Internet ‘kill switch’ caricatured: If only it were that simple.
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It is interesting that the author should mention Egypt and the efforts of the waning vicious despotism of Hosni Mubarak to retain control in the face of a public surfeited with three decades of unspeakable abuse, for Mubarak’s first instinct when he found his power threatened was to kill the internet. The traditional media belong to the ruling elite in almost every country — including Egypt and the United States — while the internet is viewed as a sort of electronic Wild West. This means that the internet will be the logical first target of any such ruling elite, and this proposal flows from that calculus.
To control the internet is an odious idea that has emerged from pathocratic moral lepers at home and abroad. It is not the internet that we need the capacity to kill; it is the idea of killing the internet that needs to die. If indeed the present architecture is vulnerable to such interdiction, then I propose that we undertake a grassroots restructuring such that no one or two companies can hold the net to ransom, and there is such a profusion of small, independent internet service providers as to make shutting down the web as a whole functionally impossible.
I think our freedom may turn out to depend on it.