Just a phone call and you kill the internet

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So killing the internet  is that easy. A phone call from stone faced dictator to ISPs and the scared chickens rush to reconfigure the routes of the traffic. Mubarak and co. in  Egypt killed the internet and disconnected 80 million people.   This is huge and beyond the normal censorship we have seen in places like Tunisia, Iran and even China.  According to internet monitoring firm Renesys:

This is a completely different situation from the modest Internet manipulation that took place in Tunisia, where specific routes were blocked, or Iran, where the Internet stayed up in a rate-limited form designed to make Internet connectivity painfully slow. The Egyptian government’s actions tonight have essentially wiped their country from the global map.

Now that means chopping off everything even the government websites apart from stock market website. Funny you demand freedom and the first thing they do is to shut the freedom of speech or communication. I think it is time to be afraid world wide, you know, the other regimes are watching on how to deal with internet.  Just Imagine even the leaders of the free world are busy cracking down on Wikileaks…..God help us

I wonder in the modern world whether it is possible to completely suppress information?  Mobile  Phone networks might be switched off, the ISPs can easily be threatened to reconfigure the traffic flow but that only means the delay of the information.  Long live the tools like video cameras, cell phones.  And the wonderful response from twitter, “the tweets must flow” . Here is the excerpt from twitter blog

Our goal is to instantly connect people everywhere to what is most meaningful to them. For this to happen, freedom of expression is essential. Some Tweets may facilitate positive change in a repressed country, some make us laugh, some make us think, some downright anger a vast majority of users. We don’t always agree with the things people choose to tweet, but we keep the information flowing irrespective of any view we may have about the content.

The sound of  Social media revolution at the corner.   It is full of humor too..this one on twitter  just cracked me in the morning:

@mattblaze: We can thank the Egypt gov’t for showing us the terrific uses to which an Internet kill switch can be put.

So can this kind of shut down happen in Kenya, more so next year after the election? A big Yes . Back in 2007 Kibaki, Michuki or whoever did not do it but then the internet users in Kenya were just a handful, probably less than a million. Majority of whom had to go to a cyber to access the net and most of the cybers were closed. Since then the number of internet users has increased to over 7 million with the popular access point being mobile phones.  By the time of election next year the number would probably have doubled to 14 million.

Will the ISPs resist the phone calls from the above….

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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