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International Moves Towards Internet Governance: Gated Communities?

This report was published in conjunction with SecDev

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Governments are beginning to harmonise their approaches to controlling national cyberspace. This has resulted in a proliferation of national, regional and international resolutions and conventions that place restrictions on internet content and increase state surveillance of users. The net result is an implicit move towards creating national cyberspaces. Authoritarian states are pushing overtly to make cyberspace subject to national legislation and policing. Liberal democratic countries are more conflicted. They continue to assert openness and connectivity but are also faced with difficult tradeoffs related to ensuring the safety and security of online users, defending against intellectual property theft, and protecting copyright. To date, the rhetorical efforts of countries like the U.S. and U.K. to defend the principle of an open and globally contiguous cyberspace are seriously outpaced by the concrete nationalising strategies being pursued by member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).


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