Is the dream of one global internet still alive?
Increasingly, moves by governments to filter and restrict content are alarming to fragment the system created with the promise of connecting the world with a largely unified body of content.
China for years has secured some western services, and the fragmentation may be accelerating with regulations being imposed elsewhere, say analysts.
This is leading to a “splinternet,” a term circulated for a decade or more but gaining more traction in recent months.
“The internet is already fragmented in material ways, but each regulator around the world thinks they know how to fix the internet,” said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University.
“I think we will see a tsunami of regulations that will lead to a further riving of the internet.”
The New Zealand Christchurch mosques massacre livestreamed online heightened the sense of urgency in some countries, with debates in the US and EU on curbing incitement to violence.
A new Australian law could jail social media executives for failing to take down violent extremist content quickly.