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Four Internets: data, geopolitics, and the governance of cyberspace

Four Internets: data, geopolitics, and the governance of cyberspace
Four Internets: data, geopolitics, and the governance of cyberspace
The Internet has become a staple of modern civilized life, now as vital a utility as electricity. But despite its growing influence, the Internet isn't as stable as it might seem; rather, it can be best thought of as a network of networks reliant on developing technical and social measures to function, including hardware, software, standards, and protocols. As millions of new internet users sign on each year, governing bodies need to balance evolving social ideas surrounding internet use against shifting political pressures on internet governance—or risk disconnection.

Four Internets offers a revelatory new approach for conceptualizing the Internet and understanding the sometimes rival values that drive its governance and stability. Four Internets contends that the apparently monolithic "Internet" is in fact maintained by four distinct value systems—the Silicon Valley Open Internet, the Brussels Bourgeois Internet, the DC Commercial Internet, and the Beijing Paternal Internet—competing to determine the future directions of internet affordances for freedom, innovation, security, and human rights. Starting with an analysis of the original vision of an "Open Internet," the book outlines challenges facing this vision and the subsequent rise of other internets popularized through political and monetary machinations. It then unravels how tensions between these internets play out across politics, economics, and technology, and offers perspectives on potential new internets that might arise from emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and smart cities. The book closes with an evaluation of whether all these models can continue to co-exist—and what might happen if any fall away.

Visionary and accessible, Four Internets lends readers the confidence to believe in a diverse yet resilient Internet through a deeper understanding of this everyday commodity.
Oxford Univesrity Press
Hall, Wendy
11f7f8db-854c-4481-b1ae-721a51d8790c
O'hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
Hall, Wendy
11f7f8db-854c-4481-b1ae-721a51d8790c
O'hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4

Hall, Wendy and O'hara, Kieron (2021) Four Internets: data, geopolitics, and the governance of cyberspace , Oxford Univesrity Press, 344pp.

Record type: Book

Abstract

The Internet has become a staple of modern civilized life, now as vital a utility as electricity. But despite its growing influence, the Internet isn't as stable as it might seem; rather, it can be best thought of as a network of networks reliant on developing technical and social measures to function, including hardware, software, standards, and protocols. As millions of new internet users sign on each year, governing bodies need to balance evolving social ideas surrounding internet use against shifting political pressures on internet governance—or risk disconnection.

Four Internets offers a revelatory new approach for conceptualizing the Internet and understanding the sometimes rival values that drive its governance and stability. Four Internets contends that the apparently monolithic "Internet" is in fact maintained by four distinct value systems—the Silicon Valley Open Internet, the Brussels Bourgeois Internet, the DC Commercial Internet, and the Beijing Paternal Internet—competing to determine the future directions of internet affordances for freedom, innovation, security, and human rights. Starting with an analysis of the original vision of an "Open Internet," the book outlines challenges facing this vision and the subsequent rise of other internets popularized through political and monetary machinations. It then unravels how tensions between these internets play out across politics, economics, and technology, and offers perspectives on potential new internets that might arise from emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and smart cities. The book closes with an evaluation of whether all these models can continue to co-exist—and what might happen if any fall away.

Visionary and accessible, Four Internets lends readers the confidence to believe in a diverse yet resilient Internet through a deeper understanding of this everyday commodity.

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Published date: September 2021

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 451882
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/451882
PURE UUID: 3ba7cf3f-8097-4aeb-b358-45e9567f666e
ORCID for Wendy Hall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4327-7811
ORCID for Kieron O'hara: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9051-4456

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Date deposited: 02 Nov 2021 17:42
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 02:48

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