A big chunk of China was disconnected from the Internet for nearly a year not that long ago, but as some have pointed out, this wasn't quite on scale with the Egyptian government recently taking the entire country offline for a week.
Nor were there any riots in China when an earthquake disrupted Internet service for a few weeks back in 2006; but what if that were to happen now? And with the staggering costs inflicted by Egypt's downtime this week, how likely is the Chinese government to ever pull their own Internet kill switch in an attempt to stifle political unrest?
Somewhere roughly between that and the idea that news from Egypt might spark a political movement in China is the discussion below from Ruan Yifeng's tech blog, on his post, Egypt shut down the Internet.
(Alternately, try your hand at some of the pro-disconnection logic below.)
Did they honestly believe that without the Internet the situation would calm down…? If that were the case, we wouldn't need governments when it comes to resolving social unrest, we could just turn the Internet off.
Thus, we can infer that some people within the Egyptian government simply just don't think much of their people. We see people pointing out to the government its shortcomings, and instead of any reflection over mistakes it might have made, it starts hating on people for even daring to speak of such things. So if people can't see such discussions, they must not be taking place, is that it? With all that gossip flying around the Internet messing with people's heads, why would anyone want to see that? The Internet's better off shut down!
So if that's how the Egyptian government is truly thinking, if they honestly think that shutting down the Internet can resolve social problems, then the conclusion has to be something like this:
And comments from Ruan's post:
When we talk about Egypt shutting off the Internet, what are we really talking about here?
What's relevant is that they achieved their goal, in that people weren't able to organize their protests online, not that people wouldn't be able to see what was happening. Mubarak's only looking to what's happening inside the country, and not outside. However much noise people outside the country make has little bearing domestically.
Shut it down, get all those net addicts hiding at home out on the street.
Still learning from us, I see; I remember one Taobao shopowner had to run all the way to Dunhuang just to get online…
Shutting the Internet off is the quickest way to provoke netizens to violence, Egypt really lacks in technology
Hehe, why doesn't Egypt just start using China's GFW?
The government shouldn't interfere with public communication channels following an outbreak of social unrest, it instead should let the rioters act freely and reveal themselves at the onset, for more thorough resolution of the problem. During the July 5 riots in Xinjiang, we shouldn't have cut off the Internet or cellphones there either, because otherwise the Xinjiang splittists would have been able to organize bigger, more violent activities, resulting in more innocent deaths, and public outrage, then an all-out assault on Xinjiang splittist bases, and an earlier restoration of peaceful life.
In short, the point is that when society is not stable, when mass riots take place, nobody should cut anybody's means of communication, even if there will be deaths or damage as a result…
If you can't get online then get on the street
The Chinese people will have their day soon.
Corrupt officials and interest groups will meet their end soon.
How long can such domineering last?
How similar our ancient civilization is to that ancient civilization…
Satellite Internet would have sped things up, let's see which government will be the first to shut off the entire Internet!
Turns out the Internet has huge impact on public opinion. I remember I read one article, Small Change, which said the Internet had little impact on revolutions. From the looks of it, this isn't impact that we can just overlook.
The Egyptians succeeded. Maybe this will tell certain countries just how stupid shutting off communications is.
The apprentice Egyptian government has finally surpassed its master.
Next time if the master only shuts down the Internet in Xinjiang, it'll look stingy. If they have what it takes, they should learn from the student this time.
What does it have to do with China that Egypt cut off the Internet? I think we need to question Ruan Yifeng's motives in even asking this question. Every country has its own national situation, and not every country has such unrestricted access to the Internet like America does. Egypt right now is not that stable, and has a lot of problems which need addressing. Many people there are being supported by foreign governments to stir up trouble and unrest, and while cutting off the Internet doesn't directly solve the problem, it at least possibly helps resolve it a little quicker. Again, the Internet originally was built by governments, so it's not a problem for a government to cut off its own Internet, and other people shouldn't go on about it. If it's your money, what business is it of anyone else's how you spend it? Four-fifths of the world's population don't go online, so only a minority are affected in shutting it off. Many Africans are too poor to even go online, but I don't see Ruan Yifeng speaking for them. In short, the situation in Egypt right now is quite complicated, and people shouldn't be engaging in rampant speculation. We need to keep people like Ruan Yifeng from taking advantage of this situation to spread innuendo and other ideas. Currently there is a kind of sense of dissatisfaction with the government in society, pointing out all the ways government falls short, but in fact these are from people who do nothing to improve themselves.
Then there are the many people like Ruan Yifeng who often appoint themselves to plead on behalf of the people and interfere with state policy. We need to be more vigilant and not end up being manipulated for their selfish purposes.
Certain views above are ridiculous beyond belief. Free communications is a fundamental right of the people. The state belongs to the people, not the government, and the government must be approved by the people, therefore an unworthy government ought to step down. To drive this kind of corrupt dictatorship government off the stage through demonstrations and rallies is a god-given right of the people. As a citizen of a republic, please familiarize yourself with this basic common sense.
The chaos in Egypt now was not created by the people, rather quite the opposite, it was created by those dictators clinging to the top refusing to go. Where do you see this kind of chaos in democratic countries where the government changes every four years? Only dictatorships are truly chaotic, where blood has to be shed to replace the government.
The wave of democratization cannot be stopped; people wish to live as people and not as slaves. Mubarak can hold it off for now, but he can't hold it off forever. All dictators face their reckoning sooner or later.
Is Patriotic bishop a wumao or what?
There are three versions of Tunisia in the world today: the first is the Tunisia of Tunisia's past; the second is the Tunisia we see now in Egypt; the third is China under the rule of the Communist Party of China, coming soon in the near future.
They were right to shut it off, it got all those homebodies out the door! So get on the street, walk around. For Egypt's net addicts, this was a blessing in disguise.
If they're so afraid about others being able to speak, they must feel guilty about something. If a government falls from power just because people are able to communicate freely, then that's a government that definitely should have fallen long ago, scrammed long ago.
What a classic cynic, this Patriotic bishop.
“Currently there is a kind of sense of dissatisfaction with the government in society, pointing out all the ways government falls short, but in fact these are from people who do nothing to improve themselves.”
Say if your sister got pushed down onto a sofa, if your dad got eluded by the cat, if your wife got caught up in the hidden rules, if your son turned into a big head baby, if your home got forcefully demolished, and after all that you're still not dissatisfied with the government, then you definitely are a guy who does nothing to improve himself.
So really what Patriotic bishop is telling us is that we should be stakeholders in the system, and not just shitizens.
Whatever, this was just the Al Qaeda version of a color revolution. The lower classes across the Arab world are anti-American, and to them democracy means yet another Hamas. And the Americans actually want to attack Iran, the most democratic country in the Middle East? I just don't get it.