No, the US doesn’t have the power to turn off the internet in the whole world, because the US doesn’t own internet or has exclusive rights to provide internet to the whole world. Though the US can only turn off the internet in their own country or can turn off the websites or servers based like Facebook. Facebook is based in the US, which is why the US has the power to take down Facebook. The US can also shut down Facebook for the rest of the world since the servers of Facebook are based in the US. However, if Facebook is registered in another country and moves its servers from the US to somewhere else, the US would no longer have the legal right to take Facebook down. The US will only have the power to block Facebook in the US, and the same is the case with other companies and countries.
What about the ISPs?
Even internet service providers can also block the internet for their subscribers since they monitor and maintain all the comings and goings of network traffic. Xfinity telecommunications company can regulate and monitor all activities of those subscribed to any of the Comcast Internet deals. The same goes for Spectrum and other internet service providers; they can regulate and maintain the traffic of consumers subscribed to their internet connection.
However, the ISPs in the US are all regulated by an agency in the US that is separated from the government called the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC was the one who maintained that the average download speed of the internet in the US should be 25 Mbps and uploads speeds be 3 Mbps.
Internet in the Rest of the World
Internet in the whole world is widespread and countries only have the legal power to turn off the internet in their own countries or legal area of land. Like the Chinese government has blocked a lot of foreign websites and mobile applications in China. Likewise, the Indian government has turned off the internet of Indian occupied Kashmir. The North Korean government has its own internet most of which is not connected to the world, and it is all managed by their government. The Pakistani government has also blocked a whole list of websites that Pakistani internet users cannot access. Hence, each country’s government has some internet restrictions accordingly.
Can satellite internet connection be blocked?
Even as the most powerful country in the world, the US doesn’t have enough resources or power to turn off the internet in the whole world. Now the world is not just dependent on wired internet only; there are satellite internet providers also who provide internet via satellites with which users can access the internet from anywhere around the world even if they don’t have access to wires, and satellite signals are to impossible block. Someone in the US can connect instantly with someone in China over a satellite internet connection and no government can block satellite signals. Satellite internet connections provide anonymity and data protection also.
A world without the Internet
A world without the internet would stop functioning, the internet is not just about surfing forums, social media, or watching videos. The internet is a connectivity of the whole world. Financial, healthcare, legal, and a lot of industries are connected to the internet which provides services and caters to people. Without the internet, people would simply stop progressing. A doctor in India wouldn’t be able to consult with a doctor in the US who specializes in a certain medical field, and a person could lose his life due to no connectivity. The same goes with legal issues; a court might give a sentence to a person who couldn’t produce evidence for his innocence because the evidence was in another place and required internet connectivity.
So, what’s the verdict?
Even if the US tries to turn off the whole world’s internet, the US’s economy will collapse because the US has almost $15.5 trillion worth of services sector which is based on the internet and includes their whole financial sector. Without the internet, no transaction would take place and people would have almost no money to spend, which would result in civil unrest and chaos in the US. The world financial services sector would tumble and whole world’s money supply would stop, and dollar circulation around the world would also stop resulting in a huge loss for the US.
No threat or political reason in the world is sufficient enough to turn off the whole world’s internet. The internet is considered a basic need nowadays like, food and healthcare. Without the internet in this world, the US would suffer most and US would never like to suffer monetary or political losses. It is never feasible to turn off the internet for the whole world.