The outage on Sunday resulted from an attempt to remove a video clip of a Dutch lawmaker explaining his plans to release an anti-Islamic movie. According to the Pakistani government, it was only trying to block access to the clip in Pakistan. Instead, Pakistan Telecom sent out a false claim that it was the correct route for addresses in YouTube’s network space, so that when people tried to access YouTube, they were redirected to a black hole. Check out CNET’s coverage for a more detailed account of what happened.
The move was accidental, according to Shahzada Alam Malik, head of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, who told AP Television News, “We are not hackers. Why would we do that?”
Hackers or not, between the ease with which this happened and the recent severing of those undersea cables, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at the gum and twine holding up our information superhighway.