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Libya Blocks Internet Access As Citizens Protest

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the welcome-to-libya dept.

Censorship 93

An anonymous reader writes "As protests rage across the Middle East, in particular gaining strength in Libya, Djibouti, Iraq, Bahrain, and Yemen over the past two days, Libya has taken the lead role in blocking internet access to its citizens. Residents of Tripoli, Libya are reporting wide-spread internet blockage for most sites, and access to circumvention tools like OperaTor and VPN is also being blocked."

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Great idea! Quite original! (5, Insightful)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250524)

It worked so well in Egypt, why not do it in Libya, too.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250670)

just what i was thinking, do they only have a small protest that can be settled by blocking? but if so y not just ignore it?

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (4, Interesting)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250822)

If the news reports are any accurate, the main reason for the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt is economic. Libya is a wealthier if not economically more equal country than either. So maybe the scale of discontent is lower in Libya, and killing the Internet just "might" be the straw that will break the back of the protests.

But if this move fails and there's another regime change (for better or worse), then the leaders of a certain economic superpower [wikipedia.org] should be worried. On the other hand, that country may have just the antivirus for popular discontent: high growth rates and a more or less regular change of faces at the top, where the Great Leader isn't Papa's favorite but selected by an inner circle in what works out as a form of extremely hierarchical representative democracy.

Compared to what? (2)

QuincyDurant (943157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251038)

Yes, the Libyan standard of living is better than Egypt's, but then so is Mexico's. If you've been to Mexico, you will see that a minimum wage of about $1,800/year leaves adequate room for discontent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country [wikipedia.org]

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (2)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251050)

I should hope that all of the Lybian protesters aren't three years old. I don't think the "knock it off or we're taking away your internet privileges" approach will work - if anything, it should add fuel to the fire. In fact, it should be just the opposite: the government should be receiving the "knock it off or we're taking away your being in power privileges" message from its citizens.

That's the theory, at least.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (2)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252480)

It's not really the "knock it off or we're taking away your internet privileges" approach. It's more like, it will be harder for you or organize and you won't be getting as much outside encouragement and perhaps manipulation without the internet approach.

That's all it was in Egypt too. It was to destabilize the protester's command and control metrics while cutting them off from outside influences encouraging them. IF Egypt would have cut the internet a little sooner, it might have worked there too.

Others will compare the standard of living and all and try to make assumptions about that to why it might or might not work. But the reality is that the protests are sort of like a boulder sitting on the side of a hill. If you catch it rolling soon enough, you "might" be able to stop it. But the longer rolls, the longer it takes to get ahead of it, the faster it rolls, and the more momentum it carries until eventually, you need to get out of it's way or risk being flattened by it.

Taking the internet away might piss some people off. But it would make it more difficult for them to know when where what and why there was a protest in the first place. It will hamper communications where some might join because the others seem to be getting away with it. And it will hamper the ability for the protests to be encourage from outside influences.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253208)

These are popular protests, not military coups. They don't necessarily have significant command and control structures. A mob doesn't have or need a head.

Closing internet access is more likely to make people both seek out friends in person, as well as make them seek in-person ways of keeping informed or expressing their opinions. When, what and where isn't really that tricky - most cities have centres and that's where people go, it's where people have gone for thousands of years.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35255658)

Your right, a mob doesn't need to have a head. I never said they did. But they do need to be rallied to a common enough cause at a common enough time, and that's were organization turns 200 people carrying signs from rowdy in a crowd to a 2000 people and growing protest trying to overturn the government. At some point, the concept will grow on it's own depending on if there is any merit to the cause or not (as the people see it).

As for the centers where people go, so can the government agents, so can the people wanting the status quo, There will be people more vocal then others who can be arrested, there can be efforts put in place more easily to disrupt protests and so on. And most likely, outsiders encouraging the protests can be caught and taken out of the mix. With the internet, the ability to do a lot of this is lost. With the internet, outsiders can provoke the population all day long and there is nothing you can do about it outside of taking the internet down.

I was reading a lot of the forums and tweets of the last protest coups.. There is a lot of stuff said that was almost identical in both by people who had strikingly similar names or monikers. If you think the protests were just the citizens of a country getting mad, you are sorely mistaken. There was a lot of outside influence in them. It may have been just the citizens in the end, but it definitely wasn't in the beginning.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251208)

To add to that:

Each one of these places has state control(direct like socialism or indirect like fascism) over food production and allocation. Each also has very poor output and imports food. Each also selects favorites to get the most food based on political pull usually giving certain districts more or less based on their political backing. Food becomes bribes for votes, essentially.

In egypt, food subsidies provide food for a large portion of the population. In fact egypt is the largest wheat importer of the world. When the crop failures hit, egypt was caught off guard. When the governments of india and russia prevented their agriculture industry from selling wheat outside of their countries, it was stunned. When inflation of currencies drove commodity rates up 30% in just 6 months of 2010, egypt was devastated.

Add to that the fact that these countries subsidizes education costs, which creates massive unemployment for the increased number of graduates. Tunisia particularly had a 45% unemployment rate for graduates, when the national average was only 15%. 57% of new workers entering the market to find jobs are college educated so we are talking about 25% of all new workers not finding jobs. This idle and restless youth is the most inclined to fight against the current power structure. With no reliance upon it for handouts(after graduating, I mean) and nothing to lose besides their despairing or even hopeless lives, they are a volatile group.

Some links for lots of sources:
http://mises.org/daily/5045/The-Education-Bubble-Is-Fuel-for-Revolt
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/egypt-protests2011.html
http://www.care2.com/causes/womens-rights/blog/gender-barriers-break-in-egyptian-protests/
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/world/middleeast/28alexandria.html
http://www.grist.org/article/2011-01-31-how-food-prices-can-fuel-revolutions-like-egypts/
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/political-economy/2011/01/spike_in_global_food_prices_tr.html
http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/
http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/country_profiles/agr_cou_818.pdf
http://mises.org/daily/5050/QE2-Fuels-a-Global-Fury

Each of these links is worth reading, and provide even more evidence than I mentioned above.

Egypt got plenty of money (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251222)

One problem in almost all Muslim nations (and a whole lot of non-muslim nations as well, but they don't seem to be on fire... yet) is that the wealth is extreme badly distributed. The rich are filthy rich, Mubarak and his immidiate family have tens of billions together. That is a shitload of money putting them among the richest people on the planet. These leeches suck their country dry.

But oddly enough not so dry as to deny all services. And this is the second problem. These countries are getting full. To put it not so nice, Muslims breed to fast. So did we in the west but we had some nice wars to get rid of our surplus when modern medicine meant that a woman having a dozen kids actually saw most of them reach adulthood.

In Egypt, Lybia, Tunesia, Morroco etc etc, there are a lot of young people having at least some sort of education (not all universities are equal) but absolutely no need for their services. Unemployment is a HUGE issues.

They ended up with a dangerous mix of young people (who could think enough for themselves not to believe the old lies, could through the internet see that there is a different world and who have nothing to loose and everything to gain) and an old elite who cannot change with the times.

Some have feared that this would breed dangerous fanatical terrorists... and it did not. Al Queda has failed, the youth has accomplished without violence more in the last couple of months then decades of terrorism.

Whether it will mean anything? I don't know. Nothing has really changed yet, dictators are pretty easily replaced but what comes in their place isn't always better. The problem is two fold after all. Distribute the wealth of Mubarak in Egypt will help but won't solve the chronic over-population. Where will all these unemployed find jobs when there just isn't enough work? Hitler solved this by going to war (read up on history) but lets hope they don't go that route. Farming doesn't take a lot of labor anymore, factories are all in China, it ain't that simple to get millions to work. The west with far less unemployed and better run economies is showing this.

China

None of this applies however to China. The situation might not be perfect there but the people there are feeling that things go forward. The middle class is growing, people are improving their lives and the young have plenty of opportunity. For people to risk all they got to feel they got nothing left to loose. The Chinese got plenty to loose.

Re:Egypt got plenty of money (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251434)

The birth rate thing is changing now [nytimes.com] , but that's an accurate assessment of how things were, hence the disproportionate skew towards youth in the current Middle East. Making education available for women may be the thing most responsible for the general political stability in the West.

Re:Egypt got plenty of money (1)

gox (1595435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253408)

To put it not so nice, Muslims breed to fast.

s/Muslims/Arabs/

s/Arabs/poorer Arabic nations/

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (4, Informative)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251292)

"Libya is a wealthier if not economically more equal country than either."

Not entirely accurate. The GOVERNMENT of Libya is wealthy. US diplomatic cables paint an entirely different picture then that you describe.

The locals...
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2008/07/08TRIPOLI530.html [213.251.145.96]
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2008/11/08TRIPOLI889.html [213.251.145.96]
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2009/01/09TRIPOLI22.html [213.251.145.96]

The shit the locals have to put up with...
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2008/08/08TRIPOLI635.html [213.251.145.96]

The leaders the locals have to put up with (not to be confused with the shit)...
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2010/02/10TRIPOLI95.html [213.251.145.96]
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2008/07/08TRIPOLI592.html [213.251.145.96]

With only more of the same shit to look forward to...
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2008/12/08TRIPOLI936.html [213.251.145.96]

All it really takes to get Libyan panties in a bunch...
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2009/12/09TRIPOLI961.html [213.251.145.96]

So, in reality, things aren't really any different there then they are in other countries we see in full-swing upheaval--we just haven't heard about it in the media...yet.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253286)

It's amazing to get useful information from a diplomatic source as most information not taken in through their eyes is absorbed by the mushroom method. They are kept in the dark and fed shit.
          Proof of concept for me, was upon meeting the daughter of a diplomat to China who, couldn't believe ANY of the commonly known atrocities and examples of human rights violations. Full grown woman raised mostly in China, mind you. Not a clue in the ballpark of reality.
        Anyway, I think that's what intelligence agencies are for; finding out whats really on the end of the fork.
        I suspect at this point intel and diplomacy are probably working a bit closer in the east.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251388)

The Wikipedia article about income inequality doesn't have data for Libya, but there are some really interesting comparisons you can make among other countries:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality [wikipedia.org]

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251556)

The problem with income inequality is it doesn't show the full picture. Lets say there are two countries each with equal population of 100 people, country A and country B. Lets say that all of the wealth in country A is equal to 100 gold pieces, that is spread around evenly to all 100 people where everyone has 100 gold pieces. And lets say that country B has a wealth of 300 gold pieces and 1 person has 102 gold pieces and the other 99 have 2 gold pieces each. Country A has an equal income equality but yet the people in country B are better off even though 1 person controls about 1/3rd of the country's wealth.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252178)

If having money translates to having power, country B is not necessarily better off. That one person has a disproportionate say in the lives of others.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252556)

You're getting the problem exactly ass backwards. Inequality is the problem. Psychological and sociological studies show that unequal distribution of resources is seen by most people as worse than lack of resources.

In your example the people of country A, (who, I assume, you mean have 1 gold piece each, not 100) would be happier than the 99 people of country B with 2 gold pieces each. Crime in country A would probably be lower, health outcomes would tend to be better.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253730)

You're getting the problem exactly ass backwards. Inequality is the problem. Psychological and sociological studies show that unequal distribution of resources is seen by most people as worse than lack of resources.

Perception doesn't equal reality.

In your example the people of country A, (who, I assume, you mean have 1 gold piece each, not 100) would be happier than the 99 people of country B with 2 gold pieces each. Crime in country A would probably be lower, health outcomes would tend to be better.

Does not follow. Just because someone is perceived as having more money doesn't mean that health outcomes would tend to be worse.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 3 years ago | (#35258600)

You're getting the problem exactly ass backwards. Inequality is the problem. Psychological and sociological studies show that unequal distribution of resources is seen by most people as worse than lack of resources.

Perception doesn't equal reality.

Since we're talking about people's behavior her perception is reality.

In your example the people of country A, (who, I assume, you mean have 1 gold piece each, not 100) would be happier than the 99 people of country B with 2 gold pieces each. Crime in country A would probably be lower, health outcomes would tend to be better.

Does not follow. Just because someone is perceived as having more money doesn't mean that health outcomes would tend to be worse.

You're arguing against observed fact on theoretical grounds.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35259934)

Since we're talking about people's behavior her perception is reality.

Behavior is governed by more than perception. For example, suppose that drinking water is perceived globally as extremely scarce. People might hoard it, recycle it, etc, but at the end of the day, the rain keeps falling and peoples' ability to hoard water is saturated (in more ways than one!). Only in the places where water genuinely is scarce, does it actually have a substantial cost. Reality eventually wins.

Now there are clever ways to extend this, say by branding water and marketing it as "good" water as opposed to the water you can get for nearly free, "bad" water. It is theoretically possible to create a hysterical society where "bad" water is eschewed at considerable cost. But even in those cases, the people who ignore the "good" water and go for the cheap, "bad" water end up ahead. Eventually, the hysteria will fall apart due to widespread cheating.

But that scenario requires considerable obsession. In the case of income inequality, people aren't typically that obsessed with income inequality and those that are can typically get their fix by working harder and making more income just as people who obsess over "good" water have access to bottled "good" water for their needs.

Finally, is it really a better solution to change a major part of society merely due to the hysteria of the populace rather than tell them to grow up? For example, suppose I'm a hysterical Flying Spaghetti Monster believer and my life isn't complete until everyone else believes in the FSM as well. I can similarly claim that my perception requires everyone to believe in the FSM. While should the rest of the population change their very beliefs to assuage mine?

Here's my view on the matter. Grow up. If your perception is the source of the problem such as is the case with most angst over income inequality, then change your perception.

You're arguing against observed fact on theoretical grounds.

There is no "observed fact" to contradict my remark. You are claiming that a wealthier person can have worst health care solely because there is greater income inequality in their society. That does not make sense, much less be something observed in society.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 3 years ago | (#35265912)

Bottled water? This is slashdot. use a car analogy of be ignored.

There is no "observed fact" to contradict my remark. You are claiming that a wealthier person can have worst health care solely because there is greater income inequality in their society. That does not make sense, much less be something observed in society.

Make scatter plot of income inequality vs various healthcare outcomes. Notice that there is a nice line. End of story. (Yes, yes, correlation does not prove causation. Propose another cause.)

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35266482)

Make scatter plot of income inequality vs various healthcare outcomes. Notice that there is a nice line. End of story. (Yes, yes, correlation does not prove causation. Propose another cause.)

Correlation doesn't equal causation. Note that income inequality also correlates with average income and GDP per capita, that is, measures of average wealth in a country. Similarly, health care and measures of average wealth correlate.

Plus, there is a reasonable model where poor people don't get as good health care as wealthy people and a reasonable model where great income inequality corresponds to countries with poor legal and economic infrastructure which leads to lots of poor people.

In comparison, you have yet to justify why income inequality (especially, the remarkably pathetic "perception" of income inequality) should lead to poorer health care outcomes.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 3 years ago | (#35266560)

Correlation doesn't equal causation.

Hello? Is there an echo in here?

a reasonable model where great income inequality corresponds to countries with poor legal and economic infrastructure which leads to lots of poor people.

The USA?

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35267736)

Hello? Is there an echo in here?

Follow your own advice and there won't an echo.

The USA?

Single data point. You don't have a correlation with a single data point.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

cronius (813431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252576)

But if this move fails and there's another regime change (for better or worse), then the leaders of a certain economic superpower [People's Republic of China] should be worried.

I'm not so sure about that. The thing about China is that its citizens are "brainwashed" for lack of better terms. I think the majority is actually comfortable with the political situation.

An ex-coworker of mine had a Chinese wife, and I asked him if they ever talk about politics at home. He basically replied: "We don't talk about it much, but my understanding is that in China politics is a "non-issue." People generally think it's up to the government to handle any political issues, and seldom get involved with it personally."

Of course there is a democratic movement in China that wants free elections, but my impression is that they are in a strong minority... In other words, I don't think there's anything brewing underneath the surface, so any revolution is going to take a lot of time to emerge.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253780)

I'm not so sure about that. The thing about China is that its citizens are "brainwashed" for lack of better terms. I think the majority is actually comfortable with the political situation.

It'd probably take a major failure of the government to change that attitude. For the USSR, it took Chernobyl.

Re:Great idea! Quite original! (1)

BeShaMo (996745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252650)

China already had their protests [wikipedia.org] , and the protesters got more or less what they wanted, although over a longer time frame. I'm not saying there couldn't be isolated protests, for instance in some of the oppressed rural areas, in fact there often are, but most Chinese are content enough to leave the government alone.

SOP For Governments. (2)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250630)

If there is commentary they don't like, they will seize the domains. If there is protest, they shut down the internet. If there is risk of protest, they will set up an internet kill switch.

I'm glad I'm in the United States of America, a country that fights censorship. I'm in the United States of America, oh, never mind.

Re:SOP For Governments. (1, Insightful)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250690)

Nevermind is right. Dear Leader Obama is trying to get his own internet kill switch.

Re:SOP For Governments. (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250724)

You mean "dear leader Lieberman."

Re:SOP For Governments. (1)

Flyerman (1728812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250794)

Pretending they are a separate entity is pretty silly.

Re:SOP For Governments. (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35263366)

Huh? Lieberman does not even like Obama. He did not support him for president and was very key in destroying his banking regulation reform. They are definitely not the same person.

Re:SOP For Governments. (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250814)

Do you think that if such a bill were to pass, Obama would veto it?

Re:SOP For Governments. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251418)

No. For being part of the "pro civil rights and anti-war party" Obama sure isn't pro either. If he didn't object to the extremely unconstitutional PATRIOT act, he isn't going to object to an internet kill switch.

But such is what you get when you vote for the RepubloCrats.

Re:SOP For Governments. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250778)

idky people keep repeating this bullshit.

You psychos would be a bit more effective if you weren't delusional liars. What a waste of air you idiots are.

Re:SOP For Governments. (1, Insightful)

jbeach (852844) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250864)

And the Republicans will vote for it. Would have already, if Bush had realized there was an Internet.

Don't get me wrong, no President should have that power. But to imply this reach for censorship is something specific to Obama is inaccurate in my view.

That said, if the Republicans manage to keep Obama from adding that power to the Executive Branch, they will for once be doing America a favor.

Re:SOP For Governments. (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250902)

Give it a rest already. There will NEVER be an internet shutdown in the US in response to a protest. You know why? Because our leaders are a fuckton smarter than the tinpot dictators in the Middle East, and are smart enough to know that the best way to prevent revolt is to provide the people with bread and circuses. Shutting down the internet would snap the masses out of their stupor.

Instead, they'll do what they did for the Iraq War protests. Paint the protesters as lazy slackers with nothing better to do, and ignore them.

Re:SOP For Governments. (2)

ebonum (830686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251046)

Indeed. For Egypt, the servers are far away in another country. They have no access. The US would never shut down the access because the government can get access to the servers. The server logs that must be kept ( fighting terrorists ) are a gold mine of IP addresses and who is doing what. Shut down the services and you lose the ability to spy with ease.

Re:SOP For Governments. (-1, Troll)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251056)

Instead, they'll do what they did for the Iraq War protests. Paint the protesters as lazy slackers with nothing better to do, and ignore them.
 
Except they mostly were lazy slackers with nothing better to do. Have you ever been to an anti-war protest? I have, and in San Francisco too. There might have been one or two serious people among the mass of stoned hippies, pathetically naive students protesting because protesting is cool, radical idiots with Mao t-shirts and "Kill Bush" posters and a variety of far left "american socialist communist worker peoples whatever" banners. Not exactly a picture of responsible taxpayers. Image is everything, don't you know that?

Re:SOP For Governments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252360)

Wahaha. Sounds like you drove past a protest, watching the attention seekers at the edges. Keep trying, Troll.

Re:SOP For Governments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251186)

I think that would go for shutting down television, too. People might start feeling awkward with all that free time.

Re:SOP For Governments. (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251490)

I disagree. People always think that it could never happen here because we are the exception to the rule. But time and time it was proven false. The real reason why the internet won't be shut down because of protests is because of a lack of real protesters. When it comes down to it, the vast, vast majority of Americans have no real principles that the odds of a successful protest starting and continuing are slim until things really start getting out of hand (hyperinflation, etc.).

After all, if you came up to a random person on the street and asked if you could do an invasive body search on you, they would decline, the more educated of them would say it was a violation of the constitutional provision to prevent unreasonable searches. But yet put that in an airport situation and the majority of them will say that its "for the greater good" and a "necessary evil" and that "if it saves one life, it is worth it".

All the government needs to do is point to some excuse and the masses as a whole will obey. Like another poster said, if you really look at anti-war protesters they are either anti-Republican and will vote for a democrat because they seem to have an ill-conceived notion that they are anti-war or they are people who really don't care about the war but want to look hip. Very few of them take a principled stand.

Re:SOP For Governments. (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251596)

I'm not saying it can't happen here because of American Exceptionalism, or any bullshit like that. I'm saying our leaders are smart enough to know it's counter-productive. And for the record, it wouldn't happen in England or Germany or Japan or any other first world democracy. And that's because in a democracy, the leaders are by definition the ones who are savvy enough to get elected. The sort of people stupid enough to think that shutting down the internet will quell protests are too hamfisted to attain office in the first place.

And unrelated, but this oft repeated lie that anti-war protesters are naive or just trying to be hip is a load of crap. This may come as a shock to you, but a great many people genuinely think that killing is bad, and will oppose it unless it is absolutely necessary. The lies about them all being stoners and hippies are just propaganda by the very people who were pushing for war in the first place.

Re:SOP For Governments. (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252374)

I disagree. People always think that it could never happen here because we are the exception to the rule. But time and time it was proven false. The real reason why the internet won't be shut down because of protests is because of a lack of real protesters. When it comes down to it, the vast, vast majority of Americans have no real principles that the odds of a successful protest starting and continuing are slim until things really start getting out of hand (hyperinflation, etc.).

So... we're an exception to the rule since our populace has so few principles? IMHO, the reason we don't protest is because we're content, and content people in any country don't seek to destabilize it. Our government doesn't need to shutdown the internet, and doing so would only generate malcontents. Heck, even on a bad day our political situation is still quite good, but our life is pretty good in general, so that's what idle people focus on.

Re:SOP For Governments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35386022)

We have "principles", but what we lack is a central issue that is divisive enough to cause whole parts of the country to join in protest, and by that I mean, entire intact military chains-of-command together with the civilian economic, industrial, and raw materials infrastructure needed to sustain that divided military. Only when this is true will you see a revolution in America. We have seen nothing that comes anywhere close to this type of issue since the 1860s.

Re:SOP For Governments. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252170)

"Because our leaders are a fuckton smarter than the tinpot dictators in the Middle East"

That has been refudiated.

fuckton smarter? I think not. (2)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 3 years ago | (#35254496)

There is http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4534017/ [msn.com] or even George W. Bush.

Of course, I thought that George W. Bush was one of the stupidest people in the country until I realized that 47.9% of the votes were for him.

Thuraya (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250638)

Are Thuraya satellite phones still working? Libya have been trying to jam these for a long time I believe, at least in areas close to Tripoli

Uh-Oh (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250648)

No Internet?

Libya is doomed!

Re:Uh-Oh (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250780)

Its no laughing matter. There 5 very angry people that cant get internet right now.

Re:Uh-Oh (1)

ElusiveJoe (1716808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253114)

And they all work in the government.

What is the world coming to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250656)

tools like OperaTor and VPN is also being blocked.

Taking away their OperaTor, now that's just cruel.

Re:What is the world coming to? (1)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251630)

I can't even dial the Operator? However will I place international calls?

Well, it worked for those other guys... (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250682)

I guess they just saw how well it went for Egypt and decided it was a win-win.

Re:Well, it worked for those other guys... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252530)

Not really. they saw how Egypt didn't get it done soon enough and the protests gained too much momentum and couldn't be controlled.

They are learning from Egypt's mistakes and doing it sooner.. before the protests are at a level they need to be really concerned about.

Bring the War Home (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250730)

How long before the Governor of Wisconsin blocks the Internet for his people?

I hear he's bringing in some Koch Brothers employees on camels tomorrow.

Re:Bring the War Home (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251096)

What does breaking up destructive public sector unions have to do with Internet access? It is the unions that are trying to block things, state government in particular, not the governor.

Re:Bring the War Home (0)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251144)

Woa, Woa, Woa, thats not the narrative most slashdot readers choose to subscribe to. Be careful there.

Re:Bring the War Home (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251504)

Exactly. I for one admire the Wisconsin governor for standing up for balanced budgets and reducing entitlements.

Re:Bring the War Home (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251538)

There is more to it than achieving a balanced budget, although that would be very nice.

The Dems are crying that union busting is going on here and that is exactly right and it is a good thing.

Public sector unions don't make any sense when you think about it for a second. How can they represent employees in bargaining with employers, when employers are the taxpayers (which includes those same union members). They are the employees and employers at the same time! The pay negotiation for public sector workers is done in an election, full stop. They get to vote too. Then when they don't like the result, they try to renegotiate it through the union. The rest of us don't get to renegotiate an election result when we don't like it either.

Re:Bring the War Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251938)

The thing is, politicians considering austerity measures should start with themselves before going after other employees of the state. If the governor and state senate were willing to cut their own pay in half first and lead by example and not raise it again until the economy gets better, than maybe the unions would have been a little more willing to consider terms that would cut their pay. Bloat should also be cut on the administrative side first, before you start considering the people that actually get things done.

Re:Bring the War Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251626)

You must watch NBC news. It made me sick when they compared the Wisconsin protestors to the Egyptians.

The Wisconsin protestors are taking time off from jobs that are funded by taxpayers. The Democratic majority oppposes them. The reason the opposition isn't in the capital is because unlike the protestors, they are either 1. Working and will actually get fired if they walk out for no good reason. 2. Are unemployed and can't afford to go there and protest.

The Wisconsin protest is more like a phony, government-led protest than a people's uprising. If anybody is riding the camel, it's the unions.

Now, before you call out your thugs on me, you need to understand that my view on this is more nuanced than "business good, unions bad".

I'm just as disappointed with the governor as I am with the teachers. Why? Because he's following a "the unions that supported me are OK" philosophy. No principal there.

Unions in general? They were great in the late 19th and early 20th century. Then they got corrupt and greedy. Then they failed to stop NAFTA and other free trade agreements. The final result is what we have now--blue collar workers who pay taxes are actually being exploited by the unions, since union power is concentrated in the public sector.

We should just scrap all the unions and start over, by forming a Labor Party that had fair pay, free associattion (no compulsory dues), safe working conditions, and fair trade as its platform. They would actually find strange bedfellows with some people on the far right who don't like the Free Trade agreements either.

Re:Bring the War Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252000)

Not to mention that today's unions work under the Wagner Act, a New Deal-era law that grossly tilted the playing field in favor of monolithic unions (closed shops and the like)

Re:Bring the War Home (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253340)

Not to mention that today's unions work under the Wagner Act, a New Deal-era law that grossly tilted the playing field in favor of monolithic unions

It tilted the field so much that the unions have been destroyed.

Re:Bring the War Home (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35253330)

The final result is what we have now--blue collar workers who pay taxes are actually being exploited by the unions, since union power is concentrated in the public sector.

All that means is that private industry workers need to start organizing again.

Like they're doing in China.

Did you know that the biggest growth of labor unions is taking place in China? And it's the American unions, the Teamsters, AFL-CIO who are organizing over there. And the Chinese gov't lets them. You know why? Because it's good for a country to have labor unions.

And if you had been in Madison this week, as I had (I drove up from Chicago to show support), you would have seen the similarities to Egypt too. And honestly, besides age and time in office, I can see similarities between Scott Walker and Hosni Mubarak. And I can definitely see similarities between the teabaggers, hired agents of the Koch Brothers and the gov't thugs who road on camels and horses into the Egyptian crowds to intimidate them.

And there's no accident that the decline of Labor in the private industry in America coincides with the decline of the United States.

This happened in Egypt (5, Interesting)

floydman (179924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35250930)

and it did NOT work!
I was one of the ppl, who actually joined the revolution due to the fact that I did not have an internet connection.
So i went to Tahrir square. To my surprise, i found thousands like myself, who found themselves there because they could not
get their updates online, so decided to go see whats going on, and then latter on got involved. It even got worse when the gov. cut of news channles like Jazeera.
What i am noticing is extreme insanity, because you would think that there is some kind of analyst or adviser who saw that happen in Egypt and decided it was a bad idea, but nooooo..they are just too smart for that. Its the same school of thought i guess.

Re:This happened in Egypt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251948)

IOW, we saw a manifestation of the Ali Baba Streisand Effect.

Re:This happened in Egypt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35254838)

Exactly. It "makes sense" to the people in power -- if people are talking trash on-line about the regime in power, then obviously you cut off the on-line conversation. The problem is, then people will find other ways to chat, such as in-person.

Cutting off the internet is a sign the regime has more fear than sense. It's a sign of desperation.

I accidentally the whole internet. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35250982)

Is that bad?

Re:I accidentally the whole internet. (1)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252964)

"....temporarily thrust the nation into its most severe maelstrom of productivity since 1992."

From the Onion [theonion.com] .

Protestor sympathetizers in the govn't (3, Funny)

Palpatine_li (1547707) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251202)

1. advise the leader to cut off Internet 2. youngling without porn goes to street 3. ??? 4. Profit!

Re:Protestor sympathetizers in the govn't (0)

floydman (179924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251284)

wish i had mod points!

One down, (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251216)

more to go.

So does this mean (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251286)

bit.ly isn't going to work next time i need it?

Anonymous + GodHatesFags should gang up on Gaddafi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251516)

Seriously, they'd be doing each other and the rest of us a big favor if they did.

Besides, doesn't this guy [wikipedia.org] just look like he's asking to get the kind of treatment WBC and Anonymous like to hand out?

Christian Audigier (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251664)

Im not a great deal into reading about Clyde Marine Recruitment , but somehow I got to read plenty of articles on your blog. Its amazing Christian Audigier [edhardyonlinestores.com] how interesting it is for me to visit you very often.

Thank the lord for RFC 1149 (2)

Mr.Bananas (851193) | more than 3 years ago | (#35251678)

http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1149.html [faqs.org]

The dictators may intimidate the two or three ISPs into shutting off the internet, but they can't shoot all the birds out of the sky!

why not show the graph? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35251682)

Arbor Networks has been providing some really good graphs detailing typical usage and sudden drops of internet traffic [monkey.org] .

Obama's Bloody Veto ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252004)

The US Veto in the UN Security Council spells out Obama's hyprocrisy, depraved ethics and perverted morality.

Monsters like Obama and his beloved Oligarchs are the humans that humanity can do without.

-308

.LY domains (1)

Logic (4864) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252040)

http://nic.ly/ [nic.ly] is down (and not resolving) as a result of this, and at least a couple of the root servers for .ly (dns.lttnet.net and dns1.lttnet.net) are down, although out-of-country resolution is still functional (although, it's not clear to me if they're simply running off of caches). I suspect bit.ly is pretty happy they've been pimping j.mp lately. :)

Re:.LY domains (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252452)

It is working for me in Grenada (as well as bit.ly)

A repreive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252124)

You put a dent in Facebook spam scams for a bit.

Lybia Following Orders from Barak Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35252244)

Yes, the Monster-n-Chief Barak Hussain Obama, aka Barak-O-Vision, is behind the Lybia crack-down.

Barak-O-Vision's plan, like the UN Vote, is to publically say one thing, but behind closed doors do the opposite.

Ergo, Barak-O-Vision and Hillery-Billy (Hillary RODham Clinton) scolded Mubarak openly, but in private bought time
for him. secured a secure place for him and advised on how to kill the prosters (OMG, A360 go beat up and the Girl,
got raped!

Lybia, like the other Arab States, is in fact a Banana Republics of the US supporting Barak-O-Vision's Colition of Terror.

Hopefully in just a few days, Barak-O-Vision will be as dead as dust.

-308

Backfires (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252450)

As the governmetns are starting to figure out, blocking the internet does disrupt the ability for organizers to get the word out (eg. everyone protest at these specific locations at these times), but once you shut the internet off for everyone, it magnifies the amount of people suddenly upset (and now with nothing better to do but join in). I recall seeing some quote by a protestor who said "we had nothing better to do" once the internet was off so they joined in the rapidly-growing protests.

They also fired on people, killing 84... (2)

cdp0 (1979036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35252948)

They also fired on people, killing 84 [hrw.org] . Somehow they don't seem to understand that killing people will only make their situation worse. Libya will probably follow the same path as Egypt did, at least I certainly hope so. It's time for the people to take the power back.

Coming soon to American audiences! (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257900)

Our politicians are positively tickled by the idea of an internet kill switch... [mcclatchydc.com]

By Glenn Garvin | The Miami Herald (A McClatchy Paper)

Virtually at the same moment Obama was demanding that Egypt stop monkeying with Facebook and Twitter, Maine's imitation-Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced that she plans to reintroduce a bill that died in Congress last year. Collins gave the bill a smiley-face name, the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act. Internet geeks, about the only people who've noticed what the government is up to, prefer to call it the Kill-Switch Bill, because that's what it would do: Give the president the authority to turn off the Internet whenever he pleases.

The bill (assuming Collins follows through on her announced plan to keep it substantially the same as the one she sponsored previously) would give the president the right to declare "a national cyber emergency" and seize authority over any part of the Internet he decides is "vital" to the "economic security, public health or safety of the United States, any state, or any local government." And just in case that's not broad enough, the bill also allows him to snatch anything the White House deems "appropriate."

But this is America, dammit, so the bill includes safeguards for our liberties. The president can only grab stuff for four months at a time. And while the bill says his designations on which parts of the Internet are "vital" are not subject to judicial review, he will have the advice of an enormous new cyberspace bureaucracy presided over by one of our most civil-liberties-sensitive agencies ... the airport-gropers of Homeland Security.

[...]

Even more ominous was an interview given last year by Collins' supporter, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. "We need the capacity for the president to say, Internet Service Provider, we've got to disconnect the American Internet from all traffic coming in from another foreign country," Lieberman told CNN. "Right now, China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in a case of war. We need to have that here, too."

What makes me laugh is the author's pretending - downright posturing - that America's right doesn't want an internet kill switch...lollll...the right will do the "reluctantly signed of on" gig in public, and celebrate in private. You only have to watch Fox for a half hour to see that our right ain't real thrilled with the idea of the American people having untimely access to the inconvenient truth.

Windows already has a backdoor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257998)

Assuming most of you do not run Windows, there is no cause for concern of course.

But there is already a mega-hole backdoor in Windows.
They listen to whatever they want, whenever they want.

Between the fact that the laws haven't caught up to the technology and the Patriot Act, they're laughing right in your faces while they're doing it.

And before all you gurus respond with some tech savvy lackluster comment, let me just say;
you may not run Windows, but I guarantee you someone that you love does.

3rd time posting this now. Somehow, strangely, this post keeps getting deleted.

Lybia protests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35259124)

I think we should shut down parts of the internet untill the search engines stop supporting scam sites. The latest stats say the internet is 83% scams. We should join Lybia and shut down google, msn, yahoo, etc, for continualy allowing scams and profiting from them. Their owners should even be arrested for participating in theft. They are more interested in the income these sites pay then than protecting the public literaly from being stolen from. Lybia may be doing this for the wrong reason but the principle of control over a service provider that is allowing its service to scam the public is not a bad thing. The internet needs more control and the search engine listing services need to be made to pay every time a person is ripped off by a site they host..

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