much less is probably also an option.
And even though I trust my US data exchange counterparts to not allow such a thing to happen in the near future (or ever, for that matter), one can only wonder if one day soon an executive order will ban data exchange between the US and the rest of the world. Because nowadays, with such leadership in place, nothing is impossible anymore.
I for one support the openness and interoperability of data that benefits everyone and I’ll surely do my part, along with Gloobus to ensure that data, no matter where it originates and by whom it is generated and in what form, has a fighting chance to be used for good.
And that is one of the core, underlying beliefs that made Gloobus Service Bus possible—the AI data exchange API that allows the transfer any kind of data between any type of systems, legacy or new and unifying data in a common format to be done in real-time.