If you don’t think net neutrality and internet sovereignty are related, you better think again.
The republicans in congress are fiercely fighting the request by the Obama administration to classify broadband internet providers as a utility making them, and the Internet, subject to much stricter regulation.
At the heart of the net neutrality debate is ostensibly whether or not internet should be considered like a utility and therefore subjected to utility provider regulation similar to electric or telephone service.
Meanwhile in China, Internet Czar Lu Wei and President Xi Jinping are arguing the states right to manage and govern the the information running across it’s sovereign territory. The Internet, Wei argues, is part of the national infrastructure like roads and power and it is the states responsibility to insure infrastructure stability.
Both prescribe controlling information flow across the internet, albeit each country takes a slightly different approach. While China is more overt in controlling information; by classifying and categorizing information protocols, the proponents against net neutrality arrive at very much the same place.
The tragedy of the Charles Hebdo shootings simply underscore the stakes involved in the freedom of information debate.
We are quickly facing a world where the information we’ve taken for granted may not be as easily accessible.