DECENTRALIZED P2P INTERNET ALTERNATIVES: desuarchive.org
A swathe of the world is adopting China’s vision for a tightly controlled internet over the 'unfettered' (read: free & open) American approach, a stunning ideological coup for Beijing that would have been unthinkable less than a decade ago.
Vietnam and Thailand are among the Southeast Asian nations warming to a governance model that twins sweeping content curbs with uncompromising data controls – because it helps preserve the regime in power. A growing number of the region’s increasingly autocratic governments watched enviously the emergence of Chinese corporate titans from Tencent Holdings Ltd. to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. – in spite of draconian online curbs. And now they want the same.
Now, a re-molding of the internet into a tightly controlled and scrubbed sphere in China’s image is taking place from Russia to India. Yet it’s Southeast Asia that’s the economic and geopolitical linchpin to Chinese ambitions and where U.S.-Chinese tensions will come to a head: a region home to more than half a billion people whose internet economy is expected to triple to $240 billion by 2025.
“For authoritarian countries in general, the idea of the state being able to wall off to some extent its internet is deeply appealing,” said Howard French, author of “Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power. “This is about the regimes’ survival in an authoritarian situation. So that’s why they like to do this. They want to be able to insulate themselves against shocks.”
The UK and many European vassal states are also adopting internet censorship as well, from blocking pornographic content to alledged "fake news" and "hate speech." The EU also recently passed copywrite reform for the internet which will be used to cut access to many sites that currently empower online users.
New Zealand has started to censor their internet after the mass shooting was streamed on US social media, even sites such as 4chan and Zerohedge were blocked after the New Zealand shooting to which those two sites had nothing to do with.
Vietnam’s controversial version went into effect Jan. 1 – a law BSA/The Software Alliance, which counts Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. among its members – called chilling and ineffectual. Indonesia, the region’s largest economy, already requires data be stored locally. The Philippines has stepped up what critics call a media crackdown, arrested the head of media outlet Rappler Inc. after it grew critical of President Rodrigo Duterte. And last year, the government of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak introduced a 'fake news' law used to probe his chief opponent.
“If authorities in the region can convince Silicon Valley to play by their repressive rules, we’re going to see a drop in standards of privacy, surveillance, and freedom of expression on those platforms,” said Tanya O’Carroll, head of technology and human rights at Amnesty International. “How Silicon Valley chooses to engage with the likes of Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia could set major precedents. They must not treat those countries as testbeds to tinker with people’s rights online.”
It looks like, very soon, the free world will have to adopt decentralized p2p networking or be caught up in another censored TV-style corporate broadcast. Ready to utilize the decentralized p2p networks, or go offline? Internet users should seriously be pondering this question about now.