[NA-Discuss] Fwd: The Internet Society on Egypt’s Internet shutdown

Eric Brunner-Williams ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net
Sun Jan 30 18:17:56 UTC 2011

The statement could be as simple as "it is a bad thing", but this is a 
teaching moment.

Authoritarians with state power have choice of mechanism:

o the 2005 loss of public access to the net in Nepal involved making 
the fiber dark,
o the 2005 loss of public access to the net in 2005, and 2007 in Burma 
involved capacity restriction,
o the loss of public access to targeted content in the 2008 Pakistan 
Telecom attempt to restrict access to Youtube involved prefix 
(availability) announcement,
o the April "hijacking" of 15% of global traffic by China Telecom 
involved prefix (availability) announcement, and
o the current loss of public access to the net in Egypt involved 
prefix withdrawal (non-availability) announcement.

Something along the lines of "... attacks on the integrity of the 
global routing table, attacks on the confidentiality of data on 
regional links ... are contrary to the public interest".


On 1/29/11 8:32 PM, gbruen at knujon.com wrote:
> Agreed, great email
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Eric Brunner-Williams" <ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net>
> Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 4:30 PM
> To: <na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
> Subject: [NA-Discuss] Fwd: The Internet Society on Egypt’s Internet
> shutdown
>> via Dmitry Burkov.
>> We are following the current events in Egypt with concern as it
>> appears that all incoming and outgoing Internet traffic has been
>> disrupted. The Internet Society believes that the Internet is a global
>> medium that fundamentally supports opportunity, empowerment,
>> knowledge, growth, and freedom and that these values should never be
>> taken away from individuals.
>> The Internet Society considers this recent action by the Egyptian
>> government to block Internet traffic to be an inappropriate response
>> to a political crisis. It is a very serious decision for a government
>> to block all Internet access in its country, and a serious intrusion
>> into its citizens’ basic rights to communicate. If the blockage
>> continues, it will have a very detrimental impact on Egypt’s economy
>> and society. Ultimately, the Egyptian people and nation are the ones
>> that will suffer, while the rest of the world will be worse off with
>> the loss of Egyptian voices on the net.
>> However we are most concerned about the safety and security of the
>> Egyptian people. Alongside the rest of the world, we share the hope
>> for a positive and lasting solution to the problems that have risen to
>> the surface there.
>> In the longer term, we are sure that the world will learn a lesson
>> from this very unfortunate example, and come to understand that
>> cutting off a nation’s access to the Internet only serves to fuel
>> dissent and does not address the underlying causes of dissatisfaction.
>> Text Ends.
>> This is something that matters.
>> The government of Nepal shut down network access in 2005.
>> The government of Burma significantly reduced network access in 2005,
>> and again in 2007.
>> I attended the November 2008 ICANN meeting in Cairo, as did some other
>> participants in NARALO.
>> About 25 million people live in Cairo alone. When we were there
>> two years ago a plurality, if not a majority of people I observed in
>> domestic class hotels and malls had cell phones. WiFi hot spots were
>> available all around the ICANN venue area, and more importantly, in
>> central Cairo, the area that is shown on CNN and Al Jazeera today.
>> Internet access is a big part of Egyptian urban society.
>> As my friend Barry Shein, who also attended the Cairo meeting, writes:
>> "I was curious about [Press Secretary Robert Gibb's characterization
>> of the demonstrators as having middle class aspirations] having
>> wandered around Cairo. The protesters looked to me like middle-class
>> Egyptians as opposed to galabeah (sp?) wearing working class."
>> I suggest that the NARALO leadership draft a statement on the public
>> interest value of public network access, free of interruption, and
>> also free of deep packet inspection, by governments.
>> Eric
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