Three Letters Re: Bypassing the Internet Kill Switch

Hello Mr. Rawles!
Long time reader here, but had taken a break from most blogs for almost a year as I focused on generating alternative sources of income. I have an important question for you. How will we access the Internet after the government shuts off “the switch“? Would we still have access via dial up possibly? I’m on broadband now and its been a long time since I’ve used dial up service. I’ve used Ubuntu Linux the past 4, almost 5 years now and I know many old dial up modems do not work well in Linux/ (At least the inexpensive winmodems don’t work well.) Of course, some brand name modems still work great. I’ve have been recently re-watching the Jericho television series to get some ideas of life after the SHTF. My wife from Ukraine says collapse is at USA’s doorstep with all the telltale signs). In the show Jericho, Robert Hawkins continues to use a government computer even after an EMP and mention is made the Internet was designed to be able to survive a nuclear war. What about a Presidential kill switch? In any case, I was thinking of getting to know dial up again. Are there still BBS (bulletin board systems) out there? Should I even consider looking into dial up or am I wasting my time? Regards, – Dave in Southern California

James Wesley,
Take a look at the Open Mesh web site. The content of that site is a bit heavy-technical going in places but useful, given: A.) Egypt’s recent actions, and B.) the current[ly pending] Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) legislation in Congress to give the White House the power to shut down chunks of the Internet in times of “national emergency.”

I’m a frequent reader who appreciates your hard work in making people more aware. – Rick W.

I believe that some TEOTWAWKI-prepping “good” will come out of the recent developments in Egypt. See this recent PC World article: Get Internet Access When Your Government Shuts It Down Does your government have an Internet kill-switch? Read our guide to Guerrilla Networking and be prepared for when the lines get cut. I’m even thinking of a “neighborhood intercom”! – The Other J.R.

JWR Replies: I concur that it is important to develop some alternatives in anticipation of draconian government actions. Yishai mentioned another good article with it own little wiki: Communicate if Your Government Shuts Off Your Internet.

Since SurvivalBlog might someday be deemed politically incorrect–either by malicious hackers, our by own government, or by a foreign government, we are developing some countermeasures:

A.) As a first step, a couple of months ago we began publicizing our IP address (It is: I got a chuckle when I saw a wannabe blog quickly follow suit.

B.) The next logical step will be to set up an offshore SurvivalBlog mirror server that will be automagically backed up every 24 hours. (Does anyone have some inexpensive server space available?)

C.) Lastly, I hope to find a used satellite phone with modem capability, “just in case.” (Perhaps Iridium…) But even buying used equipment, they seem quite expensive. Ditto for the cost of calls and modem connect time.