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Censorship Networking Security Your Rights Online

The Countries Most Vulnerable To an Internet Shutdown 94

Sparrowvsrevolution writes "In the wake of Syria's 52-hour digital blackout last week, the networking firm Renesys performed an analysis of which countries are most susceptible to an Internet shutdown, based simply on how many distinct entities control the connections between the country's networks and those of the outside world. It found that for 61 countries and territories, just one or two Internet service providers maintain all external connections–a situation that could make possible a quick cutoff from the world with a well-placed government order or physical attack."
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The Countries Most Vulnerable To an Internet Shutdown

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  • by Sparticus789 ( 2625955 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @03:44PM (#42172207) Journal

    It's not based on the ability of the government to order companies to shut down the internet. It's merely based on the number of ISPs with connections to foreign countries. Did you notice that Afghanistan and China were both in the 10 to 40 ISP range? Because Afghanistan has so many satellite ISPs in country, each independent company which has a dish there adds one more to that ISP list.

    While the Chinese government has the ability to shut down the internet based on their laws, this was a technical examination of possible network routes in and out of countries. Not a study on the legal/political aspect of an internet kill switch.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @04:01PM (#42172377)
    I think this list is concerned with a more specific question. This measure is more useful to which countries could be silenced during a similar uprising, where there is armed opposition. China is unlikely to undergo such an uprising for the same reasons that their ISPs are willing to follow a government's orders. The government enjoys much more popular support with the Chinese than Syria does/did with it's citizens. If there were such a rebellion however, China would stay online longer probably, since presumably some of the entities would join the revolt, would ignore the government's orders, and would not be as easily forcibly shut down because of how many different ones there were. The question wasn't really about general internet censorship, there are other lists and measurements for that.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @05:10PM (#42172995) Homepage

    How many of the 61 at "severe risk" countries are micro-states in the middle of the ocean with a single cable connecting them to the internet? More than half; so nothing too sinister about the size of the "severe risk" category.

    And most of the rest in the poorer countries of Africa, where the answer to the question "Why do you have one ISP?" would be "Because it's one more than zero". Even with monopoly rent it's pretty hard making business on people that are that poor and probably for the most part don't have computers at all. Anyway, I find the numbers quite meaningless since they don't measure physical redundancy, resistance to government interference or consumer choice. Average number of providers available per person would be interesting though, I bet the US would end up in the "extremely high risk" monopoly/duopoly category. Though I guess after that the researchers can forget asking any ISPs for work...

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen