Sunday, February 6, 2011

Networking Disconnect

As the world watched the events that have taken place in Egypt the last few weeks a few questions came to the forefront in American minds concerning the power of the Internet, social networking, and the effect that "kill switch" legislation may have on our country.

The events in Egypt spiraled concern in our Nation regarding the government's ability to shut down the Internet. The "Kill Switch" legislation proposes that if need be the government could shut down Internet connections in the United States Huffington Post. Egypt's recent events have brought the "Kill Switch" legislation into the forefront in the minds of Americans.

Much of the conversation revolves about whether or not it would even be possible for the United States government to pull off such a task.Unlike Egypt who only had four Internet Service Providers (all owned by their government) the United States has thousands and none of them are owned by the government Washington Post: How Egypt Pulled Out of the Internet. This factor would make it nearly impossible for the government to gain control over all the ISPs and thus "kill" the Internet.

In addition, to the obstacle of the number of ISPs that would need to be procured there are always ways around such legislation. Egypt demonstrated this by accessing the Internet through radios and getting other countries to lend them ISPs Enabling More Egyptians to be Heard. The "Kill Switch" legislation seems to be very improbable that it would be effective if it does end up passing because of the obstacles that it would need to overcome. The concept of this legislation brings about quite a bit of circulation regarding social media because it would affect them directly. Attempting to quiet peoples voices through shutting down the Internet only seems to empower people to resolve to find their way around and thus provide a stronger front. The events in Egypt and the occurrence of "Kill Switch" legislation are interesting to think about because it makes it easy to relate how such an action could turn out. Egypt's example, in my opinion, only shows how entirely ineffective "Kill Switch" legislation would be.

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