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Wave Farewell to the World Wide Web?
#1
For me this would be a very good move in some ways, and less so in others.

Nations and governments being what they are could use this as an excuse to restrict individuals access to foreign internets.

Quote:NSA surveillance may cause breakup of internet, warn experts

Internet specialists highlight moves by Brazil, Germany and India towards creating separate networks in order to block spying
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[Image: NSA-007.jpg]NSA spying, as revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, may cause countries to create separate networks and break up the experts, according to experts. Photograph: Alex Milan Tracy/NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Corbis

The vast scale of online surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden is leading to the breakup of the internet as countries scramble to protect private or commercially sensitive emails and phone records from UK and US security services, according to experts and academics.
They say moves by countries, such as Brazil and Germany, to encourage regional online traffic to be routed locally rather than through the US are likely to be the first steps in a fundamental shift in the way the internet works. The change could potentially hinder economic growth.
"States may have few other options than to follow in Brazil's path," said Ian Brown, from the Oxford Internet Institute. "This would be expensive, and likely to reduce the rapid rate of innovation that has driven the development of the internet to date … But if states cannot trust that their citizens' personal data as well as sensitive commercial and government information will not otherwise be swept up in giant surveillance operations, this may be a price they are willing to pay."
Since the Guardian's revelations about the scale of state surveillance, Brazil's government has published ambitious plans to promote Brazilian networking technology, encourage regional internet traffic to be routed locally, and is moving to set up a secure national email service.
In India, it has been reported that government employees are being advised not to use Gmail and last month, Indian diplomatic staff in London were told to use typewriters rather than computers when writing up sensitive documents.
In Germany, privacy commissioners have called for a review of whetherEurope's internet traffic can be kept within the EU and by implication out of the reach of British and US spies.
Surveillance dominated last week's Internet Governance Forum 2013, held in Bali. The forum is a UN body that brings together more than 1,000 representatives of governments and leading experts from 111 countries to discuss the "sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the internet".
Debates on child protection, education and infrastructure were overshadowed by widespread concerns from delegates who said the public's trust in the internet was being undermined by reports of US and British government surveillance.
Lynn St Amour, the Internet Society's chief executive, condemned government surveillance as "interfering with the privacy of citizens".
Johan Hallenborg, Sweden's foreign ministry representative, proposed that countries introduce a new constitutional framework to protect digital privacy, human rights and to reinforce the rule of law.
Meanwhile, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers which is partly responsible for the infrastructure of the internet last week voiced "strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance".
Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation in Washington, said the Snowden revelations were pushing the internet towards a tipping point with huge ramifications for the way online communications worked.
"We are certainly getting pushed towards this cliff and it is a cliff we do not want to go over because if we go over it, I don't see how we stop. It is like a run on the bank the system we have now works unless everyone decides it doesn't work then the whole thing collapses."
Castro said that as the scale of the UK and US surveillance operations became apparent, countries around the globe were considering laws that would attempt to keep data in-country, threatening the cloud system where data stored by US internet firms is accessible from anywhere in the world.
He said this would have huge implications for the way large companies operated.
"What this would mean is that any multinational company suddenly has lots of extra costs. The benefits of cloud computing that have given us flexibility, scaleability and reduced costs especially for large amounts of data would suddenly disappear."
Large internet-based firms, such as Facebook and Yahoo, have already raised concerns about the impact of the NSA revelations on their ability to operate around the world. "The government response was, 'Oh don't worry, we're not spying on any Americans'," said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. "Oh, wonderful: that's really helpful to companies trying to serve people around the world, and that's really going to inspire confidence in American internet companies."
Castro wrote a report for Itif in August predicting as much as $35bn could be lost from the US cloud computing market by 2016 if foreign clients pull out their businesses. And he said the full economic impact of the potential breakup of the internet was only just beginning to be recognised by the global business community.
"This is changing how companies are thinking about data. It used to be that the US government was the leader in helping make the world more secure but the trust in that leadership has certainly taken a hit … This is hugely problematic for the general trust in the internet and e-commerce and digital transactions."
Brown said that although a localised internet would be unlikely to prevent people in one country accessing information in another area, it may not be as quick and would probably trigger an automatic message telling the user that they were entering a section of the internet that was subject to surveillance by US or UK intelligence.
"They might see warnings when information is about to be sent to servers vulnerable to the exercise of US legal powers as some of the Made in Germany email services that have sprung up over the summer are."
He said despite the impact on communications and economic development, a localised internet might be the only way to protect privacy even if, as some argue, a set of new international privacy laws could be agreed.
"How could such rules be verified and enforced? Unlike nuclear tests, internet surveillance cannot be detected halfway around the world."


The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#2
De-centralizing it from America would be a positive step, as long as we mortals can still connect worldwide. Sadly, however, I think for the foreseeable future, the NSA and such will find ways of spying on whoever, wherever, no matter what they try to do..but I wish them all goodluck. What would not be good would be more countries following the 'China model' for the internet.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#3
I agree that decentralising away from the US is a useful first step. But still many fundamental problems do exist. As long as states like the US and Britain apply different standards to their own citizens and to foreigners (basically no rights to foreigners) and on the other hand share their data, nobody has any rights in the internet. And given the current state of encryption technology and the NSA's ability to break it, nobody can be sure that their encrypted communication cannot be listened to. So, like in telephony, sensitive data cannot be exchanged and this will have profound longterm effects on the behaviour of governments, corporations and simple people. I expect more private networks being built, completely seperate from the internet, using very strong encryption where the use of public lines like satellite links or sea cables is unavoidable.
The only way I could envision for the internet to become trustworthy again would be a strong enforceable international law giving privacy rights to all people, enforced internationally standardized strong encryption for all data AND a massive downsizing of the NSA and comparable organisations worldwide. The trend is in the opposite direction.
The most relevant literature regarding what happened since September 11, 2001 is George Orwell's "1984".
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