Wednesday, June 20, 2018

China's intends to export Internet authoritarian culture to the rest of the world; this may even help drive EU changes to copyright



The Atlantic has a disturbing article in the Atlantic, June 18, “Beijing wants to rewrite the rules of the Internet”, story, June 18, about a speech Xi Jingping gave in April.

Some of the points in the article sound predictable – that tech companies selling to China have to make China-only versions (and then you get into the Trump tariffs and trade war issues).  

But Xi Jingping is selling the idea in Africa, particularly to less democratic (and probably homophobic) countries like Nigeria.  European companies are probably more vulnerable to changes in Internet governance in developing countries than is big tech in the US now. 
  
But the trend is not good.  It is to withdraw and disable the free-flowing participation of individuals in political debate now, which China and authoritarian countries see as destabilizing because it feeds on class resentments and unsustainable ideas of individualism. The Internet should be institutionalized the way everything else is, which sounds suspiciously like the “Digital Single Market” idea in the EU, and the recent Copyright Directive changes (Articles 11 – link tax, and 13 – pre-upload monitoring and filtering) that is attracting so much attention now.  (The EU passed a preliminary vote on this matter today, and the entire EU Parliament could vote in December – I covered this on Wordpress.) 
 
The West is allowing communism to creep into its own political thinking again, even as it looks only at the right wing separatist movements. 

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