Our institutions have become increasingly dependent on the internet over the years. This improved societal opeartion efficiency but also introduced the risk of cyberattack to institutions and infrastructure.
While a lot is being done in securing the cyberspace, I suspect it is likely that a state facing well-resourced adversial actors will eventually have to face the possibility of losing against a major cyberattack that might cripple its infrastructure.
And the possibility of hostile AIs in the near future introduces another issue: a sufficiently powerful LLM could potentially compromise the entire web traffic and every internet-connected device, sabotage the devices and use the data found on them to do its bidding, and also make copies of itself on a large number of compromised machines to thwart any attempts of shutting it down.
This can be avoided/remedied by shutting down the internet, perhaps through state takeover of telcos or (in the case that an AI already took over the web) systematic decommission of internet infrastructure.
Our technological civilisation could (and indeed did) function without the internet, but losing it on short notice would likely cause widespread societal chaos and infrastructure damage. What could states do to prepare for this scenario, and how much investment is justified?
A plan for this scenario will have a number of "goals". I think some are critical (e.g. protect the power grid), while some might not be worth the trouble. I'd like to know which goals are "worthwhile", and how they could be implemented.
1: Utilities remain accessible (electricity, water, gas, etc)
2: Public services (healthcare, police, emergency response) remain operational
3: Vital supplies (food, essential medicine, etc) production at a sufficient level, or there is sufficient stockpile to survive the time period required to expand production capacities
4: Secure the production of precursor goods (e.g. chemical precursors of medicine, fertilisers and pesticides for agriculture, replacement parts for the powergrid)
5: Governmental records (e.g. information of personal IDs, court and property records, BDM registers) remain intact and usable
6: Archived information (important cultural works, academic publications, etc) remain intact and accessible
7: Commerce and financial institutions remain operational (i.e. people still able to access their bank accounts, making savings and take loans)
8: Some form of telecommunication (landline/telegram) for governmental agencies and corporations
9: Telecommunication accessible for the public