[LINK] How Egypt Shut down the net

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Wed Feb 23 08:53:52 AEDT 2011

On 23/02/11 7:24 AM, Rick Welykochy wrote:
> Richard Chirgwin wrote:
>> The "what stops Australia from doing what Egypt did?" from (especially)
>> the lunar right turns out to be unanswerable. They seriously believe the
>> government has instant powers to declare an emergency on any pretext and
>> take over the infrastructure. Questions of laws, the High Court, etc,
>> are considered irrelevant. The government's coming to get you!
> The Lunar Right in various western "democracies" has been using anti-
> terrorist legislation on demonstrably non-terrorism scenarios to
> accomplish just that since 9/11. Coupled with the politics of
> fear, this is a Real Concern (TM).
Rick - I'm thinking specifically of Australia here. Even our political 
right is to the left of much of (say) America's political right.

There would be a concern if we saw the relevant legislation hit 
parliament; but passing a draconian "we will shut down the Internet" 
bill would hardly pass unnoticed; and even if it got through both houses 
of parliament, the exercise of that kind of law would send a bunch of 
telcos off to the High Court, pretty much instantly.

What gets under my skin is that there are fear-mongers out there 
pitching the line that the Australian government already has the power 
to order a shut-down; and moreover, that it's building the NBN so it can 
get a single kill switch. As Mark Newton remarked on Twitter during a 
similar discussion: most of the time, his discussions with "national 
security" types are on the topic of how to keep the Internet *up* rather 
than how to shut it down.

> cheers
> rickw

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