Some claim it was only an outage, others know the Internet went dead. Shortly after midnight on January 27th, Internet providers turned the Internet lines leading into and out of Egypt OFF. It can and was done.
iovation, an Internet Security company here in the United States that helps secure internet transactions from every country in the world, has just shared the following graph. Typically seeing up to 1000 transactions per hour from Egypt, iovation saw traffic literally disappear from every Egyptian ISP other than one. It is very clear that the below graph shows that this is not an outage, the Internet was turned OFF.
It’s news that should be receiving a larger echo of concern, as a simple call from the government can force Internet providers to shut down the Internet. Too many people have glanced over this and said, “no way, you can’t shut off the Internet” or “that’s Egypt, it can’t happen here”, but they are wrong.
When a government has the power to stop or restrict the information flow into and out of a country, the people have lost their freedom.
There is a renewed push in Washington DC to approve Senator Lieberman’s “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset” bill. Within the bill, the term “kill switch” is not used, but it does allow the president to declare a state of national cyberemergency. Yesterday we saw the Egyptian government declare a cyberemergency during massive protests throughout the country. This bill allows the President of the United States to turn off parts of or the entire Internet into and out of our country.
“Cyberspace” is actually infrastructure all over the world owned by businesses and corporations. The Lieberman Internet Killer bill allows the government to turn off parts or all infrastructure for the Internet in the United States. In other words, the government can tell a company to shut down all or part of its business without due process of law. In turn, citizens do not have access to information on that infrastructure. Is this what we want from our Government?
This bill should concern every citizen of the United States of America on two levels – free markets and a free society. What’s next Senator Lieberman, are you going to turn off our cellular services in a “communicationsemergency”? Egypt attempted that as well.