December 15, 2014

How the 'Internet with Chinese Characteristics' Is Rupturing the Web

By Amy Chang

China is openly undermining the United States' vision of a free and open Internet. Motivated by maintaining the fragile balance between information control, social and political stability, and continued modernization and economic growth for an online population of over 600 million, the Chinese government is attempting to alter how nations understand their role in Internet governance through a concept called "Internet sovereignty."

Internet sovereignty refers to the idea that a country has the right to control Internet activity within its own borders, and it is what China refers to as a natural extension of a nation-state's authority to handle its own domestic and foreign affairs. For the United States and other Western nations, however, Internet governance is delegated to an inclusive and distributed set of stakeholders including government, civil society, the private sector, academia, and national and international organizations (also known as the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance).

Lu Wei, the head of the State Internet Information Office and the director of a powerful cybersecurity strategy group comprised of China's top leaders, is the administrative ringleader of the Chinese Internet. With a long background working in China's propaganda apparatus, Lu has been behind China's recent campaigns promoting its conception of Internet sovereignty abroad, including a trip to Washington D.C. and Silicon Valley in the first week of December.

Read the full article at the Huffington Post.