Iraqis work to restore Internet service

Eric Kuhnke eric at
Tue May 27 10:59:00 UTC 2003

Ironic item of the day:

In many countries which will not admit visitors with an Israeli stamp in their passport (Egypt, Syria, etc), the most popular method of internet cafe uplink is VSAT.  One of the largest mideast VSAT carriers is Gilat - , an Israeli company.  Do the Syrians know their bits are flowing through routers in Tel Aviv?  I would hope they don't care, or have good crypto, but the potential for snooping of traffic does exist.

At 08:51 PM 5/26/2003 -0400, you wrote:

>The nice thing about the Internet is it doesn't require (much) central
>planning.  All you need are some IP addresses and a willing upstream
>connection.  The US Government is paying MCI millions for a few cell
>phones, while the Iraqis are bringing Internet cafes on-line with
>"salvaged" equipment.
> "The state company's engineers salvaged one of its satellite transceivers
>from the burned-out Ministry of Information and winched it atop a
>two-story building in the al-Adel neighborhood in West Baghdad.
>    After weeks of cobbling and calibrating, the dish was able to send and
>receive a satellite signal about a week ago. It's a temporary earth
>station, soon to be an Internet cafe.
>    "We built it from scrap. We had to weld it and build it manually,"
>said Mr. Abdullah, a gray-haired man whose fingers fidget over a string of
>wooden prayer beads.
>    With 50 computers squirreled away, and security guards and a diesel
>generator at the ready, the Baghdad cafe will offer the public its first
>taste of the Internet since early April."

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