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

Eric Brunner-Williams ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net
Mon Jan 31 14:13:58 UTC 2011


I think the final point Andrew McLaughlin made in his open letter to 
Tarek Kamel, the economic consequence of administrative network 
partition, is important, and should to along side the freedom of 
expression message.

Last year I was evaluating siting for one or more registries offering 
Arabic script, and Egyptian data centers were attractive, for 
proximity to the largest Arab market, for proximity to the submarine 
cable landings (Alexandria and Suez) linking Europe and Asia, and for 
the availability of Tier 4 data centers.

Jamie Cowie's note in the Renesys blog [1] points out the risks that a 
network partition poses if the mode of failure goes beyond prefix 
withdrawal to transit media.

The economic damage to the data center business happened at 22:00 
hours Thursday. Foreign and local investors, a few thousand tech 
employees, etc. However, the rest of the Egyptian economy is also 
harmed by the loss of data, and ultimately this comes down to the 
prices of basic commodities and freedom from hunger.

Data is not just dissent and distraction, it is integral to 
transactions upon which commodity availability and pricing are 
affected. It is not as immediate, but its affects are vastly greater, 
harming the voiceless as well as the voiced.

All this note is intended to offer is that the effect to be complained 
of is not just freedom of expression. Think of it as a proposed 
"friendly amendment".


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