“Someone Shut Down The Internet” - Could It Happen And What Would Happen?

Friday May 19 2017

Whether you are looking at the Internet from a business perspective or personal point of view, it’s safe to say that it’s well and truly penetrated every aspect of our lives. Communication, entertainment, and research are just three of the many ways the Internet is used every second of every day all around the world.

As a society, we have become accustomed to being able to access the Internet, whether that be from our home, place of work, or when out and about. Many of our day to day tasks rely heavily on the Internet, and a connection that works well. In fact, if you have ever been faced with a poor WiFi connection or been stranded somewhere without the Internet you will have quickly realised just how much you need it.

So, what would happen if the Internet was to disappear? Though the chances of the Internet disappearing entirely is unlikely, there has been a lot of debate raging about whether someone could shut it down if they wanted to.

Could Someone Shut down The Internet?

The question as to whether someone could shut down the Internet is different to whether someone would want to. It has been reported that there is a group of people - made up of officials, experts, and professionals - that can together agree to shut down the Internet in the case of a cybersecurity crisis, and in this respect many Internet users would agree with their decision. So, while there are individuals who have the ability to shut down the Internet, it is unlikely that they would go ahead unless there was crisis on an international scale.

But, what about those who want to shut down the internet for malicious reasons? As technology becomes more sophisticated, so do the hackers. The reasons why hackers decide to break into certain networks is not often clear, but one thing that is constantly evolving is the knowledge and expertise these individuals have to infiltrate major networks. However, the Internet is such a large and complex networking, spanning across the whole world, that there is no current evidence to suggest that someone could shut it down entirely – but that isn’t to say it isn’t possible.

What Would Happen If The Internet Was Shut down?

In the case of a complete shut down, there would be significant problems across the globe. There’s no doubt that it would cause individuals and businesses huge levels of inconvenience, the real problem would be seen elsewhere. Government security, banking, personal data, medical record, and other important elements all rely on the Internet to ensure they are safe, secure, and accessible. With the Internet shutdown, there’s no telling how as a society we would continue to be as productive as we are now and how confidential information would stay confidential.