Lecture 5: Internet & National Interest

Internet & National Interest (1) Internet & National Interest (2) Internet & National Interest (3) Internet & National Interest (4) Internet & National Interest (5) Internet & National Interest (6) Internet & National Interest (7) Internet & National Interest (8) Internet & National Interest (9) Internet & National Interest (10) Internet & National Interest (11) Internet & National Interest (12)

17 replies

  1. In my opinion, thinking about establishing any kind of “national Internet” is an absurd, which is doomed to fail. The very aim of the Internet from its beginning was to connect people in a way that previously had not been possible and so, any attempt of its artificial division or limiting is at odds with its primary assumptions and hence would not be successful.

    Nonetheless, we should also give up the view that the Internet we have today is free of any boarders or control. The scandal that broke after Snowden’s revelations showed that many people nowadays like to think of the Internet as of some free, parallel space created solely by its users and they are shocked when they realise it might be under any sort of supervision. In the reality, virtual world is indeed a subject to control and restrictions. No one probably would be surprised hearing that censorship of certain opinions is a fact in countries, such as Russia or China, but believing that the content we have access to is control-free would also be a naivety.

    On the other hand, can we really deem controlling the Internet as an entirely bad thing? After all, it must not necessarily mean shortcutting our rights of free expression, but may be sometimes used, for instance, to prevent terrorist attacks or assure some other form of protection. Moreover, an uncontrolled leak of information into the Internet might also become a threat for national security. Therefore, is blaming the surveillance services for inspecting the online content always a correct move?

    The invention of World Wide Web, along with many benefits raised also a whole lot of new issues that our society has to face. One of the main is the aspect of freedom of speech, which might not be such a new issue in human history, but because of the Internet’s reach grew into a scale that have not been known before. I personally believe the Internet has a great potential for achieving the goal of granting everyone their voice. Nevertheless, thinking that a platform of such power and scale could be left free of any control would be nothing more than utopianism.

  2. I can not agree with the fact that the internet is free global village. There are few reasons – first, not in every country in the world can be utilized ” the same ” internet with the same content – I am thinking about Russia or North Korea. The second thing is that in different countries there are different levels of censorship, what I mean is that we are allowed to witness thung that in other countries will be banned. We can give Muslin countries and Europe/USA as an example, where the image of a woman is seen in absolutely different ways. All billboards advertising swimming suits or underwear, would be not admitted to the public space in Muslin countries. I think that for us its hard, to even imagine how the Internet looks in countries that are covered by censorship , because we have never experienced that. From our perspective, we would be probably in shock, if we could find out that people from North Korea live with totally different knowledge and vision of world than the rest of us.

  3. The great example of power of the Internet is last polish elections and campaign before them. The opinion-forming media, which are still the most powerful source for polish people didn’t make the grade and during campaign electorate started doubt in news, which were in TV, radio and press. It was the time for social media and Internet. I honestly think that social media helped Andrzej Duda won elections. : Duda answered the internaut’s questions and during 1.04 (prima aprilis) he read jokes about himself.In the same time headquoters of Komorowski have made mistakes on offical Twitter or on FB. People didn’t like action ” co na to bronek?” on FB. Not only headqueters of Komorowski, but people from TV and Radio made a lot of mistakes, which didn’t help win this elections. The internauts rised up and flight with it in Intenet, and in my opinion those mistakes helped Andrzej Duda won this elections. The power of social media is big and polish president’s election are great exaplme of that.

  4. I don’t believe in existing smth as „national internet” because the idea of national state more and more blasted, the borders became relative, and peopele have linked with peopele in all over the world. Internet is it interconnecting force, which make war, and the fors to achieve understanding. simultaneously, I might assume that exist smth like „Russia internet” which is covered by censorship and has been spreading lies, trolling etc.

  5. Here is my answer to a question dr. Wóycicki asked about how Bronisław Komorowski and Andrzej Duda used social media and the internet overall in their presidential campaigns – For me there was no such thing as internet and social media in this campaign. Komorowski started his campaign easily one month too late, that’s why his situation looks like this right now. If you act like a winner at the beginning of any competition, it wouldn’t be good for you. Before the debates his campaign was a disaster for me. for example. the videos with the lady who told him what to do and what to say, or when he said young guy, who asked him how to live in this country for 2 thousand zl, that he should go abroad or take a credit went online. for me those are aspects of his campaign in the internet, but as a disadvantage for him. Its just an example of how his campaign was very bad. I liked his action in the social media #bronekmusisz. it was pretty popular and people used this hashtag a lot. Both candidates (their staffs) used twitter a lot but for me it was artificial. To be honest i did not notice duda’s actions in the internet or social media in this campaign. at the end i want to share my opinion, that komorowski’s campaign was not really good till there was only him and duda. duda’s campaign was better till the dabates, komorowski won both of them in my opinion of course. i am really curious how it will turn out tomorrow.

  6. I have to say that I don’t agree that internet is a free global village. Untill people in countries such as Russia or China won’t have freedom to visit any site they want to or post in their social media spaces anything they want and express how they feel about stuff going on around them, till there’s no such thing as free global internet in my opinion. Of course it is all depends on political issues, that’s why i think that as long propaganda will be that strong In Russia, or as long people won’t have access to the internet in some area of the world as long there is no such thing as global internet.

  7. It’s a very confusing era that we’re in. Our internet (people living in Europe, US, Australia) is perhaps more American. Russian and Chinese Internet works a bit differently. Generally it depends on political power, but also on the target group. Why it’s so hard to answer the question? Not everything, what is available and created by Americans fit into the Chinese market (and vice versa). And again we have some political issues… digital powers and so on… so on… It’s really hard to say that something is only white or only black.
    And some news from the Internet: http://en.mehrnews.com/news/107869/China-to-help-Iran-complete-National-Internet

  8. In my opinion the American Internet exists everywhere around the world. We use the google website, which is American. The whole html language and commands are in American English.

  9. Liike I stated previously on Facebook, I think it’s difficult to define what a national Internet is. For example Polish Internet would mean websites in Polish? Or on Polish servers? Or owned by Polish companies or businessmen? Or their content is made by Poles?

    In my opinion, we can have national websites or forums, but not national Internet. By definition, Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. If we would like to have closed, national network, then we couldn’t call it the Internet. I doubt that we generally can describe the Internet as „national”.

    I also agree with Antoni Wolynski’s comment that no goverment will be able to completely censor the communication via Internet. There are many channels and many ways to bypass all the types of restrictions. And when the goverment get on the trail of unwanted website and deletes it, a day later there are ten new on it’s place.

    One more question: why are we talking all the time only about negative stuff, like censorship? People received a great medium where absolutely everybody can say something and where it’s really difficult to fight unwelcome opinions. The situation is waaaay better than it ever was. Since it is so bad, then why is it so good?

  10. Of course internet is a free global village where everyone can share his own opinion, and it’s truly has many advantages, but we have to remember and be aware of it’s disadvantages.
    Internet is also a way – huge way – to achieve national interests. Some portals can be administrated by national governments and trying to influence us. Some could be also administrated by political party supporters (eg. left/central/right wing), and some could be administrated by private persons/groups who want to impose us their ideologies.
    My point is that we got to be careful and wide-awake, because even not fully councious we can be subject to the influence of someone.
    We can not forget about that the governments could achieve they goals by trying influence everyone to their politics and their opinions and plans.
    Even on the forums or in comments in pages we use very often like youtube, or facebook we can be in contact with some internet trolls who are even work like this to implicate to us some notions and opinions.
    As we said in one of our previous lecture about Russia’s troll army. It is true that they have their internet trolls who are working for manipulate public opinion for support and assist Russia. Except commenting they’re creating fake internet profiles in social media’s and trying to influence to the others as a private persons.
    But not only Russians doing that, also USA and probably not only them.
    It is still the same war – the information war, but only channels of this war has changed.

  11. The internet is often referred to as a global village. This corresponds to, for example, many social networks’ specifics – such networks as Facebook usually have (almost) global reach. In the online era, the ideas of a place and time lose their meanings – we are able to stay in touch around the clock with people from all over the world. Of course, the internet is also largely ‘specified’ according to particular nations and countries: there are national versions of the most popular websites, the online content is profiled for specific countries, etc. Nevertheless, it could be argued that even if such content is produced for particular users, they could be perceived worldwide. I would assume that only such restrictions as the ones introduced in Russia or China would create a completely national version of the internet.

  12. Reading the comments below and contemplating the question form the 1st slide, a next one is coming to my mind: is it possible at all to control an internet? Aren’t there any holes, uncovered yet tricks allowing people to jump over the walls in a web? NSA with its 260-hectars complex in Maryland is unable to defend fully US-gov and -agencies servers.
    It is irresponsible to deny we are facing great times of insecurity in the internet. I think this is a beginning of a new field of battle, that will become as natural for humans as the ground, the waters or air (which became such a field after I WW – or during. The airfield is a good comparison to my thought – similar mechanisms).
    Today, as in economy, where is a need, there will be supply. I suppose we can expect in a close future an opening of new branch in the market, which will contribute to security in a web. And – in fact – such a competitive environment for private web-security-agencies will contribute to a better security and more dangerous weapons in web.
    A value of internet that cross the borders cannot be overrated. But the states are too big actors to provide security for every citizen. It wouldn’t sound irreverently if I say: prepare for next wave of possibilities for making money on investments in geeks.

  13. Hmm the internet is global, like global village. In the internet we can use every language with no issues. But the truth is that in majority internet is american – the creators of this device are from USA – i guess of course. BUT Russia has social media and it’s connected with internet – her own. The proof is that Ukrainian people use so common russian social media and russian portals.

  14. Ways of communications have changed trough the years and centuries.
    Firstly people were an audience, what means that information was directed only in one direction. For example political leaders were using microphones to tell their inhabitants news and action they are going to take. Then people as an audiance could listened that speaches in radio or later watched in television. Citizens weren’t able to be an equal partner to talk. They possessed no rights to express their thinking. Then people all over the world has started to struggle for the democracy, for the voice to speak.
    Technologies were and still are very important tool to fight for people’s rights. When we gain the Chance to be free and express ourselves we got a voice as a audience and as an individual occupant of the world.
    As time flies people’s awereness of using the right to talk and deliver their opinion grow enough and then Internet has revolutionized this situation.
    Long way ago human beings had lived in caves trying to survive. Nowadays most people have a Chance to give their opinion freely in cyberspace, which can have significant meaning for their lives and can be heard by opposite side.
    Of course this is the most important that new technologies help us express ourselves, be indivduals and part of the group. Right now new tools let us be a part of social group without knowledge about other participants, they also can live on the other side of the world, beacuse it is not a problem. If we for example share same interests it is enough to get closer, because we are using social networks sites.
    The Internet allowed us to break limits. Right now Internet can change everything, because it’s a kind of place, where everything going first. We can noticed this in last presidental elections in Poland: young people all over the country had created events on Facebook and their target was to get more votes for their candidate. Some of these actions was spontaneous, but some of them were planned as a part of campaign.
    The cyber environment is the most used space to express reflections, organize happenings and events, share our interests, our needs. We of course can choose if we would like to be sort of anonymous users or be an individual users with self identity (which also can be a creation).
    To sum up, it is important to notice, that Internet let us widen horizons and be in touch with idea and people from over the world. These space also allow to be a part of those who have a voice to speak, because times have changed and rules are different, so we should learn about them if they can produce some goods for us.

  15. Neither China, Russia, or any other censoring government will be able to completely censor their own internet (due to sheer size) but as one can see in China it can be HEAVILY censored. Both states also provice excellent examples of „alternative internet” for its domestic citizens (Snowden once in an interview hailed the rise of VK and Weibo as positive for China and Russia’s protection from western security services).

  16. As a user of Twitter, I’m still amazed of how it help people to organise, to share their ideas, to to express solidarity and so on. I decided to write my master thesis about the power of social media. I agree with Wael Ghonim – new ways of communication in upcoming future will be the X factor in all of the revolutons. Life already brings us many examples. I.e. Iran, when young people organised protests via BlackBerry messengers, Twitter etc, even though the internet in this country is deeply, deeply controlled. Same thing goes out to Ukraine. My good freidn Piotr Pogorzelski, Polish Radio’s correspondent in Kiev, wrote a book about the ukraine;s revolution, in which he showed that the internet was the major boost to the democratic opposition and helped them to communicate. And it is happening still. Like 60-70% of news concerning the situation in eastern Ukraine comes from Twitter, Facebook, VKontakte.

    But the internet will be (and is) not only a tool for political change. It already helps people to express solidarity. Last months – terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo and killing of Boris Nemtsov. Both these tragic events launched a wave of commiseration throughtout the social media, tags #JeSuisCharlie and #JeSuisNemtosv were the most popular Twitter tags through many days.

    And yes, now internet is a cyber utopia and cyberdystopia brought together. But I reckon the undemocratic, killing regimes know that it’s the most dangerous tool for them the human has ever created. Social media are really uncotrollable, even though governments try to control it (SOPA, PIPA etc.) It won’t work. Internet is free to all and everyone has the right to use it in their own way. So I bet the Web will evolve in a ‚good’ way, because people are getting more and more aware of their rights and about dengers the Web brings.

    But the internet changes political life also in democratic states. Example – latest polish presidential elections. Even though in TV both candidates were presented in the same way, situation in the internet was really, really different. People were creating nasty memes about Bronisław Komorowski, it was like a big wave of laugh and hate, which seemed curious to me, as only few months ago Komorowski was one of the most popular polish politicians. And mostly the internet changed this, showing him as an old, rather boring man; president, who done nothing thorugh 5 years. Even if I dont agree with that, it was impossible to stop the wave of hate anyway.

  17. Privacy is dead
    At the FB- page for this course there have been many discussions of the Russian aggression against human rights, especially on the Internet. The consensus is that cyber war is real and that we have to get used to it. But what has the Russian aggression really shown? I will argue that we have to get used to the fact that nothings is private, and that your Internet privacy is dead.

    We could read in “The Net Delusion“ the new ways that authoritarian regimes use Internet and social media as a tool for espionage, surveillance and ultimately control. It’s truly disturbing to read Ahmadi Moghaddam, Iran’s police chief, comment that “the new technologies allow us to identify conspirators and those who are violating the law, without having to control all people individually.” (Morozov, p.146) This actually means that Iran is targeting the mass population, and later on picking out the people that they find suspicious. They can use different keywords as- “democracy,” “opposition,” “human rights,” or simply the names of the country’s opposition leaders—and focus only on particular segments of the conversation. (Morozov, p.151)

    So where are we now? Iran seems like a long way from our “western world”, especially for us Poles. But if we look out east, to Russia, we can see a harsh escalation in control over peoples social media. In the Russian controlled Belarus, an activist was 2009 caught by the KGB due to his activity in social media. Another example, Pavel Durov, founder of „Russian Facebook”, had to escape Russia due to the threats he received by Russian FSB (Bertrand, 05/18/15 Buisness Insider). This activity, often made out of nonstate “patriotic hacker” networks, is now a part of modern warfare. (Singer, p. 186)

    Why this interest in social media, one might think? Morozov answers: “For why should the Iranian government embark on expensive investigations if they can get their computers to match the photos taken during the protests—many of them by the very activists appearing on them—with more casual photos uploaded on social networking profiles by the same activists? “(Morozov, 154). In the case of the Russia, Morozov says that we are actually doing the job of the FSB/KGB: “In the past, the KGB resorted to torture to learn of connections between activists; today, they simply need to get on Facebook.” (Morozov, p.156)

    So where are we heading? All of us are using social media, apps and the Internet all the time. Smartphones are taking over our lives. Controlling our diet, waking us up, reminding us of our daily schedule.(Economist, 03/07/15) In one way this is spectacular and convenient. If we are not political activist, then we’re maybe not losing sleep over Russians spying the Facebook. So what about the future? The Guardian reported that in 2020 there would be 50bn devices connected to the Internet, four times as many as 2013.(Goodman, 11/03/15) When there is not only governments who are interested in monitor us but even terrorist, companies, organizations and religious groups, what consequences will that have for the privacy of Internet?

    There is no secret that this combined with the fact that “innovation in data analysis expands the range of what is possible, surveillance is poised to become more sophisticated as well, taking on many new features that only seemed like science fiction in the not-so-distant past. “ (Morozov, p.143) We can’t look in the future, but based on the increased number of Internet devices we use, the information we put in through social media and the governments ready to use the information, we can clearly see that in the future Internet privacy is dead.

    Evegny Morozov, The Net Delusion

    Singer/Friedman, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar

    Buisness Insider-
    Bertrand, 05/18/15 (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-founder-of-russias-facebook-explains-how-the-kremlin-took-his-company-away-2015-5)

    03/07/15 (http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21645503-exposure-nasty-throat-infection-or-confirmation-heart-attack)

    Goodman, 11/03/15 (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/11/internet-of-things-hacked-online-perils-future)


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