Friday, 28 January 2011

Internet down

No, not mine. Apparently the Egyptians have pulled the plug on their Internet and Cell Phone networks.

Considering that the Americans are thinking about giving their boy president an 'Internet kill switch' to play with, the next few hours will demonstrate how good or bad an idea it is to give someone that much power. Because if the yanks pull the plug, everyone loses it. (H/T Budwar) This is because Verisign and (I think) all the rest of the root Domain Name Server owning companies are US owned. If the companies concerned are told to shut their servers down by Presidential Order; no DNS resolution, no dot coms, dot orgs or any of the other top level domain extensions. So, no Interweb. Well not one worthy of the name unless a lot of other countries have got reserve DNS root servers tucked away, just on the off chance. That's my understanding of the situation anyway.

More updates as it happens via American Power and Theo Spark

Latest: Hosni Mubarak 'has asked government to step down'. See above for links. Refresh often. Al Jazeera has constantly updated coverage.


Budvar said...

If the yanks pull the plug at their end, how will this stop the internet globally?
That's the whole point of the web isn't it, one node goes down it just takes another route.

WRT Cell phones and pagers, this is where the old technology of CB, Ham/Shortwave and PMR radio come into there own.

This isn't lost on our muslim friends, round here *ALL* the mosques are connected via UHF business radio under the "Call to prayer" legislation bollox, and they don't limit themselves to the allowed half a watt either.

Bill Sticker said...


If the yanks pull the plug, the 13 Root Domain Name Servers disappear. Most of them were in US territory or American owned last I heard. No DNS. No Internet name resolution. No dot coms, dot orgs or dot nets. All the main web sites in those domains effectively disappear. Possibly the sub domains like dot co dot uk as well. List and map here.

Say if Verisign, Cogent, NASA, ISC, Autonomics and ICANN were shut down by Presidential order, all their servers globally would be shut down. See where I'm going here?

Having said that, if switch off did occur there should be a kind of 'cascade failure' until all the mirrored caches run dry. After that, only what local DNS cacheing can supply. A new dark age would be upon us.

This is based upon my current understanding. Of course I might be a bit OTT, but I don't think so.

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