A Fragile Internet

If you recall, over the weekend, access to YouTube was interrupted.  I happened to be following the discussion on Twitter through the BBC Technology feed.  There was wild speculation about what was happening but it seemed to boil down to the desire of the Pakistan government to block YouTube from its citizens.

Apparently, there was a video on the service that was determined to be very offensive.  So, to protect is citizens, steps were taken to address this.

This morning, an article from the BBS describes what they think happened.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7266600.stm

To me, the issue isn’t what was happening from the government end.  What concerns me is that impact that such a move has globally.  The incident serves to remind us that the internet is a living entity.  It relies on the component parts.  But, what of those of us who rely on its availability for instant information and communication? 

The situation was resolved on two fronts.  Service was restored in a couple of hours and the offending video was removed from YouTube.

Locally, we had a similar incident yesterday.  Certainly not of global proportions but we were trying to arrange a get together of some colleagues and we were bantering back and forth via email about the weather conditions and the drive that some would endure.  Until internet access was cut for one of us because of construction.  We ended up having to resolve it the old fashioned way.  Telephones.

This poses a problem to those who provide these services.  What is considered to be acceptable up time?  For those of us on the other end as consumers, what can we consider to be acceptable services and do we all need to have a “Plan B” in our pockets?

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