Prepare for an Internet Shutdown
Consider the following issues concerning Saturday's Internet attack:
It is not in the interest of Iraq to attack the Internet. The worldwide anti-war movement depends upon the Internet for communication. Shutting down the Internet would have negative consequences for Iraq.
It is not in the interest of al-Qaeda to attack the Internet. If we are to believe the claims of the US Government, the Internet is al-Qaeda's primary means of communication. Shutting down the Internet would have negative consequences for al-Qaeda.
The Resistance did not attack the Internet for the same reason that Iraq did not attack the Internet.
Who would benefit from shutting down the Internet?
The US Government would benefit if the Internet were shut down in order to disrupt the anti-war movement and in order to disrupt the communications of their (possibly phantom) enemy al-Qaeda.
Israel would benefit from shutting down the Internet because the Internet is the only means of mass communications not effectively controlled by Israeli interests.
We should take Saturday's Internet shutdown as a warning. The message is clear. The Internet will be shut down or highly disrupted upon commencement of war against Iraq. This fact has strong implications for the anti-war movement and the Resistance in general. We cannot depend exclusively upon the Internet for organization and communications. We must construct an alternative means of backup communications and we must do so immediately, for war is likely to begin within days.
The Resistance suggests that anti-war activists and rebels take the following steps:
Save to hard disk any and all web pages containing contact information you will need in the event of an Internet shutdown. Locate and collect contact information on all local anti-war and Resistance organizations.
Anti-war and Resistance organizations should be prepared to field telephone calls in the event of Internet shutdown. A good mechanism to disseminate protest, meeting, and rally information in the event of an Internet shutdown is the simple answering machine with a recorded message containing information about such events.
Anti-war and Resistance organizations should prepare telephone lists and telephone tree structures for contacting members.
Organization should be prepared to produce and disseminate leaflets informing the public of anti-war and Resistance events.
Even if this communication turns out to be a false alarm, it is better to be prepared than to be unprepared.