Weekend Gedankenexperiment - The Kill Switch

Matthew Moyle-Croft mmc at internode.com.au
Fri Feb 4 18:22:48 CST 2011


On 05/02/2011, at 8:57 AM, Matthew Petach wrote:

As has been noted previously, it's all about your frame of
reference.  If the US is removed from the Internet, it does not
mean the Internet stops working; from the perspective of the
rest of the world, the Internet is still there.

I suspect you'll find it would be pretty crippled if the US was removed.

Given the majority of my country's (Australia) internet connectivity is to the USA (English language speakers looking for English language content) we'd probably find that we were left with very limited connectivity.   Quite a number of Australian ISPs would have no international connectivity at all.   We'd have limited capacity to Europe as the Westward paths are thin and expensive and it's mostly via the USA.

This is one of the risks the world, now relying on the "Interwebz" for communication runs.    The heavy centralisation of the core of the internet (ie. really "Tier1" defines connectivity inside the USA only and is vague for the rest of the world) as well as Asia especially having very poor intra-Asia connectivity for various reasons.  (ie.  A number of Asian carriers optimise for connectivity to the USA and have silly views about "regional tier 1" that means they peer poorly within Asia.  This leads to a lack of local connectivity.   If the USA went "dark" then we'd lose connectivity to them).

So, really, this is a call to the rest of the world to start thinking about the benefits of more regional connectivity and connectivity between Asia and Europe avoiding the USA so that any "kill switch" implemented doesn't cause the world to have any more problems than it needs to face.

MMC




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