The Day the Internet Went Down

In the last week 4 underwater cables in the Middle East were cut resulting in Internet outages in areas ranging from Egypt to India. Although initial reports spoke about damage from a ship’s anchor, the recurring damages in multiple locations seem to contradict those reports.

So lets see – who has an interest in cutting Internet access in the Middle East? The Israeli Mossad? Al Qaida? The CIA? Or maybe all of the above…. Conspiracy theories abound, but that is not what bothers me.

As I write this, I realize how delicate our network is. Do you use a web based email as your main email client as I do? Do you network on Facebook as I do? Do you communicate mostly by IM as I do? And do you depend on the info and history stored there to perform your daily work, as I do??

In past years I used a computer based email client and backed up my Outlook from time to time on my computer or LAN. Today I automatically copy all emails sent and received, to Gmail and delete them from my email client. Who needs a desktop based client if I can access Gmail from my home computer, from my laptop or as I mostly do today, from my mobile?

This is scary! If the network is down, even for a few days, what will we do? How will we access our data? How will businesses operate? How will society operate? Maybe we should step back to desktop applications, they are safer than web based applications?

Our dependency on the net is dangerous. And for some reason I don’t think that last weeks cable cuts were a passing occurrence.

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