Measuring Limits on the Ability of Colluding Countries to Partition the Internet
We show that the strength of Internet-based network interconnectivity of countries is increasing over time. We then evaluate bounds on the extent to which a group of colluding countries can disrupt this connectivity. We evaluate the degree to which a group of countries can disconnect two other countries, isolate a set of countries from the Internet, or even break the Internet up into non-communicative clusters. To do this, we create an interconnectivity map of the worldwide Internet routing infrastructure at a country level of abstraction. We then examine how groups of countries may use their pieces of routing infrastructure to filter out the traffic of other countries (or to block entire routes). Overall, bounds analysis indicates that the ability of countries to perform such disruptions to connectivity has diminished significantly from 2008 to 2013. However, we show that the majority of the gains in robustness go to countries that had already displayed significant robustness to the types of attacks that we consider. The countries that displayed higher initial vulnerability to such attacks did not become significantly more robust over the time period of analysis.
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