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Global emergency spreads like a digital wildfire
Dateline: 21 December 2010

It’s been 24 hours since the internet stopped dead.

For the past day not a single email message has been delivered and no e-business transaction has been executed.

It is still not clear exactly what combination of server gridlock and multiple virus attacks has caused the problem.

In an unprecedented show of unity, hackers and business geeks have united on those mobile phone networks not carried on the internet, to pool their energies and technical skills to track down the cause of this unprecedented lock-out.

The US government suspects a terrorist link, saying “This kind of focused and concentrated series of attacks cannot be a coincidence. We have reason to believe that the US is being targeted by a new terrorist network, young and tech-savvy. We are putting our full resources into identifying the culprits.”

It is just over a decade ago that we managed to live and do business without the internet. There was no widely used email solution, no Google, no MySpace, no YouTube. Now it appears that without the internet our digital lifestyle and workstyle stops dead. Health care, local government and energy industries are severely threatened with disruption. We don’t yet understand the full implications of a continued outage.

Despite this, some Luddites see this in a positive light. “Hallelujah! No more credit card scams, identity theft or out-of-control porn,” said one text message doing the rounds today.

The business and economic impacts will be profound unless a quick solution is found. But, the world’s best brains are stumped for now. Every time a new fix is tried, the problems seem to increase exponentially.

If you are reading this, then you are likely looking at physical newsprint. Welcome back to 1994.

ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be

We’d love to hear your views of the implications of this scenario…comment below.

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Warning: Hazardous Thinking at Work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer. © Public domain image.

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