Friday, January 28, 2011

In Egypt, shutting down the internet was as simple as making a phone call...

Internet freedom in the US is similarly endangered I suppose...

How Egypt Turned Off the Internet

Yesterday, something unprecedented happened: Egypt turned off the internet. A nation of 80,000,000 instantly disconnected. So how'd they do it?
Phone Calls

There was no giant lever or big red button involved, but in reality it was almost as easy: the Egyptian Government simply issued an order for ISPs to shut down service.

"Under Egyptian legislation the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it," Vodafone Egypt explained in a statement shortly after. Along with Vodafone, Egypt's other three major ISPs, Link Egypt, Telecom Egypt, and Etisalat Misr, all stopped service.
Jim Cowie, the co-founder and CTO of internet monitoring firm Renesys, told the WSJ:

What is most likely is that somebody in the government gives a phone call to a small number of people and says, ‘Turn it off.' And then one engineer at each service provider logs into the equipment and changes the configuration of how traffic should flow.

It was likely as easy as that.

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