Dec 03, 2012

How hard would it be to "shut down" the internet in the US?

News out of Syria this weekend included the shutdown of the internet there. Would that be possible in the US? How hard would it be to "flip the switch" Assad-style and shut down the internet in the US of A?

Here's an article that explores the possibility.

Could the U.S. shut down the internet?

"It seemed so easy for Egypt. Just order a shutdown of the country's internet connections and -- bam -- it happens.

But is such an authoritarian action transferable? Could the U.S. government shut down American internet connections? And is it possible for the global internet to be toppled?

Technically, yes, internet experts said Wednesday, shortly after Egypt's government restored internet connections there as violent political protests continued. But it's highly unlikely.

"Could you break the internet? Yeah. Can you shut it down? No. Shutting down the entire internet would be pretty much impossible at this point," said Jim Cowie, co-founder of Renesys, an worldwide internet tracker."

Pretty hard, but not impossible.  We have a lot of ISP, so there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle.  Keep in mind, though, that many American ISPs have a history of doing what the government asks, even when it is illegal.  I read an interesting blog on this topic, where the author basically posits that the more ISPs there are, the harder it is to completely shut down.  http://www.renesys.com/blog/2012/11/could-it-happen-in-your-countr.shtml 

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