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    Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet

    This is a discussion on Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet within the General Computing and Internet forums, part of the Community channel category; Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet - BBC News An internet shutdown in Bangladesh which lasted for more than an ...

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      Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet

      Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet - BBC News
      An internet shutdown in Bangladesh which lasted for more than an hour was a "mistake", according to the authorities.

      Officials announced on Wednesday that access to Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp had all been blocked in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling upholding death sentences for two men convicted of war crimes. But the country's Telecommunication Regulatory Commission says it accidentally cut off access to the internet across the whole country.

      The web blackout started at around 13:00 local time and lasted at least 75 minutes, according to the Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star. "We restored the internet as soon as we realised the mistake," says Shahjahan Mahmood, the commission's chairman. The messaging services were blocked as originally planned in order to maintain security, he says.

      "There was no directive to shut down the internet," Mr Mahmood was quoted as saying on the bdnews24.com website, adding that it could have happened "as part of a process to ensure that these apps cannot be used in Bangladesh".

      Businesses have since complained that they were unable to fulfil orders during the blackout, with one executive telling The Daily Star that the long-term effect "will be massive".


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      Re: Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet

      It just shows how much we have come to rely on the internet. I would expect that the effect of a similar occurrence in the UK or another first world country would be even more profound.
      In this case the shutdown was instigated by the government but what if there was a vulnerability in the network that allowed a terrorist organisation to have a similar effect?

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      Re: Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet

      Sounds like their internet is all routed through the state telecoms provider. This is not the case here, there are multiple links all over the place, it would be difficult if not impossible to take out the entire network. You could though still create big problems by taking out a telecoms link station, you'd slow it down, but not stop it.
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      Re: Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet

      I recall whilst I was working in Egypt that the Internet there was all routed through state controlled systems. I would be surprised if any of it is not routed through buildings that the state can have have some kind of access to.

      This is the second time that I am aware of where the Internet has been broken by someone is Pakistan. This shows just how easy it would be to bring the whole network to its knees. Considering the the Internet is supposed to be invulnerable to major warfare, I guess we've now seen its weakness.

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      Re: Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet

      Well, you could cause a major problem here if you targeted the right spot in Cornwall, but it still would not kill the links to the rest of the planet. Data would just be re-routed through europe.
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      Re: Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet

      Whilst I know the links that you are referring to, I'm not convinced that we'd be that invulnerable. Recently a cable was damaged and this affected all of Yahoo!'s traffic.

      A lot of the traffic is routed through specific cables now and there is that much going through them that if a few were put out of action, the whole infrastructure would soon come under pressure. This could easily cause a domino effect.

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      Re: Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet

      Accepted, but you need to define critical in this context. I personally do not consider Yahoo to be critical to anything. I would be extremely surprised and concerned at the lack of foresight by HM goverment if there are not backup plans in place should the said cables be damaged; the goverment would use sat links I would suggest.

      Would it cause panic on the streets if internet users could not connect to the USA? It may be inconvenient and would lead to congestion on other routes, but it's not life threatening. As I said in a previous entry, unlike Pakistan all our eggs are not in one basket.

      Where I would agree with you is that some of the backhaul infrastructure could probably be made more resilient but as time goes by and traffic density increases that is going to happen anyway. I would hope that the fibres that have been pulled around the country do not all meet at the same place and different routes geographically have been taken.

      It's an interesting topic...
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      Re: Bangladesh: Government 'mistakenly' cuts off internet

      Quote Originally Posted by marjohn56 View Post
      Accepted, but you need to define critical in this context. I personally do not consider Yahoo to be critical to anything. I would be extremely surprised and concerned at the lack of foresight by HM goverment if there are not backup plans in place should the said cables be damaged; the goverment would use sat links I would suggest.
      My example was of a relatively recent issue, not citing Yahoo! as the most critical of services. The shear fact that such an incident did cause issues demonstrates weaknesses in the way in which the transatlantic traffic is routed in order to mange costs. It took a period of time to redirect the traffic, but it did happen. As for the repair, I'm not sure if that has been competed but I'm sure that it would have been tackled by now.

      Quote Originally Posted by marjohn56 View Post
      Would it cause panic on the streets if internet users could not connect to the USA? It may be inconvenient and would lead to congestion on other routes, but it's not life threatening. As I said in a previous entry, unlike Pakistan all our eggs are not in one basket.
      Virtually all those under the age of 20 wouldn't know what to do if the Internet were to be turned off. Of course there would be panic.

      Quote Originally Posted by marjohn56 View Post
      Where I would agree with you is that some of the backhaul infrastructure could probably be made more resilient but as time goes by and traffic density increases that is going to happen anyway. I would hope that the fibres that have been pulled around the country do not all meet at the same place and different routes geographically have been taken.

      It's an interesting topic...
      Currently the infrastructure continues to be increased in order to cope with the demand in 'normal' traffic loads. If everyone were to hammer their connection at the same time, I have no doubt that we'd see problems.

      On the positive side I haven't seen any reports so far (touch wood) where Sky's backhaul has been under pressure. This serves to demonstrate that people are learning and predicting expansion requirements has improved.

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