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How China's Web Traffic Wound Up In Wyoming

Pictured is the building in Cheyenne, Wyo.,  registered to the Internet address that received the Chinese web traffic. (Google Streetview)
Pictured is the building in Cheyenne, Wyo., registered to the Internet address that received the Chinese web traffic. (Google Streetview)

Half a billion Internet users in China were blocked from the Internet for nearly eight hours on Tuesday when China’s vast “firewall,” or censorship technologies, accidentally routed most of the country’s web traffic to an Internet address registered to a company in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

While the physical location of the servers receiving the traffic isn’t clear, the massive loss of Internet service may be the biggest crash in the Internet’s history.

Nicole Perlroth, who has been covering the story for The New York Times, talks with Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer about how and why this happened.

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