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Weekend Gedankenexperiment - The Kill Switch

Not sure if it has been said already but wasn't one of the key point for
the creation of the internet to create and infrastructure that would
survive in the case of all out war and massive destruction. (strategic
nuclear strikes)

Does it not bode ill for "national security" if any party could take out
a massive communication system by destroying/pressuring a few choke

-----Original Message-----
From: JC Dill [mailto:jcdill.lists at gmail.com] 
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 11:39 PM
To: NANOG list
Subject: Re: Weekend Gedankenexperiment - The Kill Switch

  On 03/02/11 10:38 PM, Paul Ferguson wrote:
> And as an aside, governments will always believe that that they can
> the flow of information, when push comes to shove.
> This has always been a hazard, and will always continue to be so.
> As technologists, we need to be cognizant of that fact.

In the US, by accident (surely not by design) we are lucky that our 
network of networks does not have the convenient 4 chokepoints that the 
Egyptian network had, making it easy for the government to shut off the 
entier internet by putting pressure on just 4 companies.

Where we *really* need to be fighting this battle is in the laws and 
policies that are producing a duopoly in much of the US where consumers 
have 2 choices, the ILEC for DSL or their local cableco for Cable 
Internet.  As theses companies push smaller competing ISPs out of 
business, and as they consolidate (e.g. Cablecos buying each other up, 
resulting in fewer and fewer cablecos over time), we head down the 
direction of Egypt, where pressure on just a few companies CAN shut down

the entire internet.  Otherwise we end up with a few companies that will

play Visa and PayPal and roll over and play dead when a government 
official says "Wikileaks is bad" - and equally easily will shut down 
their entire networks for "national security".

If you *really* believe that the TSA is effective, you would be in favor

of an Internet Kill Switch.  If you understand that this is really 
security theater, and despite all the inconvenience we aren't really any

safer, then you should equally be very concerned that someone ever has 
the power to order that the internet be "shut down" for our safety.