FGI volunteer ShinJoung Yeo reviews two books about global political struggles to govern the world’s distributed communication infrastructure.
- Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace; Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance, by ShinJoung Yeo, JASIST, Volume 62, Issue 8, pages 1647-1649, August 2011. Article first published online: 9 MAY 2011. [subscription required]
A recent series of events–Google’s dispute with China, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech on Internet freedom, the Egyptian government shutting off nearly all Internet services during the 2011 pro-democracy revolution, .xxx domain approval by ICANN after much political controversy–is indicative of the heightening global politics surrounding the Internet.
Two books–Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace, edited by Ronald J. Deibert, John G. Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, and Jonathan Zittrain, and Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance, by Milton L. Mueller–have drawn attention and provide context to exactly these global political struggles to govern the world’s distributed communication infrastructure, increase governments’ efforts to control, and reassert sovereignty rights over cyberspace by nation states. Both books contribute to explicating the complex tensions between nation states and the extraterritorial nature of the Internet.
…If one has not yet been convinced that the Internet is far from value neutral, once again these books corroborate and stress the fact that cyberspace has grown ever more tightly intertwined with global political economy and has become a site of political, economic, and cultural struggle among nation states.
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