The Guardian - Julia Bergin, Louisa Lim, Nyein Nyein, and Andrew NachemsonMon 29 Aug 2022 01.43 BST
From total blackouts to targeted ‘screwdriver-style’ tactics, governments are adept at controlling who can access the internet. But resistance is growing.
Internet shutdowns come in different forms, ranging from the hammer of a complete blackout to screwdriver-style arrangements targeting certain populations. These are some methods used by governments around the world to switch off the internet.
The nuclear option. On 5 August 2019, India’s Hindu Nationalist government revoked the special status of the Kashmir region, unilaterally wiping out its autonomy. It also sent in thousands of army troops and severed internet, mobile and telephone connections. The region would remain offline for 552 days, the world’s longest shutdown to date.
This type of extreme option is used across many countries every year on a short-term basis for reasons as trivial as trying to stop cheating in examinations. In Syria, the entire network including mobile internet is blacked out when students do their high-school matriculation exams, while parts of India take down the mobile network for trainee teacher exams.
Speed throttling: Speed throttling slows down the internet so that 4G suddenly becomes a glacial 2G. This can stop or delay news of atrocities or human rights violations from emerging as internet speeds are too slow for streaming or uploading video. Speed throttling can be combined with approaches that deprive certain groups of internet access; for example, geographically based blocks targeting particularly restive provinces or blocks on private internet connections.
The latter happened in Iran in February 2012 on the third anniversary of the Twitter Revolution, when the platform was used to organize street protests in opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s controversial election victory. Private internet connections were blocked, while state-run internet users continued to enjoy normal speeds. This meant that protest organizers could no longer share information or mobilize, while allowing financial and state-run institutions to continue operating.
Blacklisting or blocklisting:
Blocking access to a particular platform is a common tactic to stem the flow of information and is called blacklisting – or more recently blocklisting, as the cyber community moves toward using more inclusive language. In Myanmar on 4 February, three days after the coup, the military blocked Facebook, effectively shutting most Burmese from their primary gateway to the internet. The ministry of communications and information justified the block in the name of national stability, writing “fake news and misinformation and … misunderstanding among people by using Facebook”.
The Facebook ban was devastating to small business owners who were heavily reliant on the platform. “My mom cooked food and sold it on her Facebook page and account, so she couldn’t do her online business,” said one woman in Yangon, describing how the ban destroyed her mother’s business in one fell swoop.
Whitelisting or allowing listing:
This transforms the internet into an intranet. Rather than blacklisting things on the open internet, websites are approved on a closed intranet, effectively creating a walled garden for government-sanctioned platforms. “It’s inverting the normal of the internet, where everything is accessible and only certain things might be restricted or blocked,” says Access Now’s Raman Singh. In Myanmar, this allowed military-run interests to operate and crippled businesses to restart while continuing to stymie the communication functions offered by the internet.
After this, the military junta began to trial whitelisting. Burmese were given access to just 1,200 military-sanctioned internet sites, which included banking and finance sites, gaming and entertainment sites like Netflix and YouTube, and some news sites like the New York Times. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter remained inaccessible. Connectivity returned, but the number of sites accessible was drastically lower. “Effectively what they’ve done is recreated the censorship board, but for the online space,” says Free Expression Myanmar’s Oliver Spencer, referring to the censorship body that had operated for 50 years until 2012.
China’s firewall is an example of extreme whitelisting. Although it has used the kill switch in the past, Beijing appears to have moved away from this method, instead depending on sophisticated internet controls. In 2009, Beijing switched off internet access to the Xinjiang region for 10 months after riots fuelled by ethnic tensions. This was seen as a move to stop political organizing and limit news of the ensuing crackdown, which punished the entire population.
However, even as the Communist party has set up massive political indoctrination centers, impounding at least a million Uyghurs, it has not shut off the internet in the region again. One factor is the efficacy of Beijing’s controls over the internet, which means that the blunt tool of the total shutdown is no longer necessary; the monitoring and censorship provided by China’s great firewall effectively prevents most Chinese internet users from accessing the global web while limiting the content they post.
“They don’t need to make this kind of grubby, ham-fisted shutting down of a major tool of economic activity,” says Simon Angus from the IP Observatory. “The internet is their friend for both messaging and communication.”
In one version of the future, following China’s lead, internet shutdowns may no longer be necessary as governments perfect their control over their own respective internets. This trend points towards a “splinternet” instead of a global internet, where the internet is broken up into a series of intranets governed on a sovereign – sometimes hyperlocal or regional – basis.
But government control of the web faces one new hurdle: satellite internet.
Elon Musk’s Starlink technology uses constellations of satellites in low-earth orbit to beam high-speed internet access into Ukraine, which allows the government to continue communications and bypass Russian servers, even as Russia destroys and diverts terrestrial internet infrastructure. The country’s military communications, combat warfare, and all its critical infrastructure run from 15,000 Starlink satellite kits, which also allow President Volodymyr Zelensky to broadcast his daily videos, bolstering domestic morale and garnering international support.
Theoretically, satellite internet services such as SpaceX’s Starlink could render internet shutdowns a thing of the past, although in practice this is not yet replicable at scale for the entire population of Ukraine. However, the promise that satellite internet services can allow users to transcend internet blocks is demonstrated in Ukraine every day. It’s being watched closely by Chinese researchers, who are developing new anti-satellite weapons.
- This story was funded by the Judith Neilson Institute
*Follow the WEF trail to Switzerland to discover the Khazarian Mafia hiding behind Klaus Schwab and his cohorts. The US and its people have nothing to do with the disasters caused to the ordinary people of the Earth.
The Khazarians have once again constructed an intricate web, whose aim is to destroy the world's economy by setting people up against each other, blocking each other's supply chains, leaving just death and ruins.
What everybody must be aware of is that this is not a war to prevent Putin from occupying Ukraine, but an attempt by the evil Khazarian Jews/WEF/NATO to control yet another country in their growing New World Order. They are simply using Ukraine as a battlefield. Their plan is to destroy totally the world's economy and turn the population into slaves.
Like the Freemasons, they have also life-threatening rules in their membership, one being REVENGE, 10 times harder than was ever perpetrated on them.
Russia in particular, in the past, has expelled the Khazars several times. I have all of 7 detailed articles in book format on the Khazarian Jews if anybody is interested in further information.
Putin, and earlier also Trump, are the ONLY Presidents who have enough guts to see what they are attempting to do to the world population and have sufficient courage to do something about it.
The bottom line is for the people to regain their original, moral principles, which have intentionally been watered out over the past generations by our press, TV, and other media owned by the Illuminati/Bilderberger Group, corrupting our morals by making misbehavior acceptable to our society. Only in this way shall we conquer this oncoming wave of evil.
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