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Monday Morning Links
by Revcb 08:05AM Monday Jun 23 2014

topics flat nest 

Jason Levine

Internet sovereignty

When I read the "Internet sovereignty" title, I thought: "That sounds like China is saying that the Internet should be treated like a sovereign nation, and not bound by a country's laws. Surely, China can't be that enlightened."

They're not.

Their version of Internet sovereignty is: Each country gets to decide how the Internet acts and what is allowed online in their own country. In many respects, this is already the case. If you started a website in Texas that sold marijuana, you'd quickly find yourself shut down and arrested. A similar site created in a country where marijuana was legal wouldn't likely get into trouble.

Of course, China has also grouped itself with some countries that have said they want the UN to decide what should be allowed online. And by "The UN", they mean themselves. They would like to ban certain sites/speech online because they have deemed it wrong in their countries - even if the sites are based in a country where that was legal. So this "each country to his own" speech sounds a bit like a wedge tactic to me.

First, transfer governance of the Internet to the UN and allow each nation to declare what is and isn't allowed online. Next, petition the UN about how this "bad speech" (as defined by your local laws) won't stop online and - with a committee stacked with people from your anti-free-speech group - rule that countries need to abide by each other's standards. Step 3: Bye Bye, Internet.
-Jason Levine