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Cyber Crime And FBI Reporting - The Day the Internet Stood Still

Updated on September 23, 2015

In the 2010s and 2020s, much of our work is completed via online interactions. How would we handle a complete loss of Internet function in America?

An Attack On the Internet Could Occur and We Fear It

If you have ever seen The Day the Earth Stood Still, either in classic 1950s black and white or the remake of the 2000s, you have seen business and life come to a dead standstill when the power grid of the US and the world's nations were interrupted by alien forces.

Such chaos and decay is what would happen to much of the business world today, if the Internet stood still. Youth, starlets, and business people addicted to texting and mobile apps, would need to be committed for a "rest cure" - as they said in the 1940s and 50s. The technology would not be able to function, at least temporarily.

With sudden Internet suppression, a whole day's business deals would go unclosed. Commercial, government, and private concerns would need to revert to landline telephones and teletypes - if they could bribe museum guards to let them have these these dinosaurs on display from the ancient world, pre-1996.

UNIVAC would be laughing, but without electricity, it would not work, either. We would bring out our old hand-cranked calculators.

What if the power grid were destroyed? An individual is left helpless without the proper survival skills.
What if the power grid were destroyed? An individual is left helpless without the proper survival skills. | Source

Is It An Addiction?

Is it really a technology addiction if all your work is done online while using laptops, tablets, SmartPhones, and such? Some call it addiction, others call it the nature of modern work.

Tom Clancy's Netforce
Tom Clancy's Netforce
This DVD is more entertaining than the book version. This film was made for TV stars Scott Bakula and Kris Kristofferson in a 2005 timeline.

Cybernation - That Is What We Are

In 2001, Tom Clancy presented the first novel in his interesting futurist series of Cybernation novels. The storyline spoke to the increasingly realistic notion of the American Power grid and the Internet going down around the world. In the 2010s, this became a real worry of governments in the USA and other countries as cyber-terrorists hacked into servers and possibly power grids in some nations.

Number Six in the series of Cybernation, Net Force presents a realistic FBI division that is responsible for policing the Internet and the World Wide Web in order to ensure their continued operations. That division of operatives was blindsided in the novel and the result is interesting.

Net Force is written by Steve Perry and the writing is a bit simplistic. I took it as a Young Adult novel, until I ran upon some ridiculously profane language that was meant to be "cool" and mature, but came off only as tacky and unbelievable. The profanity was gratuitous.

Some of the sex scenes in the novel are blatantly silly and the martial arts scenes in the novel are half interesting and half ludicrous (I comment from experience). If you read Net Force, skip all of that and pay attention to the Internet and all the people you'll find really webbed into it. Try to ignore that part of the book that could be called The Day the Writing Stood Still. The made for TV movie is more entertaining than the book version.

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Cybernation (Tom Clancy's Net Force, No. 6)

  • Developed by Tom Clancy, Steve Pieczenik , and Steve Perry
  • Written by Steve Perry
  • Berkley Books; First edition (November 6, 2001)

Anywhere, anytime, anybody you want to be - CyberNation can take you there.

In the CyberNation series, CyberNation is a country without walls in 2010 (2005 in the film version), extant only on the Internet. It is composed of people that want CyberNation to achieve the status of a legal country of which they would be citizens.

One of CyberNation's benefits is that it uses Virtual Realty to place users anywhere in time as anyone they wish. All these are echoes of real life situations: a virtual website world called Second Life and the bid for corporations to become persons for tax purposes.

In the novel. an ex-FBI agent turns his back on the agency for a greater measure of power, money and control. Form a ship at sea, he shuts down the Internet backbone. Business stops in America for the companies that rely on the Internet. Cell phones are inoperable and the video screens on landline videophones go dark. No email, no texting, no chat, no VoiP.

The Internet Vanishes

Very few landline payphones exist in the cities any more, pulled out by the roots by the phone companies annd the law, because of streetcorner drug deals completed on those phones. Communications are minimal, besides face-to-face speech and landline calls. Snailmail is slower than ever, because of the reductions in Post Office staff at the point where Internet communications replaced much of our hardcopy communications.

The online ordering interruption puts many companies out of business -- Those that retained landline ordering were slowed down, but survived. Overall, business in 2001 reverted to 1980s production capacities. News slowed down to nothing, the only source being landline telephones, of which there were few.

It was the best time for another nation to invade the United States and take over. If this happened in reality, the US would be crippled.

American business may stand in ruins if the Internet and WWW are destroyed.
American business may stand in ruins if the Internet and WWW are destroyed. | Source

Too Much Control

The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It
The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It
The need to police the Interment may lead to an overabundance of control that would ruin the usefulness of the World Wide Web and Internet. The author is the Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University

Internet Shutdown Destroys Life

The novel states that in 2010 (2005 in the movie version), CyberNation attempts to take over the United States. Members of this conglomerate of evil technology specialists, rather than foreign nations or alien visitors, is responsible for Internet attacks.

More accurately, top programmers from among the cyber specialists attack the Internet to convince US citizens that they would be safer and smarter to do business as a citizen of CyberNation, which "never goes offline." It is a bid for control. The FBI Net Force is successful in blocking the effort, but CyberNation continues to operate.

The story shows how dependent upon the Internet America has become. Many people make all of their income via the Internet. If it goes down, they lose their livelihoods. Over control by legal authorities and highly restrictive cyber laws could also erase that livelihood.

Losing technology-based new income streams - the last chance at survival for some - would not only create renewed poverty, but renewed despair and new crimes committed in order to live. Some would commit suicide or die of starvation and lack of housing. The solution to the problem may be needed shortly in America. The Internet Of the Future speaks directly to this need.

We must find ways of preserving freedoms on the Internet at the same time as we find ways of legally and securely protecting it locally and worldwide. The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center or IC3 reports investigations and takes reports at

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      That's interesting! - In my city, it is difficult to find a land line. So much WIFI!

    • sweetie1 profile image


      9 years ago from India

      Hi patty, this is very thought provoking hub. I can not think of one day without my net. I am not doing any business and my earning from hubpages is as good as 0 to say the least but i use it extensively. BTW India may have second most mobile phones in world but nearly everyhome in cities have a landline so atleast here landline is not dead.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      seedplanter - That is important and sad information. How many talented people have with lost via electronics?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Can't imagine accomplishing much without the Internet. In fact, I'm not sure publishers would even deal with someone who was not computer-savvy. A few years back, I taught a writing course via a school online. One woman sent her assignments on onion skin paper, typed on an old typewriter with a ribbon that desperately needed changing. Her religious beliefs prevented her from using anything electrical, but oh, could she write! I've often thought of her and felt sad that our dependency on the 'net is so deep, people like her probably won't discover the joy of publication.

      Great hub! I really enjoyed it.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Since more people are making a living online every month, the Internet is mandatory, isn't it?

    • weezyschannel profile image


      9 years ago from Central USA

      It's funny how when we were kids we played with Barbies

      and played school in the basement. My kid now would be bored stiff (and sad to say) so would I. It's hardly appropriate to say that life would be nearly null and void without the internet, but I sure do need it to communicate and find information.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image


      9 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      It is amazing that in maybe fifteen years we have become so dependant on computers and the internet- I think that any one under 30 would really struggle if they could not access the internet- I would be bereft- for me through HP it has been a great source of comfort and friendship.

      Thought provoking hub.

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      9 years ago from Florida

      It is amazing how true all of that is to our society today, and how likely it is that something like that could really happen. The internet has turned everything into an instantaneous event. News travels across the world in a heartbeat. It is amazing to think of how far technology has come in such a short time, and how incredibly dependent on it we have become. Excellent hub!!!

    • stars439 profile image


      9 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      And interesting hub . I guess many surprising things would happen without the internet. God Bless You.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks a million for all the comments!

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Az

      hello Patty, did you guys know that on Feb 3, 2011 the net ran out of IP addresses?

      yep/all gone...the IT people of the world (actually based in Sydney Australia) are working on it

      so T Clancy was watching too and ran with it...great hub too Patty!!

      yours always are!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      9 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Patty, what you said in your very last paragraph is so so true. This can happen. And the fact that we are now totally dependent on the Internet for many facets of our lives, it would definitely be a major disaster if the Internet went down.

    • ameliejan profile image


      9 years ago from Alicante, Spain

      Thought-provoking and more than a little scary!

    • JonLaird profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      I very much enjoyed this hub. It reminds me of the South Park episode "Overlogging":

      "We don't have any Internet to tell us why there's no Internet!"

    • jessicab profile image


      9 years ago from Alabama

      Great hub.

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      Just goes to show you that although computers and doing on-line business is great, we should still stay open to the old fashioned way of doing things. Maybe be a little slower, but it will keep going. Voted and rated.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I haven't read much of Clancy's work since I was in Panama. The other author..well, based on your review, I'll just avoid that all together.

      Thanks for an excellent hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      That's disconcerting. A couple months ago, a car rental agency's computer system went down nationally and business came to a stand still for quite a while.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      We have had a computer gliches of a different kind here a couple of weeks ago where a Big Banks computer 'went down' so to speak for a few days. Customers could not make receive electronic deposits or withdrawals. Now some are trying to sue...

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 

      9 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      We are almost as dependent on the internet as the nations are on the new international order ruled by central banks with their ponzi house lending and usurious credit card and payday loan scams. Almost!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      such a great hub , I love the internet - and can't imagine an hour without it now !!!

    • benezer2001 profile image


      10 years ago from lagos, Nigeria

      indeed a hard work should be commended

    • RedElf profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      It paints a pretty scary picture of what could happen. We in the north pride ourselves on being somewhat less dependent - many businesses are not even online - but we still rely on goods and services from down south.

      Wait! We'd have no satellite TV! Oh, never mind - we still have DVDs - phew! ;)

      It is a serious topic, though, and something to ponder. Thanks Patty!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      10 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      What would I do without internet? Sighhhhh...I am becoming dependent on it...we all are!!! Thanks for enlightening us, Patty! :D

    • clearblue99 profile image


      10 years ago from Clear Blue Sky

      very scary...what would we all do without the internet?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      @Amie and MPG - Thank you for posting your comments here. I think some individuals really don't leave the house very much because their whole life in on the Internet. I think a scary part is that people over 50 years old that have been laid off or downsized and have developed good online income would be thrown back into poverty and probably homelessness. So without the Internet, some people actually would die.

      Someone will undoubtedly write a sci-fi novel about it.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Maria Giunta 

      10 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Interesting yet scary prospect, Patty. We are so reliant on the internet for business and communication it is unbelievable it has only been around since the 90's. If everything did shut down, we who worked without the internet in the past would survive, the younger ones who know nothing but the net would have to learn a whole new way of working. Is that really so scary?

    • profile image

      Amie Warren 

      10 years ago

      Very nice. Never read the books, but they are next on my list now. I have often said that if terrorists really want to hurt this country, they would shut down the internet. The fact that they haven't is an indication of how dependent they are on the web as well.

      I am frightened sometime about having so much of my income derived from the web, because if a company I work for fails, or the web should cease to be, what would I do? It takes only one day of not being able to publish to throw everything into disarray for many. I've read so many people on sites like DS angry because the site was inaccessible for a day or two, and they could not pay some bill on time.

      I know that I try not to be to socially dependent on the internet, instead, trying to maintain as much of a real life social life as I can. I don't want to end up some lonely old lady sitting in my house with all the shades drawn talking to no one but my friends on Facebook.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      10 years ago from Wales

      A fascinating hub!!

      Thanks for sharing.

      Take care.

    • ladyt11 profile image


      10 years ago

      Very thought provoking hub, wow! I really enjoyed the comments too!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      We are so dependent it is incredible. If that would happen and it can; we fall apart. Especially the youngsters. Thank you for a thought provoking hub.

    • earnestshub profile image


      10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Scary! Yet as another commentator pointed out, it would take down the perpetrator with it.

      Fantastic hub though and definite food for thought.

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 

      10 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      I have often thought about what life would be like if we lost either the electrical grid or the internet. You would be hard pressed to find one aspect of the modern world that does not in some way depend upon the internet.

      Losing the internet surely would be like going back in time about 30 - 40 years, a time period before the internet even existed as it has replaced so much and we don't have many of the old systems in place anymore. Sadly all it would take is several high altitude EMP bombs to send America back practically to the stone age.

      This is a great hub. Sure makes you think about how much of a double edged sword technology really is.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Excellent thought-provoking hub. Wow! Until I read this article, I had never given a thought as to how my life would change without the internet. Appreciate this, so much. Thanks, Patty.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      10 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Patty, This is truly a scary thought when you think of computers guiding airplanes, trains and subways. Then there are banks and their ATM's, hospitals as Austinstar mentioned, all retail establishments and on and on. Very interesting hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Inagine the state of life if, having encouraged everyone to make a living via the 'net, the same people/group destroyed it? A nightmare for real, much like life after a nuclear attack, without the radiation sickness and burns.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      10 years ago from USA

      Patty - It is pretty scary, isn't it?

      Gus :-O

    • jasoncox83 profile image


      10 years ago from Ohio

      Interesting, really gives us something to chew on. I too as many others rely on the internet more than I should actually. My entire income is based online, and with this new Internet Kill switch Obama has it really is scary how with a single phone call the internet can be shut down for up to 180 days within the United States.

    • BDazzler profile image


      10 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Interesting timing of this hub, Patty. I've just begun an in-depth study of a report prepared by the National Academy of Science on Severe Space Weather ... an event like the Carrington event of 1859 could eliminate the internet and wireless communication entirely.

      Depending on what I find, I may write a hub about it.

      In any event, I will probably be reading these books!

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Scary.... very scary indeed!

      I spend hours each day communicating worldwide, and only possible due to the Internet.

      On the other hand, if it all collapsed, then I guess my wife and daughter would be extremely content!


    • Austinstar profile image


      10 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      Health care would totally crash, resulting in the death of thousands right away and maybe millions as time went by. We barely function as it is now. Without the internet, many hospital servers would go down. It would be a disaster.

    • Dorothee-Gy profile image


      10 years ago from near Frankfurt/M., Germany

      Interesting article, Patty.

      In my eyes, the internet is the literal 100-headed hydra, and whenever someone tries to cut one head off, 100 new one's appear. Having been developed by the military in order to make sure that it would be not possible for any foreign forces to shut communication down, the governments now face the fact, that they have to live with this ghost they once called for.

      Many are everything but happy about it, but there's nothing they can do about it, since every aspect of our live's is now interwoven and interdependent. No government, no big corporation, no matter how greedy for domination and control it might be, can ever shut it down without sawing off the branch they sit on themselves.

      I am very glad about this. The internet, as threatened as it might be these days, is the speakerphone for freedom and it provides a very important balance to the very one-sided mainstream media.

      In the meantime, governments have recognized how dangerous it can be when people can actually voice their thoughts without the limiting layer of editors and publishers and I'm sure, there are many who would love to stuff Pandora back into its box. But it is out, and if they want to put it back, they will destroy themselves, too.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a great hub. Isn't it amazing how dependent we have become on the internet, when it didn't even exist 30 years ago. Now, I personally, do everything on the internet. Being retired, I work on the internet, shop, pay bills, communicate and am entertained, among other things. I would be devastated if it went down.

    • Trsmd profile image


      10 years ago from India

      nice to have this page for my request..

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      10 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I've often thought how dependent we all are on electricity and the Internet. My business is on line, I do a lot of banking and bill paying on line, and I communicate with a lot of people through email and social networking. But, aside from the obvious economic consequences and probably medical consequences, less dependence on the Internet might be a good thing. We might begin to have more time for face to face interaction -- if we could power our vehicles to get to each other. It's frightening to see that our ability to get food, cook, and buy, sell, and bank, are all dependent on electricity and also the Internet. Only the Amish would be ready!

    • glendoncaba profile image


      10 years ago from Somewhere in the hubverse

      Bizarre yet probable.


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