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Comment by Chris Pinchen on April 19, 2011 at 9:48

from Choke Point Project

Video Transcription

On February 27th, 2011, the order was given to “turn off” the Internet in Egypt, limiting communications and voiding commerce conducted online. Egyptian Internet services resumed on February 2nd. Fastforward just a few weeks later, this time Libya commences its disconnect February 18th, with a blackout occurring March 4th.

Shutting down the Internet in two countries sent shock-waves across the world. We also  heard people like American Senator Liberman asking for access to a similar kill switch. These actions force us all to ask ‘Who owns The Internet?” and what are the implications of the said controls over connectivity and scenarios for their use?

If you believe the Internet is not something that can or should be soley controlled by politicians or people inside the higher echelons of nation states, resulting in situations like Egypt and Libya, we’d love to tell you about what we are building.

The Choke Point Project addresses the events of recent months with the clear aim of mapping nodes of Internet connectivity and who maintains their control and what this may mean. We believe there is the need for a more decentralized Internet beyond the complete control of nation states and corporate influence.

So let me tell you a little bit about us? The Choke Point Project team are members of the Peer to Peer Foundation, and some of our friends, comprised of web researchers, software developers and data visualization experts.

So some of the projects aims are:

to gather data from across the web to show control points,

and clearly explain the complex issues involved including the history of who owns the Internet, the current legal situation, and where are identified choke points, and possible strategies for decentralization, reasons for and against kill switches.

The Choke Point Project site will function as a living record of Internet ownership and control, documenting the key areas from domain name registration to traffic gates

We will use the site to:

- create an interactive data visualization to identify choke points, showing vulnerabilities

- document the related open projects and point to articles with analysis and strategy

- release datasets and tools used to track down Internet choke points.

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