Wednesday 5 March 2014
A lot of people are wondering what Western countries can do about Russian's invasion of Ukraine. One option I haven't seen anyone suggest is to disconnect Russia from the Internet. There are lots of ways this could be done, but the simplest would be for participating countries to compel their exchanges to drop packets sourced from Russian ISPs.
This tactic has several advantages. It's asymmetric --- hurts Russia a lot more than the rest of the world, because not many services used internationally are based in Russia. It's nonviolent. It can be implemented quickly and cheaply and reversed just as quickly. It's quite severe. It distributes pain over most of the population.
This may not be the right tactic for this situation, but it's a realistic option against most modern countries (other than the USA, for obvious reasons).
If used, it would have the side effect of encouraging people to stop depending on services outside their own country, which I think is no bad thing.