When it comes to an Internet blackout, Qatar is the most vulnerable country in the Middle East, the Atlantic asserts in an article about the uprisings that have rocked the region.
The reason: Qatar is the only Arab nation that has one Internet Service Provider, or ISP – Qtel. In contrast, Egypt has some 220 ISPs, Libya has four and Syria has about 10.
The Atlantic reports:
If Qtel goes down, Qatar disappears off the face of the Web…
Qatar’s government could easily shut down Internet access during a political exigency: The state has an unelected, monarchic, emirate-type government with virtually no democratic institutions or elections, and a serious uprising against the Emir would probably face an almost immediate rebuke.
The likelihood of this happening is minimal: Qatar is one of the richest nations in the world (per capita), and protests didn’t take hold during the early weeks of the Arab Spring because, simply, “there was no reason to protest.”
But, in terms of the technological integrity, Qatar’s Internet could be wiped out with a spilled glass of water on a particularly essential mainframe.
Well, that sounds frightening.
What do you guys think? Does the author’s logic make sense?
Or should he give Qatar’s infrastructure a bit more credit?