back to article Pig plague could crash interwebs, say US feds

A severe outbreak of the H1N1 pandemic could overwhelm internet providers' capacity, according to a report submitted Monday, which called on Department of Homeland Security officials to develop contingency plans to avert such a crisis. "Concerns exist that a more severe pandemic outbreak than 2009's could cause large numbers …


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  1. Albert Gonzalez

    Just throttle BT traffic

    Tittle says it all. Also disable youtube, and video downloads, and you'll have more free BW than now.

  2. musoben

    more scaremongering...

    I wonder if the the H1N1 sniffles can get any more ludicrously overblown. if ever there was a better example of a government (A) making several mountain ranges out of a sandcastle to exert more control over the people and (B) allowing department to make jobs for themselves to spend our (their) cash, I have yet to see it.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Stop contributing to the idiocy, ElReg.

    How many people have died of H1N1 in any given acreage this month?

    In the same acreage, how many have died from complications of smoking in the same time frame? How about from bad driving? Alcohol abuse? Drug abuse?

    It's only fucking influenza, for fuck's sake. If you are healthy, understand nutrition, grok the concept of remaining hydrated, and can stay warm and dry, you'll survive.

  4. Matthew 4
    Thumb Down


    they should visit new zealand.. its like that all the time :)

    you get used to it

  5. Gulfie

    I may be speaking too soon but...

    ... we've had three cases of swine flu in the office over the last few weeks and although people are supposed to be contagious before their symptoms fully show, it seems not to be able to spread very easily. People who sit next to those who have gone down with flu are not catching it. We also have aircon (who doesn't) which has done a good job of spreading a cold around the office though.

    Thos who have had it have been quite ill for several days. Definitely not man flu ;-)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Govs, gotta love 'em!

    What a load of tosh! Really? Why is it governments will use any excuse to panic the populace?

    Most of us get flattened for about 2-3 days with pig-flu, then due to the fact that the economy is so knackered we have to get off our backsides and get back to work or risk losing our jobs!

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    FFS FUD in Virtualised Spin ..... for the Fool into Retarded Playgrounds

    I have only one thing to say about all of that, Dan, and it is in the Title. The only thing missing would appear to be a Taliban/Al Qaeda attribution but I suppose that is being presently worked upon in the background/bunkers, to be produced whenever things get a bit hairy.

    Ok .... so I can't count, but it isn't an offence yet, as far as I know.

  8. John 73


    "the congestion might be so acute that stock brokers and other securities market employees would be unable to telework from home"

    And oh how terrible that would be.

    Seriously, is preventing stockbrokers from working at home the worst result they could come up with?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Stock brokers and investment wankers?

    WTF, are Stock Brokers and investment wankers critical services? Fed worried about them not being able to work. Given the way they fucked it all up when they were working it's probably better to cut their internet connection altogether. Or better yet take then out back and...

  10. Paul 4


    They could just start telling people that they shouldent work if they are ill, as in rest, like they are suposed to...

    And why is someone working more important than someone making use of the internet for fun? We all pay the same.

  11. aNthraXx
    Black Helicopters

    US feds

    Looks like a sensationalist ploy to gather public support for the case against net neutrality. Who'd have thought that the hysteria around the dreaded Swine Flu could affect us here online! Surely saturday mornings are just as busy for the old internet, as millions awaken to check their favourite websites as they nurse their hangovers with a huge mug of coffee.

    To me, it seems a good idea if "stock brokers" couldn't work from home anyway. It'd mean they're gambling and loosing less money!

  12. John Sturdy

    Critical networks?

    So the US government opinion is that the main problem would be that "stock brokers and other securities market employees would be unable to telework from home"? Evidently more critical than any use for health-related purposes.

  13. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!

    Report, pulled, arse, researcher $$$.

    Is this story and report for real?

    If it is then what a load of scare mongering crap.

    Well what with all the general hysteria in the media about Flying Pig flu we won't have time to use the internet, we will all be to busy setting fire to our houses, eating our relatives and having sex with cats and dogs.

    It's getting boring now, just waiting for the ocean to engulf us now due to global warming then we won't have to listen to this crap anyone.

    What's that you say? Global warming could just be a scare mongering story as well, ahhh crap!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Nice excuse?

    What a nice excuse to make changes that allow the DHS to decide what webpages are allowed? I'm so certain that all sites criticizing their abuse of existing laws will be deemed critical. ;)

  15. Isolated Penguin

    The "Internet freedom" Act

    I find it interesting that this scare story comes on the heels of John McCain's introduction of the Internet Freedom Act. Excellent bit of double speak. His definition of "Internet Freedom" means the freedom for the telecoms companies to charge whatever they like to whoever they like whenever they like for any service level they like.

    The Act would block the FCC's ability to regulate the Telecoms insofar as Network Neutrality was concerned. John McCain sees the FCC as applying "onerous federal regulation" on the industry.

    Everyone seems to ignore why the DHS is making these claims. The Existing infrastructure can not take the strain it is too fragile. It is simply inadequate. And the Telecoms are saying that if you will pay for it we can make it better. They have already been paid for it with the 1995~96 Telecoms act that rolled back regulation and allowed them to increase profits. They promised to use that profit to build infrastructure. What happened to all of the dark fiber that they bought up when the Tech Bubble burst.

    Short explanation on Gizmando

    Interesting take on Boing boing.

    In 1995 the Telecoms promised 45Mbit broad band to every home in America if only the government would lift the restrictive regulations and let them charge what was needed to build the infrastructure. they spent the intervening time using that money to fatten C level executive paychecks and buy up or destroy any competition.

    When congress came back several years later and asked where is the 45Mbit broadband? They responded 45Mbit?? We just meant broadband. And if you redefine Broadband to be 128Kbps then most all of the country is covered. See we did our job.

    While most of my family, back in th states, is still on dial-up or paying 4~5 times what I am paying here in Korea for service that would not be acceptable to the average Korean customer.

    In comparison --

    I am glad that I live in South Korea where the Internet runs as it should. Other things don't but thats life everywhere. The government insisted on competition and regulated an environment where it actually happened. The latest estimates are that with all of the Korean traffic from games, video, IP TV, web, mail and every thing else they are only using about half of the available backbone capacity. And all of the Telecomm companies are still building more capacity.

    Gigabit speeds in the big cities by 2012. Nationwide by 2015. Korea Telecom (KT) just offered my boss fiber to the home at his weekend country house, a 2.5 hour drive outside of Seoul. NOT fiber to the curb as most places define "Fiber to the home". Actual fiber in to the residence. Family members, on his wifes side, already have fiber up and running at their residence and business in the same area of the country.

    The industry sees a future where all services converge into one and become ubiquitous. Television to your cell phone, (already happening with DMB) true Internet anywhere on any device, Mobile WiBro (WiMax ) services already in most major cities and expanding. WiFi everywhere now.

    You may read more about it here:

    United Nations Asia Pacific Training center:

    Or get the master plan straight from the Korean government.

    U-Korea Master Plan (PDF 32MB):

    Or Google "U-Korea Master Plan" or "Ubiquitous Korea", a lot of interesting information.

  16. Will Shaw

    We all need to get a fucking grip.

    This is one step away from saying "Industry observers fear that a more severe outbreak of H1N1 could severely impact the coffee bar industry as people will be unable to leave the house for their usual decaff half-frapp skinny mocha chocca latte".

    When we did we become such pansies that in the face of an admittedly so far overblown global pandemic, we fret about whether we'll still be able to post Twitter updates (@loser: help, apclypse is here! Loadza z0m813s at my door!!! LOLZ!)

    Head for the mountains! Begin stockpiling ammo! Weld scaffolding and corrugated iron to your car!


  17. Anton Channing

    Bandwidth Hogs?

    ...okay, okay, its that leather one over their with the cover of Green Jelly's "Three Little Pigs" single painted on the back.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Err, they can' from home that is

    Minor issue with this whole "working from home" idea for poor old traders.......It's illegal for them to do so.

    They (the regulators) have all these boring old regulations about supervision, compliance, non repudiation, recording, enforcement of non out of band communication and review of communications etc etc.

    Billy Joe Jim Bob Loud-braces is regarded by the regulators as (and quite rightly) a lying cheating f*&(wit with the morals of a sewer rat who has to be watched and clubbed like a baby seal.

    So.....the actual work they can at home do is send and receive email and surf porn.

    Typical example of why it is essential that politicians be kept as far from technology as possible

  19. mmiied

    swine flue contagion

    I had suspected swine flue and for the 2 days before hand I was coffing and sheesing every 5 mins and had a tap like nose but not only did none of my work colages (5 of them sit within 2 meters) get it but neather did eather of my house mates so I think this is all over blown

    on the subject of the article the last thing I wanted to do was work when I had swine flu but I did put a dent in the inter net for other uses

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:Govs, gotta love 'em!

    Utter balls. No-one has ever lost there job for haveing a few days off with a Drs note. Stop saying this rubbish, and stay off work if you are ill. You might be safe, but the person sat next too you might have a health problem you don't know about and die.

  21. Geoffrey Summerhayes

    Not a problem

    Just start broadcasting, 'I COTZ H1N1 FROM TEH INTERWEBZ' and watch usage go down.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Another excuse for monitoring your web traffic

    They're lying wankers of the worst kind. The only way they could "control" the web would be detailed monitoring of all packets and controlling the dns servers. DHS is a pack of idiots.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 12:03

    "no-one has ever lost their job for having a few days off with a doctors note"

    possibly not, but if you are off sick frequently, people do notice. Even if it's just that they notice the people who were in more!

    Also it depends on where you work and what you do, but in quite a lot of places, if you are off for a few days, that puts you a few days behind. If i'm in the middle of designing a system, chances are nobody could pick it up and continue before i got back, even after a week. Which means impacting project dates, and masses of work when i get back, which i don't want to do. So i endure a bit of a sniffle occasionally and work through it, rather than immediately take the day off to go to the doctor, for a note to take a few more off.

    I'm actually quite proud of only having a single sick day in 7 years, i was very, very hung over and throwing up constantly. Even after coming off my motorbike and breaking my ribs, i still continued on into work, as i didn't want to delay a design. Strangely enough, if you actually enjoy your job and feel like you do something useful, you don't actually want to spend the day at home in bed every chance you get.

  24. James O'Brien

    As an american I can honestly this. . .

    Oh fuck I cant wait to see what else they dream-up/make-up/fabricate to show how in bed the entire US government is with the ISPs.

  25. John F***ing Stepp

    But wait!

    We can't have freedom and control freedom. . .

    "Head asplodes."

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: more scaremongering...

    We've had two cases of confirmed swine flu on our floor of about fifty people. One of them sits next to me and was under the weather before he went on sick leave. Despite all the hype about how easy it is to catch I'm still flu free and so is everybody else. However the whole HR department on a different floor have decided to stay at home until they think it's safe to come back. Their last action before departing was to send a mail on the precautions to be taken and the preventitive measures put in place. Precautions include not shaking hands with visitors although there was no mention of not kissing them which is not unusual in our office, especially if you haven't seen each other in a while. The preventive measure, singular, is a bottle of disinfectant hand wash and a box of tissues at reception.

  27. rick buck


    ...Perhaps it might slow down the the unhaltered spending that our governments can not seem to get a handle on...Perhaps...

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