Author: Pamela Yates
Various headlines around the world have been focused on the future of the internet over the next few years. As countries and companies try to manage the vulnerabilities of the internet, the concept of a “world-wide” web is being slowly eroded.
Global connectivity has been all we’ve known of the internet, it has meant that you can shop and buy products from around the world, and for the most part, you can get content from almost anywhere. A segmented internet would skew the information available to certain populations, and potentially make it harder to connect and access foreign sites.
Here, in NZ many are largely unaware of the development of a Chinese based internet and the evolving of an American led internet environment. Meanwhile Europe and Russia are considering how to manage the internet environment within their physical borders.
The other perspective is the development of an accountable and secure internet layer to protect our digital lives. It seems that the internet as originally designed can’t overcome the vulnerabilities which can have major impacts on society and the economy. The challenge is to address the needs for anonymity and privacy while managing the social and financial needs for security.
It seems that the split between a Chinese led and American led internet environment is the end of the internet as a unified environment for the transfer of knowledge as we know it.
So, given that the internet is in the process of splitting, what should we be doing? Some commentators are saying the landscape of the internet won’t be so dramatically changed that it’s unrecognisable. This will be a slow, gradual transition, so you should have plenty of time to prepare for it. Hopefully they are right.
For more information go to the LA Times.