I was doing work on my websites early this morning when suddenly, I couldn't connect. I checked the signal, another browser, then turned off wifi and tried from my phone. I could get to Google, my email, Facebook, but not Twitter, my websites or the website of my domain registry. Everything was saying there was no DNS connection.
Immediately, I started searching for comments about hacking while messaging friends to see if they could get to my website. They couldn't. Eventually, the comments on Twitter started trickling in. The East Coast had been hacked.
This was the first time I'd ever experienced something like this and it really made me consider what the loss of our technology does to us and what it means to others who gain control of it. It wasn't the loss of internet access, it was the feeling that someone took something away against our control
We live in a democracy where things are less-than-perfect, but we live in relative freedom doing whatever we desire. Full-out war is not conducted on our home soil and although we're aware of what happens in other countries, we're still very much disconnected.
What if our own government pulled the plug on us? I mean really pulled the plug. No phone, no internet, no electricity. We'd be back to the most rudimentary means for sharing information, organizing, acquiring and sharing food, getting and disseminating accurate news and well, defending ourselves due to lack of information. We'd have only books and print information to share and would lose a great deal of information that has only be stored electronically.
There are those who have arranged their lives for just such a situation, living "off the grid". Some have been fined for going off the grid against the regulations of their town or state. States and utilities have limited our ability to use solar and wind privately and remain attached to the grid, sending power back to it.
If the grid went down without notice and our means to share food from coast to coast were restricted, would society fend for itself? Could you survive on the food you have stored at home? For how long? Where would you get food if you needed it? If you water system were compromised or if you had well water and no pump, how would you get water?
As Americans, were pretty darn pampered. Relatively few of us know how to protect, defend, feed, clothe and shelter ourselves without modern conveniences. Have we become so disconnected that we're at risk? Our government has certainly considered all of these things and take precautions to protect those who are deemed important enough to protect. What about the rest of us? Could you do it? I'm not sure if I could.