Nate Fick, who was confirmed last week to lead the State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, was also the co-chair (along with Jami Miscik of Global Strategic Insights) of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Independent Task Force on Cybersecurity.
In May, the CFR Task Force delivered their final report, “Confronting Reality in Cyberspace: Foreign Policy for a Fragmented Internet”, which concluded “that, —among other things—the era of the global internet is over; Washington will be unable to stop further fragmentation; data is a source of geopolitical competition; the United States has taken itself out of the digital trade sphere (undercutting Washington’s ability to lead abroad); cybercrime is a pressing national security threat; and Washington and its allies have failed to impose sufficient consequences on attackers.”
The term “splinternet” refers to the increasingly balkanization of the Internet, where the cyber domain is dividing due to a variety of reasons to include but not limited to technology, commerce, nationalism, politics, among others. This segmentation has increased over time as some governments recognized the harm they could suffer as a result of citizens’ unfettered access to free information. As such, they sought to maintain rigid control over what information its geographic sovereign territory could access, process, download, or create. This stands in direct opposition to the globalization that further connected the international community, driving commerce and intertwining economies. Many proponents expected that these economic benefits would continue to increase, and that the international community would continue to embrace an open Internet.
Just a few weeks ago, Russian Twitter users noticed that they were unable to access the platform. An internet blackout subsequently occurred, leading security professionals to believe that Russia is getting closer to achieving its splinternet goal. Creating a splinternet would effectively detach the country from the rest of the
Russia has suffered many international blows since it invaded Ukraine in late February, including sanctions, cyberattacks, and other measures designed to deter Russia from continuing the conflict. On Friday, US internet infrastructure company Cogent Communications reported that it is ending its relationships with its Russian customers. This includes the state-owned
SpaceX, a technology and space exploration company founded by Tesla creator Elon Musk, is currently endeavoring to establish a communications bridge to Tonga after the island suffered from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last month. The natural disasters effectively cut the Pacific nation off from the outside world due to
Internet service in Kazakhstan was disabled this week after thousands took to the streets to protest a steep rise in gas prices. Although the internet was partially restored on Wednesday, Netblocks and Cloudflare reported evidence of significant disruption. The two security companies reported that they observed internet shutdowns in the
There’s a buzzword that tech, crypto and venture-capital types have become infatuated with lately. Conversations are now peppered with it, and you’re not serious about the future until you add it to your Twitter bio: Web3. It’s an umbrella term for disparate ideas all pointing in the direction of eliminating the
Singapore passes law to tackle ‘foreign interference,’ giving authorities the power to block internet content
Singapore has approved a law that grants broad powers to the government to deal with foreign interference, including the ability to block internet content. The law was approved by parliament earlier this week and is formally known as the Foreign Interference Countermeasures Act (FICA). FICA has sparked concern internationally and
Iran’s parliament has suspended its review of a highly controversial bill that would lead to heightened internet restrictions within the country, according to citizens and businesses. The bill was first proposed three years ago and is titled the Protecting Users in Cyberspace and Organizing Social Media Act. However, despite the
Alphabet has pulled the plug on its plan to bring internet access to remote areas via balloons. Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly working on a new MacBook Air. The project started out as an experiment conducted by Apple’s parent company before breaking off into its own entity in 2018. Although the