President Donald Trump has called (in a tweet) to “cut off” the internet following the September 15th London Tube bombing. The cited reason? Because it is a terrorist recruitment tool. The call to cut off internet access showcases President Trump’s utter lack of a handle on how the internet works – which is deeply troubling. Just a few points for him to think about: The internet is also a very good counter terrorism recruitment tool, and also currently a prerequisite for tweets to spread far and wide.
Here is Trump’s call for cutting off the internet in all of its ignorant glory:
Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner.The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
This isn’t the first time that Donald Trump has tweeted about his dream internet policy. Back in December of 2016, he even said he would call for Bill Gates to help him in banning the internet. In March of 2017, President Trump signed away American’s internet privacy protections.
This bears repeating: Internet shutdowns are bad
Even now, there are active internet shutdowns all around the world – for instance in the small African country of Togo. Oftentimes, these internet shutdowns correspond with political events such as highly contested elections. Internet shutdowns have been cited as effective methods to curtail protests – which is how it is used by the Indian government in the Jammu and Kashmir region. Sometimes, the internet disruptions only effect cell phones and mobile data, or social media traffic, without a complete internet shutdown. Could it happen in America? The United States has been working on an internet killswitch that could be used on cellular and internet service in emergencies – though details on this killswitch are sparse. With the country’s leader calling to “cut off” the internet – the possibility of an internet shutdown in the United States just became that much more real.