Note — Apr 07, 2019

Could We Blow Up the Internet?

Seen in → No.74

Source →

Tim Maughan—who’s first novel, Infinite Detail recently came out and is reportedly excellent—does some digging around for Motherboard on an idea central to his novel; could activists take down the internet or parts of it? He explores various scenarios around data centers, Internet Exchanges, jammers, and EMPs.

“On a symbolic, sort of optics level it might be compelling,” she said, “because data centers have become this fetishized, lionized, architectural artifact by companies, right? Like Facebook publishes glamor shots of their data centers and Google gets artists to paint murals on them.” […]

So it seems that while temporarily jamming Wi-Fi, radio, and cell signals might be easily within the reach of protest groups, doing more long term damage and physical destruction to the internet itself seems to be something only nation states—or incredibly powerful terrorist organizations would have the power to do.

More: No Redemption, an excerpt of Infinite Detail, and Data Centers Gobble Energy. Could a ‘Fossil-Free’ Label Help?