"Internet Fragmentation: Highlighting the Major Technical, Governance and Diplomatic Challenges for U.S. Policy Makers"
Author: Jonah Force Hill, Former Belfer IGA Fellow 2011–2012
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Information and Communications Technology and Public Policy; Science, Technology, and Public Policy
The Internet is at a crossroads. Today it is generally open, interoperable and unified. Tomorrow, however, we may see an entirely different Internet, one not characterized by openness and global reach, but by restrictions, blockages and cleavages. In order to help ensure that the Internet continues to serve as a source of global integration, democratization, and economic growth, American policymakers must be aware of the most significant technical, political and legal challenges to a unified Internet.
Drawing on a series of interviews with academics, government officials, and industry leaders, this report provides an account of the forces and actors that are threatening the global nature of the Net, and offers a brief sketch of the six distinct areas of greatest concern.
This work is funded by the Office of Naval Research under award number N00014-09-1-0597. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research.
Statements and views expressed in this discussion paper are solely those of the author and do not imply endorsement by Harvard University, the Harvard Kennedy School, or the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
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