Swine Flu to Bring Down Internet if Government Doesn’t Act

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Not to worry — the Department of Homeland Security can come to the rescue.

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 of people staying home to increase their internet use and overwhelm internet providers’ network capacities,” according to the report, which was prepared by the US Government Accountability Office.

More people staying home = more people on the Internet = bandwidth overrunneth. In order to mitigate this “threat,” the DHS should consider rationing bandwidth or blocking websites, according to the GAO report. Well, wait a second. I thought that so many people were going to be ill and dying that hospital emergency rooms were going to be overrun? Just so you know that I am not mixing up satire with reality … for your reading pleasure, here is the GAO report. It is 77 pages long, so no, these guys aren’t kidding. Thanks to Jamie Proctor for the link.

4:32 pm on October 31, 2009