The net went down, it went down hard. People got hurt, people died.
Things are not what they appear in the Cognitive Network
The CogNet might be policed by sentient programs and controlled by artificially intelligent super computers, but it is built on top of millions of organic memory cores that function as its host.
The secret for immortality has been discovered by an eccentric wizard/mad scientist. Its found you need to reapply once a month. As people stop dying, and the birth rate increases exponentially, people are forced into homelessness, because of the need for food reamins the same, and food is not being produced fast enough to feed the undying population. The PCs have to find the creator and kill him, and destroy production, to save the world from undying, unending torture from hungryness.