Let's Nationalize The Internet

from the a-modest-proposal dept

An interesting opinion piece over at the Register suggests that we need to stop thinking of “cyberspace” as a different place with different rules. As part of this, the writer suggests we basically create “nationalized” trusted internets, where each country gets to control their own internet with their own laws. This is mainly a response to stupid US laws that spread out beyond the US and effect everyone else. However, with nationalized internets where actions and users can be associated with specific countries, then we no longer needs separate (bad) laws for the internet – but can apply the laws of each particular land to the internet as it is used there. There are, of course, a number of problems with this suggestion – the most basic one being that it takes away many of the reasons why the internet is useful in the first place. Cordoning off separate sections of the internet for separate countries makes it much less useful. It’s a typical “block the borders” approach from people who fear change – but which tends to do more harm than good. I agree that many of the US internet laws are stupid, and it’s awful that it’s impacting other countries, but that’s no reason to shut everyone else out.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Let's Nationalize The Internet”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Andy (user link) says:

The truely dumb thing...

… about the article is the bizzare assumption that machines aren’t currently mapped to physical locations. Of course they are. It’s really not that hard for a human to map an IP address to a physical location (it’s a bit harder for a computer to do it). The problem is that courts can’t agree on whose jurrsidiction it is if a user in country A uses a server in country B owned by a company in country C to post something illegal in country D.
Really these aren’t things that couldn’t have happened prior to the Internet, the Internet just makes it a lot easier.

Bill Thompson says:

Re: The truely dumb thing...

I don’t think it’s that dumb – but then I wrote it 🙂 The point I’m trying to make is that at the moment the mapping is non-trivial, partly because we don’t have anything like secure networks or secure processors. I know that TCPA/Palladium is deeply unpopular but if you allow that it could be done (and regulated) properly then it would allow real machine/world mapping, and this gives us a chance to rethink the Net. A lot of the comments on the piece have – to my distress – painted me as someone who is against free speech, which is not the case. I’m just pro-politics and democratic control. I oppose the Chinese government’s policies as much as the US governments – but I want to fight them both with the tools given to me by a political system.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...