Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Whose Internet?

A very prominent presidential candidate in the USA wants to prevent terrorists from using "our Internet." China's president wants "cyber sovereignty." Whose Internet is it? Is sovereignty involved?

Xi Jinping calls for 'cyber sovereignty'
China's President Xi Jinping has called on countries to respect one another's "cyber sovereignty" and different internet governance models.

Mr Xi said countries had the right to choose how to develop and regulate their internet…

China has been criticised for its strict internet regulations where it blocks major sites and censors posts…

His message is that China, with 650 million internet users, should have a say in drawing up the global rules and that they should include the right to decide what to censor and block…

The idealistic internet pioneers - most of them American - saw the internet as a global community without borders, a space for free exchange of ideas untrammelled by national laws.

But whether it is China determined to shore up its Great Firewall, the US wanting to curb communications between terror groups, or indeed Europe debating at what age children should be allowed online, local politicians are asserting their right to bend the internet to their will…

Mr Xi also reiterated a call for countries to work together on internet security.

He said no country should pursue "cyber hegemony" or engage in activities that undermine others' national security…
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