Misguided Policies the World over Are Slowly Killing the Open Internet

We must defend the Internet whenever there are threats, whether they come from a country, a corporation, or a misguided policy.

Misguided Policies the World over Are Slowly Killing the Open Internet
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Wherever we live, there is plenty to be afraid of. Wars are raging on. Authoritarians are on the rise. The climate is changing so fast that we are unable to keep up. And yet, we seem unable to do anything about it. With all that on our minds, it is not surprising another threat is being overlooked: the global drift toward “splinternet.”

“Splinternet” is a word for the loss of the single, globally connected, and decentralized Internet. Our experience of a single resource is fragmenting into separate networks controlled by governments or corporations. We need to stop it.

China’s connection to the Internet has long been vastly different from the online experience elsewhere. The Internet in China is tightly controlled through central operation and the so-called “Great Firewall.” Many parts of the global Internet cannot be reached from China, yet this way of operating seems to attract the interest of other governments.

Russia has been attempting to mimic China’s approach for over a decade, through “RuNet.” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brought greater attention to RuNet because it rerouted existing Ukrainian network connections through Russia in the areas that it occupies.

In Cambodia, a proposed “National Internet Gateway” would manage all local and international online traffic through a centralized government facility, making the Internet far less open for all Cambodians.