61 Countries Could Easily Be Cut Off from the Internet

These countries only have one or two outside links to the Internet

By on December 4th, 2012 20:31 GMT

With the situation in Syria, where Internet access was cut off for days at the command of the local government, and with more and more examples of governments cutting off access to quiet communication channels, the obvious question is, where could this happen next.

The people at Renesys looked at how well connected the countries of the world are and used this as a gauge indicating how at risk they are.

This is not based on politics, no one seriously believes Greenland is in any danger of an authoritarian regime taking over the Internet any time soon, but it's listed as one of the places at risk since it relies on just one internet cable and one Internet provider.

"The key to the Internet's survival is the Internet's decentralization — and it's not uniform across the world. In some countries, international access to data and telecommunications services is heavily regulated," Renesys explained.

"There may be only one or two companies who hold official licenses to carry voice and Internet traffic to and from the outside world, and they are required by law to mediate access for everyone else," it added.

Greenland is not alone; some 61 countries have at most two internet providers with outside links. These countries are at great risk, any government could easily cut off access for the entire country, especially since in many cases Internet is provided by government-owned ISPs.

Things are better for countries with more connections, but anyone with less than 10 outside links is at a severe risk, Renesys believes. 72 countries fall into this category.

Countries with more than 10 connections, but no more than 40 are at a low risk of getting disconnected. 58 countries are like this.

Finally, countries with more than 40 connections can be considered safe, but only 32 countries in the world qualify, mostly in the developed world.

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