[GTER] Fwd: [Isoc-br] Why the World Must Resist Calls to Undermine the Internet
danton.nunes at inexo.com.br
Wed Mar 2 15:18:45 -03 2022
A posição da ISOC, que eu acho que deve ser levada a sério.
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Subject: [Isoc-br] Why the World Must Resist Calls to Undermine the Internet
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2022 15:11:34 -0300
From: Flávio Rech Wagner <flavio at inf.ufrgs.br>
To: ISOC Brasil <isoc-br at listas.tiwa.net.br>
*Why the World Must Resist Calls to Undermine the Internet*
By Andrew Sullivan
ISOC President and Chief Executive Officer
It seems that every time there is a large political event in the world, someone
calls for someone else to be excluded from the Internet. The latest call to cut
people off comes in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Internet Society must resist these calls, no matter how tempting. The
Internet remains our best hope to communicate among the peoples of the world.
The calls to cut Russia off are coming at multiple levels:
* There is pressure on global social media giants to block Russian content to
stop disinformation from circulating.
* Others think networks around the world should block Russian communication by
blocking their BGP announcements. BGP, the Border Gateway Protocol, is the
network protocol that allows the various networks that make up the Internet
to negotiate their communications—effectively, it is the “inter” part of
“the Internet.” Attempting to convince all the networks in the world to
reject some BGP announcements on political grounds is unprecedented.
* Still others think the physical connections from Russian networks should be
severed. It is not possible to communicate through cables that have been
broken. Cut the cables, and Russia will be isolated.
These proposals miss something fundamental about the Internet: it was never
designed to respect country borders. The idea of unplugging a country is as
wrong when people want to do it to /another/ country as it is when governments
want to do it to their own.
Internet connectivity means anyone with access can use the Internet to
communicate. This means aggressors and opponents alike. Unlike most historical
communication methods, the Internet is astonishingly resilient when conditions
for connection are bad. It’s not magic. It won’t end wars or invasions. But it
is a great tool for humans to use against their oppressors.
The Internet allows people who otherwise would be silenced to speak, so it
should be no surprise that there are people the world over trying to undermine
Russia has been trying for over a decade, with limited evidence of success
(whatever the Kremlin has said), to be able to unplug from the Internet. Some
governments impose Internet shutdowns that harm the interests of their citizens
and impede economic development, all in the interests of social control. These
efforts are not “the Internet with local characteristics,” or any other
catchphrase. They’re opposition to the Internet. The Internet puts decisions
about connections into the hands of people who want to connect. It’s a
frightening idea to those who want to control the messages. But it’s what has
made the Internet a resource to enrich people’s lives.
In the present case, even on a basic technical level, it is not clear what a
“Russian network” is, or how one would refuse its communication. The Internet’s
resilience comes in part from redundancy. There is no hope that every single
network in the world will refuse traffic from networks originating in Russia.
Indeed, it is almost certain that communications that originate from any
government-controlled network sources will make it to the wider Internet. The
origins will probably be even more obscured than they otherwise might be. In an
already-connected world, it will be really hard to deny someone connectivity
completely, especially when they have the resources of a nation-state. Trying to
block one country’s networks could harm its government, but it could harm its
domestic dissent, too.
Once large network operators start demonstrating an ability to make routing
decisions on political grounds, other governments will notice. This will attract
regulatory requirements to shape network interconnection in real time along
political lines. If we travel that path, in short order the network of networks
will not exist. In its place we would have a different network design built
around national gateways, broken up on geopolitical lines, and just as dynamic
and robust as other multilateral, regulation-based systems. The Internet has
done a lot to erode those systems because it is more efficient and effective.
We’d give that up.
Without the Internet, the rest of the world would not know of atrocities
happening in other places. And without the Internet, ordinary citizens of many
countries wouldn’t know what was being carried out in their name. Our best hope,
however dim, is that those supporting an aggressive regime will change their
support. More information can help, even as disinformation circulates. We need a
better understanding of what is and is not disinformation. Cutting a whole
population off the Internet will stop disinformation coming from that
population—but it also stops the flow of truth.
We must not ease the path for those who hate the Internet and its ability to
empower people. We must fight the suppression of the Internet. This means making
sure connectivity does not stop for anyone. It means ensuring that strong
encryption, which protects ordinary communications, but also allows political
discourse in the face of censorship, is always available. It means making sure
the critical properties of the Internet are not undermined by legislation, no
matter how well-meaning. It means making interconnections cheap and easy and
ubiquitous, so that all networks are reliable and robust systems that can be
made from unreliable parts.It means dedicating ourselves to ensuring that the
Internet is for everyone <https://www.internetsociety.org/mission/>.
Far too many people all over the world are living under conflict. All should
have access to the greatest communication tool ever invented. The Internet is a
tool to help them understand what is going on, and to communicate their
struggle. It is a tool for the oppressed to show their oppression. If we try to
bend it only to the will of governments, we will break it, losing all of these
opportunities. People invaded by a foreign power deserve the Internet. But we
cannot be selective about who has access.
We must never waver from this vision. The Internet is for everyone.
Prof. Flávio Rech Wagner
Presidente da Internet Society Brasil
flavio at inf.ufrgs.br,info at isoc.org.br https://www.isoc.org.br
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