When the Internet Nearly Fractured, And How It Could Happen Again
Posted in: Legal, Privacy & Security at 28/02/2011 16:15
When the entire country of Egypt was forced offline by its government last month, it served as a global wake-up call that the Internet is a more fragile medium than we imagine it to be. What happened in Egypt was particularly striking, but other, subtler tests of the Internet's resilience abound.
Turn your eye to the domain name system, for example. Commonly referred to as DNS, the domain name system is the obscure but almost unimaginably important process whereby memorable names like "TheAtlantic.com" get translated into the numbers that actually pinpoint The Atlantic's place on the Internet. There, in the innards of the Internet, there's controversy brewing. The Department of Homeland Security's Immigrations and Customs Enforcement division and the Department of Justice have been targeting domain names for takedowns, and the United States Senate is considering a bill that would empower the Attorney General to blacklist website names from the Internet's directories.