It seems like more and more Middle Eastern governments are trying to regulate the internet by turning it off. Right now, people of Libya are fighting to take back their country from Gaddafi. Can you guess what that fugly of a guy ended up doing? Yep.
Which leads me to the question: Does turning off the internet in an entire country affect the rest of the interweb?
A look back at Egypt’s 15 minutes of fame has shown that you can flip the switch but someone will be right around the corner to switch it back on. Is it really that simple? We’re all on the same phone line, right? I’m about as clueless as it gets when it comes to network infrastructure. But I’m pretty sure that all of the internet providers use the same telephone cables and satellites to access the internet. So when Libya flips the switch off, how much does it affect the neighboring countries, or world?
Part of me wants to believe it frees up some bandwidth to justify not caring about what’s happening over there. Oh come on, everyone knows it’s only cool to be interested if it’s an unknown country. And thanks to Back to the Future, Libya doesn’t get that luxury from me. Anyways, my lack of education and or ignorance got the better of me while researching how exactly the internet is laid out. I needed some visual stimulation to get my brain juices flowing. So I Googled. And I Googled some more until I found a graph that I could understand. I eventually stumbled upon Peer1’s massive interpretation.
Click for at closer look at the map of mind-blowing.
Peer1, a hosting company, decided to create a map for stupid people like me. They took topology data from the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis and translated all of that mumbo jumbo into something palpable for the computer illiterate.
The Map of the Internet is a visual representation of all the networks around the world that are interconnected to form the Internet as we know it today. These include small and large Internet service providers (ISPs), Internet exchange points, university networks, and organization networks such as Facebook and Google. The size of the nodes and the thickness of the lines speak to the size of those particular providers and the network connections in relation to one another.
Well this certainly clears things up a bit. As long as it’s not AT&T Worldnet Services or another large orange node connecting to thousands of smaller nodes, turning off a small ISP will do absolutely nothing to the rest of the cloud. But hey, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up with current events or wishing that all of these uprisings would somehow give you more breathing room to host Call of Duty games. Le sigh.