Business Week on Mobile VoIP
From the Department of Stupid Is as Stupid Does-Aircell

When Is Using Adobe Flash and Apple's Safari Hacking?

It's hilarious that the mainstream media is saying that using Adobe's Flash and Apple's Safari is "hacking" in the recent matter of my calling Laptop's News Editor Joanna Stern via Phweet and TringMe "hacking."

If that's hacking, I guess Apple and Adobe make hacker tools? Somehow I don't think so.

For the record, I offered to Aircell via their PR firm, to tell them all the steps that were taken that made the call possible since 730 AM last Friday, the morning after I made the call at 8 PM the night before from my hotel room to Joanna. I would have called the PR person the night before, but I chose to respect the time difference between the west coast and east coast, and called them once I got in the town car to go to the airport from my hotel to fly that day to the East Coast. I even offered to take time out of visiting my ailing mother who is in the hospital to talk with Aircell, as I felt it was important for them to have full information. What's more I also wanted to get their position on the matter of why no talking so I could provide a fair and balanced update.

I called twice again on Monday and my calls went unreturned until I called a third time, late in the day to press the issue and ask to speak with the Account Supervisor, again reasserting my request to talk to Aircell to get their side of the story about the ban on talking and to explain how the call was made possible. Ironically, in that conversation with the Account Supervisor on Monday I was told "you caught us off guard." The reality was when I called and spoke to the person who is day to day on the account last Friday (less than 12 hours of the post) she admitted that she had not seen anything online of what I did the night before as she was "in meetings all morning." During the conversation I pointed out that my news judgement is such that the story will be all over the blogosphere on Friday and by Monday it will have jumped to the mainstream press and I felt that I could help them tell the story better if I had their perspective.

As for being "caught off guard," one point Joanna made to me while we were talking that Aircell seems to have forgotten was that she was in a chat with via Skype with Aircell's CEO Jack Blumenstein and told him at the time what occurred. So "off guard" is a bit inaccurate when the CEO heard first hand when it happened.

Needless to say, in typical Aircell fashion, there hasn't been any call. Instead all I received this morning was this:

"It is against American's policy and Gogo's terms of service to use VoIP. Aircell has multiple protocols and practices in place to prevent the use of VoIP. Obviously, it is extremely difficult to stop every instance of VoIP but Aircell is monitoring and working constantly to enforce American's policy and Gogo's terms of service."

At this time, due to competing priorities and current demands on executives' time, we will not be able to fulfill your request to speak with an Aircell executive. We will, however, add you to our news distribution list, per your request.


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Markus Göbel

Wikipedia says that "a hacker is someone involved in computer security/insecurity, specializing in the discovery of exploits in systems (for exploitation or prevention), or in obtaining or preventing unauthorized access to systems through skills, tactics and detailed knowledge".

That nearly fits to you as you discovered an exploit in their system to make that phone call.

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