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The Internet Killswitch

Feb 02, 2011, 04:34 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Strom)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"My first car had what is called a kill switch that I put in shortly after I had bought it. I was living in LA at the time, the capital of car thefts, and I even though it wasn't all that fancy a vehicle I wanted to make sure that it was somewhat protected. It was a simple thing: you had to turn the headlights on before you started the car. I thought I was in good shape until I found out how many valets could figure out the sequence (in LA you have to leave your car with valets a lot). This is a good analogy for the same process when it comes time to turn off Internet access to an entire country, whether it is for cybersecurity or censorship. Someone clever will always figure out a way around the blockade.

"The idea to protect our own Internet access has been around for some time, and various people have proposed that we do something about it, including Senator Joe Lieberman.

"The senator got his wish for a simple on/off switch for the Internet, but it didn't go down quite as he had planned when he first proposed the idea before Congress last year. Early last Friday just after midnight local time, the Egyptian telecoms authority turned off almost all Internet and cell phone access to its 80 million residents."

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