Is the US about to Split the Internet?


    The BBC reports: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he wants a “clean” internet. What he means by that is he wants to remove Chinese influence, and Chinese companies, from the internet in the U.S. But critics believe this will bolster a worrying movement towards the breaking up of the global internet. The so called “splinternet” is generally used when talking about China, and more recently Russia. The idea is that there’s nothing inherent or pre-ordained about the internet being global. For governments that want to control what people see on the internet, it makes sense to take ownership of it. The Great Firewall of China is the best example of a nation putting up the internet equivalent of a wall around itself. You won’t find a Google search engine or Facebook in China. What people didn’t expect was that the U.S. might follow China’s lead. They’re reacting to U.S. president Trump’s executive order to block all transactions with TikTok’s parent company (starting September 20) to “address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.” An opinion piece in the New York Times calls the move a “foolish and dangerous edict” that’s “deeply misguided and unproductive” which suggests that “the United States, like China, no longer believes in a global internet.” In the BBC’s article Alan Woodward, a security expert at the University of Surrey, calls the U.S. decision “shocking.” “The U.S. government has for a long time criticised other countries for controlling access to the internet⦠and now we see the Americans doing the same thing.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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