Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, December 11, 2017

What makes a nation state sovereign?

Is an uncensored Internet a threat to national sovereignty? Why would anyone think it is?

Xi Jinping renews ‘cyber sovereignty’ call at China’s top meeting of internet minds
In a letter read out to the conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, by Communist Party publicity chief Huang Kunming, Xi said developments online were raising many new challenges to sovereignty and security, and China was “willing to work with the international community to respect cyberspace sovereignty and promote partnerships”.

The letter underscores Xi’s previous cyber sovereignty calls to the conference in which he has promoted the idea that all countries have the right to regulate the internet within their own borders…

Xi’s presidency has coincided with extraordinary growth and tighter censorship online in China. Tencent and Alibaba are now among the world’s most valued internet companies…

The growth has been in large part due to the widespread use of internet applications in China, making the country a leader in services from cashless payments to bike sharing…

The idea that each country has the right to censor and regulate the internet is taking root elsewhere. For example, Russia temporarily blocked Tencent’s social media app WeChat in May because it did not comply with local regulations…

China was also last in terms of internet freedom in a survey last month by Freedom House, a US pro-democracy group that lists Google among its funders…

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