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How You Get Nicknamed "Mubarak": Woman Out Scavenging for Copper Takes All of Armenia Offline

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 7 2011

From the quickly-filling "Internet Fragility" file comes a BBC report that a complete Internet outage that hit Armenia in late March was traced to a Georgian woman who was hunting for copper:

The cables, owned by the Georgian Railway Telecom company, serve eastern Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

All three wholesale internet providers in Armenia -- ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa -- were unable to provide their usual service on the evening of 28 March, Armenia's Arka news agency reported.

Here it's a dictator, there it's a woman with a shovel, but these incidents are a reminder that the Internet isn't the most stable of mediums for all the political, economic, and cultural were heaping upon it. (via ReadWriteWeb)

Way back in 1997, Wired ran a piece called "50 Ways to Crash the Net." Number #7 was "Buy 10 backhoes," where idea there was that you could do a lot of damage by digging up even a few of the cables that connect people to the global networks. Seems like, even more than a decade later, far lighter equipment can also do the trick -- at least in the Caucasus.