Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Dies irae?

When Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak tried to quell demonstrations against his regime by shutting down Al-Jazeera News and pulling a “kill switch” on the nation’s internet services, four million people gathered in Tahrir Square to bid him defiance. Within a day, internet service was restored. Even so, Mubarak was soon driven from his presidential palace and into exile in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Internet 'kill switch'

Internet “kill switch”: Handle with care. (Meaning not at all.)
[ Image Source ]

As this demonstrates, “kill switches” really do work both ways. If Senator Joe Lieberman and his allies get their way and create such a switch in the U.S., I hope our message will reach them loud and clear: You shut off our internet, and your entire regime can start looking for a friendly country — if there are any left — in which to spend its exile. Americans tend toward apathy or fall under the spell of “public relations” and therefore tolerate a lot of abuse (as witness the continued growth of the economic gap between the ruling elite and the rest of the citizenry, which is already far worse than that in Mubarak’s Egypt or Zine Abidine Ben Ali’s Tunisia, where it has sparked revolutions), but there are certain tipping-points beyond which it would be suicidal to push.

As I said, we have tolerated much. But you touch that “kill switch” and no power will save you.

Originally published as a review of a article on the proposed internet “kill switch.”

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