Sunday, January 30, 2011

Watching the Watchers: Egypt and the Internet Kill Switch

It surprised me that the news headlines coming out of the turmoil in Egypt were so focused on the angle of the government attempting to "shut off" the Internet.  I suppose it shouldn't have.  China routinely censors the 'net, and some powerful regime was bound to try more drastic communications control sooner or later.  The inter-networked personal computer really has been the beginning of a new age, and the ramifications are only beginning to shake out.  Luckily for those of us who value free speech, it seems controlling the network isn't easy.  ArsTechnica takes a look at the technical side of the cutoff, while Lifehacker looks at how people can get around such restrictions.  (The latter even mentions some sort of archaic acoustic modulator-demodulator technology.)  Such things are important to keep an eye on.  After all, some argue that the U.S. government would like to have the option of an Internet kill switch, for the public good of course.

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