The country of Georgia wants to pin the shutdown of the Internet on 75-year-old Aishtan Shakarian who spent March 28th scavenging for copper.  Why copper?  According to the CIA’s World Factbook, one of the country’s “main economic activities includes the mining of manganese and copper.  Since 45 percent of the country live below the poverty level, I’m not at all surprised that this hardworking, ingenuous rural resident went to work on some mining of her own, an exercise that authorities say caused her to “allegedly” cut through the country’s international cable often called the “West-East fiber-optic backbone.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The West-East fiber-optic backbone is laid underground along railway tracks.”  Georgian Railway Telecom claimed not only was the damage severe,”…causing 90 percent of private and corporate Internet users in neighbouring Armenia to lose access for nearly 12 hours,” they claim the wires have  “robust protection.”

So we are to believe that Shakarian, armed with a shovel, allegedly severed through the “fiber-optic backbone cable… that sent almost all of Armenia offline for about 12 hours. It also triggered a partial shutdown in Georgia and service interruptions in Azerbaijan.”

This is all according to Georgian police and the telecommunications company.  If I were Georgian Railway Telecom, I would have been embarrassed to admit such a thing.  I hope their stock is plummeting.

Apparently nearly 1000 people posted comments on one of the internet providers websites asking the courts to “show leniency because of Shakarian’s age and her impoverished situation.”

How about because the company did a half-baked job setting everything up.  Come on Armenians, where is your hatred for the company, your distrust of big corporations.  Can you imagine this going on in the U.S.  Mrs. Shakarian would be on every major news show and Georgia Railway Telecom would eventually issue an apology and promise to tighten up security.

Mrs Shakarian has now been arrested and charged with damaging property, a charge that, if convicted, carries with it up to three years in prison.  Shakarian spoke to AFP news organization, claiming “I did not cut this cable. Physically, I could not do it,” she said, repeatedly bursting into tears as she spoke.  I have no idea what the Internet is.”

AFP also spoke with her son, Sergo Shakarian, “My mother is innocent. She is crying all the time. She is so scared.”

Will a jury (do they have juries) in Armenia actually convict Mrs. Shakarian?  Who is to blame?

Note to Mrs. Shakarin: start blaming the telecommunications company who employed lazy workers that barely dug the fiber optic “backbone,” which (allegedly) allowed a 75 year-old woman and her shovel to destroy it.  Isn’t that how the North beat the South, they cut off their communications?  I think they need to thank Mrs. Shakarin for showing them that an invasion and subsequent takeover of their country was only a shovel away.

Where is Gloria Allred?