- 1 Does Google own the Internet
- 2 Who owns the most Internet
- 2.1 Why is it called Wi-Fi?
- 2.2 Is there more than one internet?
- 2.3 Do 14 people control the internet?
- 2.4 Does one person control the internet?
- 2.5 How many people in the world can’t access the internet?
- 3 How many people can’t access the internet
- 4 Who owns most of the internet traffic
Does Google own the Internet
The Internet is huge but it’s a hodgepodge of hundreds of thousands of smaller, private networks, connected through thousands of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and dozens of backbones operated by the large Telcos and service providers. Moving data from one end of the Internet to the other can mean traveling across many different computers and different networks.
Some of these computers and networks are old and inefficient while some are modern and very efficient. They are all tied together into what we call the Internet, through a collection of standards. These standards determine how a packet of data can reach its destination, complete and undamaged. Many large Internet companies own large chunks of the Internet through building their own data centers, networks, backbones, etc.
This helps to keep their costs down. Google is big. Google is one of those companies that owns a large chunk of the Internet. It has more than 50 data centers around the world; it builds its own servers; it operates its own backbones that shuttle huge amounts of data across the world; it develops its own software for managing all of its data; it keeps banks of servers in the data centers of ISPs so that it can cache data closer to delivery; and more, much more.
- How big is Google? asks Arbor Networks.
- It’s a rhetorical question because Arbor knows, it sells network control and monitoring hardware used by the largest ISPs and corporations.
- Arbor says that Google is very big: I mean really big.
- If Google were an ISP, it would be the fastest growing and third largest global carrier.
Only two other providers (both of whom carry significant volumes of Google transit) contribute more inter-domain traffic. But unlike most global carriers (i.e. the “tier1s”), Google’s backbone does not deliver traffic on behalf of millions of subscribers nor thousands of regional networks and large enterprises.
Google’s infrastructure supports, well, only Google. Based on data from 110 ISPs collected in the summer of 2009, Google was responsible for as much as 10% of all Internet traffic. If a company wants to compete with Google on a large scale, the costs of shuttling data packets around, whether they be Twitter packets or video packets, starts becoming very important at these large scales.
Arbor says: The competition between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and other large content players has long since moved beyond just who has the better videos or search. The competition for Internet dominance is now as much about infrastructure — raw data center computing power and about how efficiently (i.e.
- Quickly and cheaply) you can deliver content to the consumer.
- And that’s why Google has focused on building the most efficient, lowest cost to operate, private Internet.
- This infrastructure is key to Google, and it’s key to understanding Google.
- The cost of aluminum.
- Google will locate its massive data centers where electricity costs are low, such as where there is hydro-electric power.
There’s a shortcut to finding these locations, look for places where there are aluminum smelters – these use huge amounts of electricity. Google was one of the first companies to realize that electric power costs would be important in determining the cost of data centers.
Today, it is high on the list of priorities for all data centers. That’s also why it has been investing in power generating technologies, such as wind, sun, and geothermal. It has a key goal of generating electric power from renewable energy sources at a cost less than coal-generated electric power, That would be an incredible achievement.
Always lower costs. Google always focuses on finding the lowest costs even though it can easily afford to pay more. Google builds its own servers, made from off-the-shelf low cost components, with cheap hard drives. It has developed its own software that deals with component failure and moves work loads across huge numbers of servers.
- Managing failure is built into Google’s data center operating systems.
- It has bought up lots of “dark fiber,” at a very low cost.
- This is optical fiber that hasn’t yet been ‘lit’ but it is in the ground, in place, ready to be hooked up.
- Because Google has so much fiber, it operates one of the largest backbones in the world.
It also means that it can trade bandwidth with others. Large Telcos and ISPs have peering arrangements with each other. This means that if they have the capacity, they will carry extra traffic for each other. These peering arrangements mean that Google’s bandwidth bill for all that YouTube video is zero,
- It’s difficult to believe, but your bandwidth bill to watch a YouTube video is more than Google’s.
- Because of bartering through peering agreements, its only cost is in maintaining its own networks and backbones.
- Skipping the last mile.
- Google still needs ISPs and Telcos for the last mile, to deliver its various services and products, to the end user/consumer.
But it has been experimenting with going direct. It has experimented with free municipal Wi-Fi, and more recently, it is setting up high speed bandwidth to communities with 500,000 people or less. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Google wants to become an ISP or a Telco.
- It is not a service organization and it doesn’t want that headache, but it does want to spur ISPs and Telcos to develop high-speed data connections, so that it can deliver future products and services that require high speed data.
- The Internet is becoming ever more Google’s.
- Googles growth means that it is building a much faster, and much more power efficient, and much greener Internet.
And through peering agreements, it is carrying much more than just Google traffic, it is quickly, and quietly becoming an important carrier for all Internet traffic. There are huge indirect benefits from Google’s work that make the Internet a better service for every Internet user.
- Essential facility.
- What will this lead to? It’s going to lead to regulatory scrutiny because Google will be increasingly seen as an ‘essential facility’ vital for the economies of regions, nations, and entire trading blocs.
- Increased scrutiny by governments, and regulatory bodies, will make it more difficult for Google to execute on its business strategies.
Combined with the increased scrutiny of Google’s acquisitions by the Federal Trade Commission, Google’s future ambitions will become ever more restricted. Google sees the writing on the wall. It has boosted how much it spends on lobbying in Washington.
A layer cake business. Google might decide that its value lies in its incredibly efficient infrastructure, which is far more efficient and lower cost than the Internet as a whole. Once you have the lowest cost infrastructure, you can layer and scale other business services on top. Such as payment systems, basic voice and data services, security systems, and commerce platforms (advertising).
Google might decide it doesn’t need to own a Facebook, Twitter a Yahoo, or an Amazon – when it can host all the data packets. It can carry and trace a data packet from source to destination and back again – it can mine all that transactional data. That’s extremely valuable.
It’s a little known fact that Google keeps all of its data, all transactional data. It erases part of the identifiable meta data, but that can be reconstructed. That transactional data is incredibly valuable, and even though we can’t unlock it to its fullest value today, Google is working on it. No umbrella.
By being able to build the most efficient, private Internet, Google makes it extremely difficult for any competitor to challenge it. There is no ‘price umbrella’ that competitors can use. For example, there used to be lots of mainframe computer companies because IBM, the largest mainframe computer maker, used to charge very high prices.
- There was a substantial price umbrella set by IBM that sheltered competitors, and allowed them to sell IBM compatible mainframes and still make a good living.
- You can see similar price umbrellas in other business sectors.
- Google has made sure that by building the most efficient, lowest cost infrastructure, there is no price umbrella that could be exploited by competitors.
It’s more like a manhole cover, try to get under it, and you fall into a hole. This strategy means that Google leaves money on the table, it could make more money over the short-term by creating a price umbrella. Instead, it has chosen a long term business strategy which doesn’t give competitors any toehold, let alone an umbrella.
Its stock ownership is set up so that founder’s stock has ten times the voting rights of public shares, this allows it to avoid shareholder pressure to pursue short-term business goals. This all adds up to make Google into a truly formidable force, and one that continually amasses greater powers and influence.
‘Do no evil’ is the very least it can do.
What keeps the Internet running?
Servers also respond to DNS queries and perform other important tasks to keep the Internet up and running. Most servers are kept in large data centers, which are located throughout the world.
Who owns wifi?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Formation||1999 ; 24 years ago|
|Headquarters||Austin, Texas, United States|
|Formerly called||Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance|
The Wi-Fi Alliance is a non-profit organization that owns the Wi-Fi trademark. Manufacturers may use the trademark to brand products certified for Wi-Fi interoperability. It is based in Austin, Texas,
Who owns the backbone of the internet?
Internet backbone definition – The Internet backbone can be simply defined as the core of the Internet. Here, the largest and fastest networks are linked together with fiber-optic connections and high-performance routers. Internet networks are primarily owned and operated by commercial, educational, government or military entities.
Who holds the 7 keys of internet?
The Problem with “The Seven Keys” From time to time, articles are published about “the seven people who control the keys to the Internet.” These articles, while probably well-intentioned, are completely incorrect. Let’s be absolutely clear: there are no keys that cause the Internet to function (or not to function).
- The so-called “keys to the Internet” only relate to one function, and even then, they can only be used in extremely narrow circumstances.
- It is important to understand what these keys do, to see why they do not control the Internet.
- First and foremost, the keys being talked about belong to just one single part of the Internet – the mechanism for authenticating the data in the domain name system (DNS), called DNSSEC.
It is based on a hierarchy of cryptographic keys starting at the root of the DNS. The cryptographic keys for the root of the DNS are managed by ICANN. These cryptographic keys are kept in two secure facilities over 4,000 kilometers apart, and are protected with multiple layers of physical security such as building guards, cameras, monitored cages and safes.
- The innermost layer of physical security is a specialized device called a hardware security module (HSM), which stores the actual cryptographic keys.
- An HSM resists physical tampering, for example, if someone attempts to open the device or even drops it, the HSM erases all the keys it stores to prevent compromise.
ICANN keeps two HSMs at each facility. The root zone cryptographic key cannot be used outside an HSM. The system that has been designed to operate an HSM requires many people to be present. Some of these people are technical community members from around the world, known as, and others are ICANN staff.
Each person has a specific role in activating the HSM, which happens in a regular event we call a “.” But what if some event rendered the HSMs inoperable (e.g., a catastrophic bug in the firmware)? Even this extremely unlikely scenario needs a recovery plan, so ICANN keeps a backup for each root key, in a highly encrypted form, in a safe at each secure facility.
If something happened to all four HSMs, ICANN could buy a new HSM from the same manufacturer and restore the root keys using the backup. In this scenario, our security policy requires additional Trusted Community Representatives be present to restore the backups that ICANN holds.
- This is where many of the articles talking about “the keys to the Internet” get the story wrong.
- The Trusted Community Representatives are each given a physical key (some are metallic, others are smart cards) that is used during a key ceremony.
- The type of physical key depends on their specific role.
- Some Trusted Community Representatives are selected as “Cryptographic Officers” that activate HSMs during routine ceremonies.
Others are selected as “Recovery Key Share Holders” that activate the backup in the disaster recovery scenario. In both instances, the physical key these representatives hold is only used to activate materials that are stored within the secure facility, and do not contain the root zone’s cryptographic keys.
- By themselves, and without having access to ICANN’s secure facilities, the keys cannot be used to access the protected root key.
- For that to happen, the representatives would all have to be inside the secure facility and the safe holding the backup smart cards would have to be open.
- Unless all the multiple layers of physical security fail, that scenario can only happen during a planned key ceremony.
The other problem with the story about the keys is that the Internet is much more than DNSSEC. The Internet consists of many different systems, and the DNS is just one of them. Controlling one aspect of the Internet, such as DNSSEC, does not lead to full control of other aspects.
Is the Internet controlled by 7 people?
This sounds like something out of a Dan Brown book but it isn’t: The whole Internet is controlled by seven actual, physical keys. The Guardian’s James Ball was recently allowed to observe the highly secure ritual known as a key ceremony. The people conducting the ceremony are part of an organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
ICANN is responsible for assigning numerical Internet addresses to websites and computers and translating them into the normal web addresses that people type into their browsers. Complimentary Tech Event Transform talent with learning that works Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.
Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation. Know More For instance, type 126.96.36.199 into your browser and you’ll be taken to Business Insider’s web page. But www.businessinsider.com is easier for people to remember.
- ICANN maps the numbers (easier for computers to use) with words (easier for humans to use).
- If someone were to gain control of ICANN’s database that person would control the Internet.
- For instance, the person could send people to fake bank websites instead of real bank websites.
- On the other hand, if a calamity happened, the ICANN database could need to be rebuilt.
So ICANN came up with a way to do that without entrusting too much control to any one person. It selected seven people to be key holders and gave each one an actual key to Internet. It selected seven more people to be backup keyholders: 14 people in all.
- The physical keys unlock safety deposit boxes stashed around the world.
- Inside those boxes are smart keycards.
- Put the seven smartcards together and you have the “master key.” The master key is really some computer code, a password of sorts, that can access the ICANN database.
- Four times a year since 2010 the seven keyholders meet for the key ceremony where they generate a new master key, i.e.
a new password. The security to be admitted to the ceremony is intense, Ball reports, and involves passing through a series of locked doors using key codes and hand scanners, until entering a room so secure that no electronic communications can escape it.
Which country controls the Internet?
Background – Who-Runs-the-Internet-graphic No one person, company, organization or government runs the Internet. It is a globally distributed network comprising many voluntarily interconnected autonomous networks. It operates without a central governing body with each constituent network setting and enforcing its own policies.
- Its governance is conducted by a decentralized and international multistakeholder network of interconnected autonomous groups drawing from civil society, the private sector, governments, the academic and research communities and national and international organizations.
- They work cooperatively from their respective roles to create shared policies and standards that maintain the Internet’s global interoperability for the public good.
However, to help ensure interoperability, several key technical and policy aspects of the underlying core infrastructure and the principal namespaces are administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is headquartered in Los Angeles, California,
ICANN oversees the assignment of globally unique identifiers on the Internet, including domain names, Internet protocol addresses, application port numbers in the transport protocols, and many other parameters. This seeks to create a globally unified namespace to ensure the global reach of the Internet.
ICANN is governed by an international board of directors drawn from across the Internet’s technical, business, academic, and other non-commercial communities. There has been a long-held dispute over the management of the DNS root zone, whose final control fell under the supervision of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the U.S.
- Department of Commerce,
- Considering that the U.S.
- Department of Commerce could unilaterally terminate the Affirmation of Commitments with ICANN, the authority of DNS administration was likewise seen as revocable and derived from a single State, namely the United States.
- The involvement of NTIA started in 1998 and was supposed to be temporal, but it wasn’t until April 2014 in an ICANN meeting held in Brazil, partly heated after Snowden revelations, that this situation changed resulting in an important shift of control transitioning administrative duties of the DNS root zones from NTIA to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) during a period that ended in September 2016.
The technical underpinning and standardization of the Internet’s core protocols ( IPv4 and IPv6 ) is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a non-profit organization of loosely affiliated international participants that anyone may associate with by contributing technical expertise.
Who owns the most Internet
Everyone owns the internet – At the same time, thousands of people and organizations own the internet. These smaller systems each have an owner, and these owners can control the quality and level of access one has to the internet. They may not own the entire system, but they can impact your internet experience.
UUNET Level 3 Verizon AT&T Lumen Technologies Sprint IBM
These companies are Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which means that anyone wanting to access the internet must ultimately work with these companies. There are also smaller ISPs, such as Cable and DSL companies. These companies are not part of the internet’s backbone, but rather they negotiate with the larger ISP companies mentioned above for internet access.
Who created the internet?
• BOB KAHN (1938–) AND VINT CERF (1943–) – American computer scientists who developed TCP/IP, the set of protocols that governs how data moves through a network. This helped the ARPANET evolve into the internet we use today. Vint Cerf is credited with the first written use of the word ‘internet’.
Why is it called Wi-Fi?
What are the advantages of Wi-Fi? – Wi-Fi, networking technology that uses radio waves to allow high-speed data transfer over short distances. Wi-Fi technology has its origins in a 1985 ruling by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that released the bands of the radio spectrum at 900 megahertz (MHz), 2.4 gigahertz (GHz), and 5.8 GHz for unlicensed use by anyone.
Technology firms began building wireless networks and devices to take advantage of the newly available radio spectrum, but without a common wireless standard the movement remained fragmented, as devices from different manufacturers were rarely compatible. Eventually, a committee of industry leaders came up with a common standard, called 802.11, which was approved by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1997.
Two years later a group of major companies formed the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA, now the Wi-Fi Alliance), a global nonprofit organization created to promote the new wireless standard. WECA named the new technology Wi-Fi. (Wi-Fi is not an abbreviation for “wireless fidelity”; the name was created by a marketing firm hired by WECA and chosen for its pleasing sound and similarity to “hi-fi”,) Subsequent IEEE standards for Wi-Fi have been introduced to allow for greater bandwidth. Britannica Quiz Electronics & Gadgets Quiz Under the IEEE Wi-Fi standards, the available frequency bands are split into several separate channels. These channels overlap in frequency, and therefore Wi-Fi uses channels that are far apart. Within each of these channels, Wi-Fi uses a “spread spectrum” technique in which a signal is broken into pieces and transmitted over multiple frequencies.
- Spread spectrum enables the signal to be transmitted at a lower power per frequency and also allows multiple devices to use the same Wi-Fi transmitter.
- Because Wi-Fi signals are often transmitted over short distances (usually less than 100 metres ) in indoor environments, the signal can reflect off walls, furniture, and other obstacles, thus arriving at multiple time intervals and causing a problem called multipath interference.
Wi-Fi reduces multipath interference by combining three different ways of transmitting the signal (in a method developed by Australian engineer John O’Sullivan and collaborators). The popularity of Wi-Fi has grown steadily. Wi-Fi allows local area networks (LANs) to operate without cables and wiring, making it a popular choice for home and business networks.
Wi-Fi can also be used to provide wireless broadband Internet access for many modern devices, such as laptops, smartphones, tablet computers, and electronic gaming consoles. Wi-Fi-enabled devices are able to connect to the Internet when they are near areas that have Wi-Fi access, called “hotspots.” Hotspots have become common, with many public places such as airports, hotels, bookstores, and coffee shops offering Wi-Fi access.
Some cities have constructed free citywide Wi-Fi networks. A version of Wi-Fi called Wi-Fi Direct allows connectivity between devices without a LAN. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Erik Gregersen,
Who powers the Internet?
Tier 1 ISPs – Tier 1 ISPs make up most of the internet’s backbone, owning most of the IPv4 addresses worldwide. These Tier 1 providers typically rent their infrastructure to smaller ISPs which then sell the internet to end-users. There are multiple Tier 1 ISPs, including Level 3, Cogent, Telia Carrier, NTT, GTT, Tata Communications, and Telecom Italia.
- Interestingly (and perhaps poignantly), much of the internet’s infrastructure, especially when it comes to phone towers and cabling, was funded by taxpayer money before the privatization of the network infrastructure.
- However, nowadays, very little of the internet’s infrastructure is publicly owned.
- Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon have also begun buying and developing intercontinental optical fiber cables.
Between them, they now own nearly a 10th of all submarine cables. Some critics view this move as dangerous, potentially allowing already incredibly powerful companies to have too much control over the internet.
How many Internets are there?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aIkMwUeL_Q CNN: It spans the globe like a super highway, it is called “Internet.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLf6KZmJyrA David Bowie: I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying. Jeremy Paxman: It’s just a tool though isn’t it? David Bowie: No, it’s not, no.
It’s an alien life form. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqUE6OL9s4Y ABC Science: It’s going to get woven into the daily fabric of our lives. It will just be like using a telephone, it’ll be like using your car on the roads, we take it for granted. If I wanted to talk to someone on the far side of the world it would be just as natural as me talking to you now.
The Internet. What was once a marvel is now something our modern world depends on for, well, everything. It allows us access. Access to crucial information, not-so-crucial information, and access to each other. But not everyone’s access is created equally.
- In fact, it may no longer be accurate to think of THE internet as a single entity.
- That’s because around the world, different governments have taken very different approaches to regulating the internet, shaping what their citizens access online and how their private data is tracked.
- And this has led to a splintering.
The world now has three primary “internets”: One led by the United States, one led by China, and one led by the European Union. And if things keep going as they are, we could be headed toward an even more divided digital world. My name is Gabrielle Sierra and this is Why It Matters.
- Today the world’s three internets and what they mean for our future.
- Adam SEGAL: For most users, they still see one internet, right? You’re going to go on the internet, you’re going to search for whatever it’s going to be, K-pop band, and you’re going to see all the highlights and you’re going to get all that stuff.
This is Adam Segal. He directs the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program here at the Council. He recently led an independent task force which further details U.S. national security innovations for defending an open and secure internet. SEGAL: But what we’re beginning to see is that governments are regulating and thinking about how the internet should be regulated very differently.
And there are three major models. There’s the way that the United States has done it, there is the way that China has done it from the beginning, which is much more restrictive. And then there’s a European model that kind of blends the American focus on human rights and openness with more of a tendency towards government regulation.
Tarah WHEELER: The nature of what we’re talking about when we say three internets is a regulatory environment, a climate, and some degree of authoritative control over how that information flows. This is Tarah Wheeler. She is Senior Fellow for Global Cyber Policy here at the Council, and CEO of Red Queen Dynamics, a cybersecurity company.
WHEELER: A lot of the question around what constitutes an internet is who is allowed to listen to what you’re doing and do something about it, and how much of your time do you have to put into enabling that for that third party? That’s really what it kind of boils down to is what is this regime, what does this internet think it has the right and responsibility to do with you as an internet user? Whether that’s by turning off the tap, literally severing a transatlantic cable, or simply because a government can control the internet service providers inside their territory and mandate that they shut those off.
We see that there are three different real manifestations of what constitutes an internet in the world. Gabrielle SIERRA: So that means that if there are three people, one in New York, one in Beijing, one in Berlin, and they all look up the same thing, let’s say K-Pop, their experiences are going to be different based on where they are geographically? SEGAL: Yes.
- Not with K-pop, K-pop probably they get all the same answers.
- But, the classic example with China is, you look up Tank Man.
- Tank Man is the picture of the individual standing in front of a line of tanks after the People’s Liberation Army cracked down on the democracy movement in Tiananmen in 1989.
- If you Google that in the United States and Europe, you get that image, you get to see that picture.
You Google that in China, you don’t get anything, because the Chinese don’t want young Chinese to know about Tiananmen happening, and so that image doesn’t exist in China. It’s controlled. If you Google Tiananmen in China, you just get a picture of beautiful Tiananmen and probably some PLA soldier raising the flag in the morning.
Similarly, if you were to Google Mein Kampf the book in the United States, you would get the Wikipedia entry and you’d probably get a link to buy it on Amazon. But in a lot of European states, and in Germany in particular, you would get the Wikipedia link, but you would not get the link to buy Mein Kampf, right? Because you can’t buy Nazi paraphernalia in Germany because they have restrictions on that, because of historical reasons.
And not only will your search results vary, the information collected on you as you search will also change. This is a lot to digest, so let’s dig deeper into each of these internets, starting with the United States model. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WDiF05iubs&t=35s PBS NewsHour: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, are among the most powerful monopolies in the history of humanity.
- Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8BbLOoreEM Wall Street Journal: They develop these products and services that have made such a deep impact into the lives of so many people on an everyday basis.
- Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxCNd_O6f34 CNBC: Let’s, meanwhile, note that Apple just hit the three trillion dollar mark in total market cap.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvXPbFaCpg8 Al Jazeera: After months of uncertainty and a long legal battle, the world’s wealthiest man has now taken charge of one of the most influential social media platforms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2H8wx1aBiQ&t=31s Senator Orrin Hatch: How do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service? Mark Zuckerburg: Senator, we run ads.
SEGAL: The United States internet is driven by two big principles. The First Amendment, so free speech, and then a very, very light regulatory hand from the government. So the internet sector was not taxed at the beginning, it was not regulated for the most part. And so it grew because of that, and it allowed for this free exchange of ideas.
But the U.S. is unique in having a First Amendment. Other democracies don’t have a First Amendment. Other democracies have what they consider legitimate reasons to control speech because of concerns about communal violence or because of their history. So from an innovative perspective, I think there’s little doubt that the U.S.
- Is still driving it.
- Although we are beginning to see the emergence of Chinese tech platforms, TikTok being the big one that no one really expected to see.
- But innovative perspective is still there.
- There has been over the last five years a real sense of the information the tech firms have about us, and how they use it in ways that we don’t necessarily control, plus the kind of negative social impacts, right? So how that plays on teenagers and others who are constantly checking in and all these other things.
From a political perspective, what we see is both the right and the left, the Democrats and the Republicans are very unhappy for different reasons. The Democrats and the Left have become unhappy both because of the rise of misogyny and transphobia and racism and the fact that a lot of these platforms have become places for abuse.
- Now from the Right’s perspective, they are worried about tech’s control over free speech.
- And so a lot of the things that, when Twitter or Facebook takes something down, the Right tends to see it as stifling speech, free speech.
- So, the Right attacked Big Speech from that perspective.
- And then the Right and the Left both are unhappy with Big Tech because of anti monopoly, big trust.
Do they dominate the markets too much? Anu BRADFORD: So there’s much good that has been accomplished. But I think we are increasingly aware of the downsides of the internet as well. This is Anu Bradford. She is the Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization at Columbia Law School.
BRADFORD: The idea that it’s not only a medium to force the beneficial societal debates that contribute towards more vibrant and participatory democracy, the internet is also rampant with disinformation that destabilizes our democracies with hate speech that compromises our dignity. Those are just some examples of how we’ve sort of gotten both things, we’ve gotten the good, but we’ve also gotten a lot of harmful effects, with all those connections.
And also, I think nobody was able to predict just how powerful these leading internet platforms would become. So the kind of market power that these companies have the kind of economic and political and cultural and societal influence they exert, that is something that has really shaped societies in a way that can be very different, what sort of democratic societies would look like, if that power was rooted in real sort of democratic governance.
Another concern is the privacy of individuals. According to Pew, 68% of internet users believe current laws are not good enough in protecting people’s privacy online. Which kind of makes sense since the most important law when it comes to the U.S. internet, called Section 230, actually protects companies not users.
It frees companies like Facebook or Twitter from liability for the content that its users post on their platforms. Some experts have referred to Section 230 as “the 26 words that created the Internet,” because it freed startups to move quickly without fear of lawsuits.
- There are limited protections in the United States for certain types of highly sensitive information, like health data or social security numbers.
- But there is no agency, or set of laws, that were created exclusively to protect the digital privacy of Americans.
- However, if you live in states like California or Connecticut, you may benefit from state-level data protections.
But overall, it’s sort of a mess. BRADFORD: So, our lives have become exposed to these companies that are in a position to extract our data and commercialize that data in ways that really deprives individuals of their privacy. And one could say to sort of compromise the autonomy and ability to make decisions, when that data can be used, then, to manipulate the choices that we make online.
- Social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff coined a term for this: ‘surveillance capitalism.’ Basically, U.S.
- Corporations claim private human experiences as free raw data.
- So, the same phone that you use to navigate to your favorite restaurant tracks your every move, often when you’re not even using your GPS.
Every key word you search, every link you click, and every purchase you make goes into algorithms that shape your consumer profile. This can feel icky, even spooky. And it’s not the only problem that Americans face online. There’s also a steady stream of toxic, polarizing, and misleading content.
- WHEELER: The internet does feel more toxic right now.
- We do talk about people, women, people who are non-binary, people of color getting bullied, experiencing this toxicity out there.
- But on a lot of levels, that comes as a result of the democratization of the internet.
- We let the a**holes onto the internet now too, and not just the nerds.
Ah, our first ever censorship bleep. And on the perfect episode. You gotta love that. WHEELER: So a lot of the problem we’re having right now is just that it’s people using communication technologies. So it’s going to be an interesting challenge to see how we handle this toxicity, this problem of letting just anybody in here without limiting speech, without limiting the communication protocols themselves.
- SIERRA: Okay, fair.
- But do you think it’s an easier lift to figure out how to regulate the place where this is all happening versus making all humans good humans? WHEELER: I think the challenge that we’re having here is human beings, and the way they interact with technology often doesn’t really take into account the fact that they’re dealing with real people.
So, is it easier to regulate the internet? Not without some massive unintended consequences that I think are beyond the ken, understanding, and desire of the same people who want to regulate the internet. You can’t ban toxic speech without banning speech, and you can’t ban toxic speech without defining it.
And there’s always going to be people that think toxic speech is different than your own definition. SIERRA: Why is the U.S. so slow or reluctant to create laws and regulations that curtail the parts of this that everyone seems so unhappy with? SEGAL: Yeah, I think it’s because we were so successful. Right? I think the internet grew so fast, and created such wealth, and became global and is just this amazing American success story, right? It was created by DARPA, the Defense Agency Research Project.
So it is this amazing kind of American invention that became a global platform. And we were really afraid to mess it up. People thought that the regulation would stifle innovation, and there were real First Amendment concerns that are still making it really hard to figure out what we’re going to do about content in the United States.
And then I think there was also some hubris that everybody would just accept the American model, and realize that that was in their best interest. And I have been in several meetings with U.S. government officials with a counterpart either for example, Indian or Chinese for that matter, where the U.S.
tries to lecture to the other side. Like ‘no, no, no, a global open internet is in your best interest. You’re going to lose out on the economic benefits if you try to control the internet.’ And those countries were like, well one, who are you to be lecturing us on our own interest? And two, you’re wrong.
We can figure it out about how to control the internet and still grow. And the Chinese have, the Chinese have managed to do that pretty well. Okay, so that’s the American internet: overflowing with innovation and profit; but very light on regulations and privacy. And that leads us to the other end of the spectrum: China, home to roughly 1 billion internet users, and the most regulated internet system on Earth.
https://time.com/4642916/china-vpn-internet-great-firewall-censorship/ TIME: China’s great firewall just became even bigger. Blocking the free flow of information on the internet even further. https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/25/tech/us-china-chip-war-spillover-europe-intl-hnk CNN Business: War is already playing out between the U.S.
And China on the technological battlefield. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPV-hebc13w&t=144s PBS NewsHour: Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies are building 5G and smart cities in more than 65 countries. https://www.npr.org/2022/11/28/1139627365/china-protests-supreme-court-and-immigration-u-s-vs-iran-in-the-world-cup Rachel Martin: China is cracking down on mass protests that broke out over the weekend.
Emily Fang: They’re stopping random people and checking their phones for apps like telegram and instagram. All mentions of them are being deleted online. And there has been no official acknowledgement that these demonstrations even happened over the weekend.
SEGAL: From the very beginning, when China connected to the internet, they thought of it as a dual edge sword. So they knew that the internet was going to be extremely important for economic development, but they from the beginning were very worried about the flow of information from the outside into China that they couldn’t control, that would threaten the legitimacy and the stability of the Communist Party.
So what the Chinese did at the very beginning was block information from the outside, which we refer to or know as ‘The Great Firewall.’ So, blocking information. And they blocked U.S. companies that wouldn’t play by those rules. So we saw Google and Facebook trying to enter the China market, but then basically having to pull back because they were unwilling to censor, or eventually the cost of censoring became too much for them so they withdrew from the market.
- Across the world, when you sign on to the internet, you find the same companies – Google, Facebook, Amazon and the rest of the American giants.
- They may look a bit different based on location, but they’re there.
- Once you cross over into China though, that changes completely.
- Instead of Google, you’ll be searching on Baidu.
Instead of Amazon, you’ll find yourself shopping on Alibaba or TaoBao. For dating, instead of Tinder you may use Momo or Tantan. And for social media, you’ll find yourself using Weibo, QQ, or the incredibly popular WeChat. SEGAL: Again, for a Chinese user, if you’re interested in K-pop, the internet is fantastic.
- And the Chinese internet has had lots of innovations that we haven’t.
- The big one being WeChat, which is a platform that allows you to do almost everything.
- So it’s a messenger, and a payment system, and you can’t get a cab without it any longer in China.
- And so it’s everything in one place.
- And there have been lots OF breakthroughs on services and things like that in the Chinese case.
But one way to think about the Chinese internet is, as we mentioned, The Great Firewall exists to keep things out. And then, inside, there are just a lot of controls to make sure people don’t post things that are against the party. Real name registration.
Everybody has to register to their accounts, their social media accounts with their real name. There’s no anonymity like there is on Twitter. So, it makes it very easy to get arrested or called in for questioning. All the technology companies in China, social media is responsible for what they post. So in the United States we have intermediate liability under something called Section 230, which says the companies are allowed to take some things down if they want to, but they’re not legally responsible for what somebody puts up, if it’s not true.
In China, they are responsible, and so they hire tens of thousands of censors to take things down. And then you can be called in if you post something that the Chinese government doesn’t like, you can be what’s called, ‘called in for tea,’ which means the local ministry of public security comes by and says, don’t post that again.
SIERRA: I can remember years ago when some people thought that access to information would undermine the ability of the communist party to retain control. But it doesn’t look like that happened. SEGAL: No, I mean, so there was a great quote from President Clinton https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4893404/user-clip-clinton-firewall-jello Bill Clinton: Now there’s no question China has been trying to crack down on the internet.
Good luck. That’s sort of like trying to nail jello to the wall. SEGAL: And it turns out that Chinese are pretty good at nailing jello to the wall. So there is the question about what access to information that they get. But the other thing that we saw is that the Chinese were not only concerned about the access to the information, they were really concerned about organizing.
- So any time they saw any type of organization, then they quickly shut everything down and really made an example of those people in real life.
- So we see tight controls, we see restrictions from the outside, and then finally, we see kind of a flooding.
- So, positive messaging about the party and what a great job the party is doing.
What a great job the government is doing. This is known as wumao, which is the 50 Cent Army, which is how much that they were reportedly paid for each posting. They would post positive things about Uncle Xi and what a great job the Chinese Communist party was doing.
- So a very, very tightly controlled internet cutoff for the most part for internal users from the rest of the world.
- To recap, the Chinese Internet model shows that it’s possible to control what a large population is able to see online, while also regulating what they’re able to say there.
- It’s tightly restricted, and rife with propaganda.
Interestingly though, it does share one common denominator with the American Internet – in both places citizen’s data is up for grabs. In The U.S., it’s exploited by corporations, whereas in China, it’s exploited by the government. And that leads us to the final model: Europe.
- Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeGq5djS6kg WION: The European Union is now proposing to impose hefty fines to keep the tech giants in check.
- Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acijNEErf-c Channel 4 News: Say hello to GDPR.
- It’s being described as the biggest shake up of data protection laws in a generation, giving ordinary people unprecedented control over the information companies’ hold on us.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/10/gdpr-fines-vs-marriott-british-air-are-a-warning-for-google-facebook.html CNBC: We’ve seen anti-trust action from the European commission. They fined google a combined 9.5 billion dollars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYvDp-JKlDU TRT World Now: European Union has threatened to ban Twitter in its territory unless the company’s owner, Elon Musk, makes sure that Twitter abides by its laws on content moderation.
SEGAL: What happened very quickly in Europe was that they decided privacy, data privacy, was a human right. Again, a lot of this came out of history. It came out of World War II and Germany was a leader on this, that the state collecting data on you is a step towards fascism and authoritarian states. And the technology companies having this kind of data is also.
So very early on, the Europeans said, well, we want to regulate how that data’s collected, who has access to it, and to put more restrictions on it than the United States had on those provisions. Now, the Europeans have always said, ‘we want to encourage innovation and growth,’ but the regulatory environment never really seemed to grow, right? It’s very hard to think of Big Tech platforms that came out of Europe.
Spotify is one, Skype is another. But compared to what came out of Silicon Valley, it’s much, much less. BRADFORD: So the EU then really became globally known as the privacy regulator, when it adopted the general data privacy regulation, the GDPR in 2016. So that is a major piece of regulation focused on enhancing user privacy, and then restraining what is known as surveillance capitalism, the way the platform companies are exploiting the user’s data.
You know those terms of service agreements that you always sign but never read? Accepting them often gives private companies access to an extraordinary amount of data on your phone. It’s an open secret – roughly 60 percent of Americans believe that it’s not possible to go through a day without having their data tracked in one way or another.
- And on this front, Europe has pushed back much harder than the U.S.
- BRADFORD: So, the privacy has certainly been one issue.
- But the EU has also been very focused on deploying antitrust laws to reduce the power of the largest platform.
- So that is another element of that regulatory approach.
- And then third, I would say content moderation.
So there’s been various voluntary codes, on mitigating hate speech and disinformation that the EU has signed with the leading tech platforms. And then very recently, so this year, there was a major piece of legislation that was adopted, the Digital Services Act, that then takes this content moderation regulation to another level.
So the EU is setting binding rules on how to improve accountability and transparency, when it comes to content moderation by these leading platforms. SIERRA: So if I’m browsing Facebook, which is an American company, but I’m in the EU, my privacy would be better protected there, even though it’s from an American company that doesn’t have the same rules? SEGAL: Yeah, so Facebook operating in Europe has to abide by those rules.
And so part of those rules are, for example, there’s a right to be forgotten in Europe. So as a teenager, you might have done something really dumb, it got posted to Instagram and it’s still up there and you are applying for jobs now, and you’re afraid it’s going to be up there.
In Europe you have the right to ask for that to be taken out. SIERRA: Oh, that’s nice. SEGAL: Right? And so if you’re Google or Facebook and there’s a court that rules that if it’s a legitimate reason to take it down, then they’ll take it down. We don’t have that right in the United States. We’re all now partly seeing that right now, every website we go to there’s a pop-up that asks you about the cookies that you’re willing and the data that you’re willing to share.
That’s because of European law. So the operators of those websites either are operating in Europe at the same time, and so they have to ensure that the data is being either stored locally or how it’s being shared in the U.S. is equivalent to what happens in Europe.
Here’s how it works. Nations within the EU can fine companies up to 4% of their annual revenue if they violate the rules of GDPR. And this applies to any U.S. company with EU users. For example, in 2019, France fined Google $57 million because they failed to obtain consent for user’s personalized ads. GDPR was a win for private users in Europe, but it caused headaches for companies that built their business around user data and targeted ads.
WHEELER: No one paid attention in American tech companies to GDPR until the day it was put into force and all of a sudden a bunch of regulatory filings happened that meant that American companies could no longer transfer information inside the European Union unless they abided by GDPR.
And it was as if all of a sudden the eyes of every C-level executive other than the CTO were opened unto the reality of the fact that there’s a world outside of the United States, and sometimes we have to do what they want us to do if you want to sell in their market. On average, companies are estimated to have paid more than $1.4 million dollars each, in order to come into compliance with the new law.
It was a costly development for the tech sector. And some experts think that that may have been the whole point. WHEELER: Now, why would the European Union be doing something like this? First, there’s a good strong argument that a lot of what they’re doing is very important to make sure that they can regulate and handle speech issues, privacy issues inside the European Union that are not adequately compensated for under American law.
We don’t have good privacy regulation in the United States. It’s being done state by state, California, Colorado had that done state by state, but we don’t have national privacy legislation. But there’s also an underlying frustration, I think, in the European Union over the fact that they don’t have a native Apple, Google, Facebook.
There is no giant provider like that in the European Union. And so there’s a question about whether or not the EU could regulate their way to having something like that by trying to level the playing field or if they could just tax their way to it. So again, the question kind of comes to the point here about whether or not the European Union is taxing or regulating its way to trying to be an equal player competitively or because there’s an actual underlying element thereof desiring to protect citizens.
- Could be both, could be neither. So, perhaps the EU’s motivation is not entirely based on personal privacy.
- But other analysts, including Anu, disagree that regulations like GDPR are motivated by tech-sector jealousy, or competitive goals.
- BRADFORD: The biggest tech companies happen to be all American.
But they also happen to be the biggest companies that create the biggest problems in the digital marketplace. And if you look at the domain where the EU has probably gone furthest in it’s regulation, antitrust, there’s been three cases against Google over 10 billion in fines, yes, the EU was going after Google.
But who brought the initial complaint? Tt was Microsoft. Tt was another American company. There is no European search engine that the Europeans are trying to protect when going after Facebook. Again, there is no European social media company that is a rival to Facebook. Often it is other American companies challenging the conduct of their competitors in the EU fighting the civil war in the European territory, because there’s nothing that they can get from Washington.
Whether you believe that the EU’s privacy laws were created for the protection of the people or just to be a thorn in the side of big American tech, these restrictions mean a different internet environment. And whatever you think about it, Europe is showing the world that it’s possible to have the Internet and a bit of privacy too.
- SIERRA: So what, does the future hold? Who will come out on top of the three internets? SEGAL: I don’t know if there’s going to be a winner.
- I think there’s going to be spheres of influence.
- I think there’s a lot of authoritarian developing states that are going to find parts of the Chinese model attractive.
The Chinese have the resources to help them build it, they’re training, they’re bringing people over. The big issue is going to be kind of the developing south. And in my mind it’s going to be driven mostly by capacity, and capacity building. The developing south, which includes Africa, much of the Middle East, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, has been turning to China for help building roads, bridges and other infrastructure as part of the Belt and Road initiative.
- But it’s not just brick-and-mortar development.
- In 2015, Beijing launched the Digital Silk Road project, which focuses on providing digital infrastructure to the same regions.
- Under DSR, countries get help with things like telecommunications, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and surveillance.
- In return, China gets to expand its global tech footprint, promote tech-based authoritarianism, and gain access to a far larger pool of user data.
At least 16 developing countries have publicly joined in, but the actual number could be as high as 138. SEGAL: So the Chinese in some ways have a leg up because they’re building the infrastructure, right? And while we saw, for example, Facebook talking about building infrastructure in India and other places, the way that they wanted to do it alienated everybody.
- So the U.S.
- Has to figure out how do we compete on infrastructure to have a chance that more countries adopt that model.
- SIERRA: So I’ve heard about a Tech Cold War with China.
- What impact is that having? SEGAL: Yeah, so the Tech Cold War idea is kind of a militarizing of this idea of different models, and the threat of Chinese technology itself.
So as Chinese tech companies globalized and the social media platforms globalized, the U.S. became increasingly worried about, oh, did that create vulnerabilities in U.S. systems? And who had access to the data? The first and kind of archetypal example of this was a company called Huawei, which is a Chinese telecom provider.
- And in particular Huawei was the leader on 5G, the fifth generation of telecom so far for our cell phones, which is going to be faster and have lower latency and allow self-driving cars and all these other things.
- Now, the U.S.
- Doesn’t produce 5G, we don’t have any telecom equipment manufacturers.
- So there’s Huawei and then there’s two European companies, Nokia and Ericsson.
And Huawei was expanding very quickly globally, it’s cheaper than Nokia and Ericsson, and the United States basically started saying, look, if you use Huawei, you’re going to have some real cybersecurity risks, because the Chinese government can turn to Huawei and say, turn it off or disrupt it or hand us the data.
And so the U.S. kind of started campaigning about ripping Huawei out of the US. So some telecoms, particularly in the interior of the U.S., was using Huawei, blocking Huawei, you can’t buy a Huawei handset, things like that in the United States. And then trying to convince other countries not to use Huawei.
So Canada used Huawei, the U.K. used Huawei, a lot of our European allies in the U.S., we really mounted this large campaign against Huawei. So that started to have some effect in the Trump administration, countries for a number of reasons, started saying, all right, we’re going to block Huawei from this next generation.
- Now we see it with TikTok.
- SIERRA: I was going to say it sounds similar to the worries with TikTok? SEGAL: So TikTok, the worries are more and more people are using it and you put that app on your phone and TikTok like all apps, gets a lot of access to the data on your phone, right? Your location, your camera, possibly your address book.
So there are concerns that it allows the Chinese to do intelligence gathering, although I don’t think that’s the primary concern, but there’s also a concern about what we would call ‘influence operations.’ So with TikTok, we don’t really know why we see the videos we see.
The algorithm learns what you like and it serves you up things. So there’s concern again, even though TikTok says no, we’ve separated from ByteDance, the Chinese company, that the Chinese can influence stories that we see. There were some cases, for example, in Hong Kong when there were the protests about democracy, they were very hard to find any of those stories on TikTok.
So we now see a lot of concern about those things and the U.S. is trying to convince other countries to do the same thing. Now again, the Chinese have always said, oh, we know the U.S. intelligence services are cooperating with the U.S. tech companies, and so it’s safer for us to start taking those companies out of our systems.
So we see China trying to get rid of Cisco and Qualcomm and the other ones. And as we talked about at the beginning, they’ve always blocked U.S. social media. So we are beginning to see a kind of divergence of those stacks, and we’re beginning to see Washington and Beijing reaching out to others saying, ‘you guys should choose one of us,’ which the other countries don’t want to do.
SIERRA: Right. Well what about everyone else? Especially big countries, you know, you mentioned India or Brazil, where are they headed and do they have to pick one of the, I guess, three to join? SEGAL: Yeah. I think the big countries really don’t want to choose and will probably pick and choose.
- So India for example, blocked TikTok and banned TikTok and almost 200 other Chinese apps, after the conflict in the border in the Himalayas, and so to punish the Chinese, and they were also concerned about information gathering and data.
- But we also see that the Indians have a lot of concerns about communal violence and blasphemy and other things.
And so they are looking to more tightly regulate the internet than U.S. companies are comfortable with. And the Indians want to inspect both Chinese product and U.S. product. They have a strong and long tradition of technological, or seeking technological autonomy, and don’t really want to do that.
- So I think India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, they’re gonna pick and choose.
- Back when it launched, the internet seemed limitless and borderless.
- But that vision has given way to an era of silos, one that is reinforcing regional information bubbles, and driving us further and further apart in our digital lives.
SIERRA: Do you see this splintering as having been inevitable? SEGAL: I do, because the internet really was a kind of creation of a unique culture. We talk about Silicon Valley, but this combination of free speech, the First Amendment and a very light regulatory hand, is really very, very American.
That just doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. And so of course when other countries were confronted with this platform, they brought different political concerns to it. So, it always struck me from the beginning that of course, countries were going to try to regulate. And there were many people in the nineties and the two-thousands that wrote about this.
They just weren’t the dominant voices. People were kind of like, ‘Oh, you political scientists, what do you know? What’re you talking about? Or you’re so narrow minded, you don’t see the liberatory potential of it.’ The debate in the United States has really shifted and soured around 2016.
But before that, we really had a much more optimistic view about the internet and the technology companies themselves. WHEELER: The downsides of a splintered internet go to the same downsides of any situation where there’s partisanship. We’ve all seen the pain and problems that partisanship in the United States causes us.
A lot of it has to do with a lack of the capacity to understand and accept reality. If you’ve been taught that a different reality exists, and if you shut your mind to the possibility of an alternate point of view, how do you come to a shared understanding of what geopolitical concerns are, what rights are, what a person is owed by their government and what we owe to each other? How do you even talk about reality? The number of people who don’t know that the Tiananmen Square protests existed in China, or who genuinely believe that it was all mocked up.
The number of people who equate those two things in China is large. So how do you get to that shared sense of reality? The more we see that splintering, the consequence of this, the more we’re going to see a differentiation in reality because information is how we make our reality. So that’s where I think we’re going with this.
Just in case you wanted to end on this super depressing note. SIERRA: That was awesome, Thank you. Yeah. WHEELER: You’re welcome. No problem. Absolutely no problem. SIERRA: And we’re all doomed. WHEELER: I’m here for your downers all day long. For resources used in this episode and more information, visit CFR.org/whyitmatters and take a look at the show notes.
- If you ever have any questions or suggestions or just want to chat, email us at,
- You can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your audio.
- If you have the time and love the show you could leave us a review – it helps us get noticed, and we just love to read them.
Why It Matters is a production of the Council on Foreign Relations. The show is produced by Asher Ross and me, Gabrielle Sierra. Our sound designer is Markus Zakaria. Our associate podcast producer is Molly McAnany. Our intern this semester is Mormei Zanke.
Robert McMahon is our Managing Editor, and Doug Halsey is our Chief Digital Officer. This episode was the brainchild of our former AP, Rafaela Siewart. Extra help was provided by Kali Robinson and Claire Klobucista. Our theme music is composed by Ceiri Torjussen. We’d also like to thank Richard Haass, Jeff Reinke and our co-creator Jeremy Sherlick.
For Why It Matters, this is Gabrielle Sierra signing off. See you around!
Is there more than one internet?
Conclusion – The internet is a complex and constantly evolving entity. There are multiple versions and layers of the internet, with estimates suggesting hundreds of thousands of separate internets worldwide. The concept of Splinternets has gained increasing momentum in recent years, with organizations creating isolated networks to provide access to private services and content.
The exact number of internets is difficult to determine, but it is likely that there are many different virtual infrastructures. As technology advances and the internet continues to evolve, the exact number of internets will become even more challenging to determine. Ultimately, the internet is a complex and constantly changing entity, making it difficult to give an exact figure of the number of internets.
However, it can be said with certainty that there are indeed multiple versions and layers of the Internet. ⬇️ Further Reading :
How Much Data and Content is Created Every How Many Domains Are There? (Ultimate Domain Name Stats 2022) 25+ Website Statistics That Will Intrigue You How Many People are Online? How Many People Use Google per Day?
Do 14 people control the internet?
The internet is still actually controlled by 14 people who hold seven secret keys
- It sounds like something out of a book, but it isn’t: The whole is protected by seven highly protected keys in the hands of 14 people.
- They hold a historic ritual known as the Root Signing Ceremony.
- Recently, the world got a good reminder about the importance of the organisation these people belong to.
- A good chunk of the went down for a while when managed to throw so much traffic at a company called Dyn that Dyn’s servers couldn’t take it.
Dyn is a major provider of something called a domain name system, which translates web addresses such as businessinsider.com into the numerical IP addresses that computers use to identify web pages. Dyn is just one DNS provider. And while hackers never gained control of its network, successfully taking it offline for even just a few hours via a distributed denial of service attack shows how much the internet relies on DNS.
- This attack briefly brought down sites like Business Insider, Amazon, Twitter, Github, Spotify, and many others.
- DNS at its highest levels is secured by a handful of people around the world, known crypto officers.
- Every three months since 2010, some — but typically not all — of these people gather to conduct a highly secure ritual known as a key ceremony, where the keys to the internet’s metaphorical master lock are verified and updated.
The people conducting the ceremony are part of an organisation called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN is responsible for assigning numerical internet addresses to websites and computers. If someone were to gain control of ICANN’s database, that person would pretty much control the internet.
For instance, the person could send people to fake bank websites instead of real bank websites. To protect DNS, ICANN came up with a way of securing it without entrusting too much control to any one person. It selected seven people as key holders and gave each one an actual key to the internet. It selected seven more people as backup key holders — 14 people in all.
The ceremony requires at least three of them, and their keys, attend, because three keys are needed to unlock the equipment that protects DNS. The Guardian’s James Ball wrote a great story about them in 2014. Pope Francis prays with priests at the end of a limited public audience at the San Damaso courtyard in The Vatican AFP via Getty A girl’s silhouette is seen from behind a fabric in a tent along a beach by Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip AFP via Getty A Chinese woman takes a photo of herself in front of a flower display dedicated to frontline health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Beijing, China.
China will celebrate national day marking the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1st Getty The Glass Mountain Inn burns as the Glass Fire moves through the area in St. Helena, California. The fast moving Glass fire has burned over 1,000 acres and has destroyed homes Getty A villager along with a child offers prayers next to a carcass of a wild elephant that officials say was electrocuted in Rani Reserve Forest on the outskirts of Guwahati, India AFP via Getty The casket of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seen in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol to lie in state in Washington, DC AFP via Getty An anti-government protester holds up an image of a pro-democracy commemorative plaque at a rally outside Thailand’s parliament in Bangkok, as activists gathered to demand a new constitution AFP via Getty A whale stranded on a beach in Macquarie Harbour on the rugged west coast of Tasmania, as hundreds of pilot whales have died in a mass stranding in southern Australia despite efforts to save them, with rescuers racing to free a few dozen survivors The Mercury/AFP via Getty State civil employee candidates wearing face masks and shields take a test in Surabaya AFP via Getty A man sweeps at the Taj Mahal monument on the day of its reopening after being closed for more than six months due to the coronavirus pandemic AP A deer looks for food in a burnt area, caused by the Bobcat fire, in Pearblossom, California EPA Anti-government protesters hold their mobile phones aloft as they take part in a pro-democracy rally in Bangkok.
Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters massed close to Thailand’s royal palace, in a huge rally calling for PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha to step down and demanding reforms to the monarchy AFP via Getty Supporters of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr maintain social distancing as they attend Friday prayers after the coronavirus disease restrictions were eased, in Kufa mosque, near Najaf, Iraq Reuters A protester climbs on The Triumph of the Republic at ‘the Place de la Nation’ as thousands of protesters take part in a demonstration during a national day strike called by labor unions asking for better salary and against jobs cut in Paris, France EPA A fire raging near the Lazzaretto of Ancona in Italy.
- The huge blaze broke out overnight at the port of Ancona.
- Firefighters have brought the fire under control but they expected to keep working through the day EPA Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny posing for a selfie with his family at Berlin’s Charite hospital.
- In an Instagram post he said he could now breathe independently following his suspected poisoning last month Alexei Navalny/Instagram/AFP Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida celebrate after Suga was elected as new head of the ruling party at the Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership election in Tokyo Reuters A man stands behind a burning barricade during the fifth straight day of protests against police brutality in Bogota AFP via Getty Police officers block and detain protesters during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus.
Daily protests calling for the authoritarian president’s resignation are now in their second month AP Members of ‘Omnium Cultural’ celebrate the 20th ‘Festa per la llibertat’ (‘Fiesta for the freedom’) to mark the Day of Catalonia in Barcelona. Omnion Cultural fights for the independence of Catalonia EPA The Moria refugee camp, two days after Greece’s biggest migrant camp, was destroyed by fire.
Thousands of asylum seekers on the island of Lesbos are now homeless AFP via Getty Pope Francis takes off his face mask as he arrives by car to hold a limited public audience at the San Damaso courtyard in The Vatican AFP via Getty A home is engulfed in flames during the “Creek Fire” in the Tollhouse area of California AFP via Getty A couple take photos along a sea wall of the waves brought by Typhoon Haishen in the eastern port city of Sokcho AFP via Getty Novak Djokovic and a tournament official tends to a linesperson who was struck with a ball by Djokovic during his match against Pablo Carreno Busta at the US Open USA Today Sports/Reuters Protesters confront police at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia, during an anti-lockdown rally AFP via Getty A woman looks on from a rooftop as rescue workers dig through the rubble of a damaged building in Beirut.
A search began for possible survivors after a scanner detected a pulse one month after the mega-blast at the adjacent port AFP via Getty A full moon next to the Virgen del Panecillo statue in Quito, Ecuador EPA A Palestinian woman reacts as Israeli forces demolish her animal shed near Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank Reuters Students protest against presidential elections results in Minsk TUT.BY/AFP via Getty The pack rides during the 3rd stage of the Tour de France between Nice and Sisteron AFP via Getty Law enforcement officers block a street during a rally of opposition supporters protesting against presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus Reuters A woman holding a placard reading “Stop Censorship – Yes to the Freedom of Expression” shouts in a megaphone during a protest against the mandatory wearing of face masks in Paris.
Masks, which were already compulsory on public transport, in enclosed public spaces, and outdoors in Paris in certain high-congestion areas around tourist sites, were made mandatory outdoors citywide on August 28 to fight the rising coronavirus infections AFP via Getty Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bows to the national flag at the start of a press conference at the prime minister official residence in Tokyo.
Abe announced he will resign over health problems, in a bombshell development that kicks off a leadership contest in the world’s third-largest economy AFP via Getty Residents take cover behind a tree trunk from rubber bullets fired by South African Police Service (SAPS) in Eldorado Park, near Johannesburg, during a protest by community members after a 16-year old boy was reported dead AFP via Getty People scatter rose petals on a statue of Mother Teresa marking her 110th birth anniversary in Ahmedabad AFP via Getty An aerial view shows beach-goers standing on salt formations in the Dead Sea near Ein Bokeq, Israel Reuters Health workers use a fingertip pulse oximeter and check the body temperature of a fisherwoman inside the Dharavi slum during a door-to-door Covid-19 coronavirus screening in Mumbai AFP via Getty People carry an idol of the Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, to immerse it off the coast of the Arabian sea during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, India Reuters Firefighters watch as flames from the LNU Lightning Complex fires approach a home in Napa County, California AP Members of the Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian demonstrator during a rally to protest against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank AFP via Getty A man pushes his bicycle through a deserted road after prohibitory orders were imposed by district officials for a week to contain the spread of the Covid-19 in Kathmandu AFP via Getty A car burns while parked at a residence in Vacaville, California.
Dozens of fires are burning out of control throughout Northern California as fire resources are spread thin AFP via Getty Students use their mobile phones as flashlights at an anti-government rally at Mahidol University in Nakhon Pathom. Thailand has seen near-daily protests in recent weeks by students demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha AFP via Getty Members of the Kayapo tribe block the BR163 highway during a protest outside Novo Progresso in Para state, Brazil.
Indigenous protesters blocked a major transamazonian highway to protest against the lack of governmental support during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic and illegal deforestation in and around their territories AFP via Getty Lightning forks over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as a storm passes over Oakland AP Belarus opposition supporters gather near the Pushkinskaya metro station where Alexander Taraikovsky, a 34-year-old protester died on August 10, during their protest rally in central Minsk AFP via Getty AlphaTauri’s driver Daniil Kvyat takes part in the second practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo near Barcelona ahead of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix AFP via Getty Soldiers of the Brazilian Armed Forces during a disinfection of the Christ The Redeemer statue at the Corcovado mountain prior to the opening of the touristic attraction in Rio AFP via Getty Young elephant bulls tussle playfully on World Elephant Day at the Amboseli National Park in Kenya AFP via Getty The physical keys unlock safe deposit boxes.
Inside those boxes are smart key cards. It takes multiple keys to gain access to the device that generates the internet’s master key. That master key is really some computer code known as a root key-signing key. It is a password of sorts that can access the master ICANN database. This key generates more keys that trickle down to protect various bits and pieces of the internet, in various places, used by different internet security organisations.
The security surrounding the ceremonies before and after is intense. It involves participants passing through a series of locked doors using key codes and hand scanners until they enter a room so secure that no electronic communications can escape it.
Inside the room, the crypto officers assemble along with other ICANN officials and typically some guests and observers. The whole event is heavily scripted, meticulously recorded, and audited. The exact steps of the ceremony are mapped out in advance and distributed to the participants so that if any deviation occurs the whole room will know.
The group conducts the ceremony, as scripted, then each person files out of the room one by one. They’ve been known to go to a local restaurant and celebrate after that. But as secure as all of this is, the is an open piece of technology not owned by any single entity.
The internet was invented in the but the US relinquished its decades of stewardship of DNS earlier this month. ICANN is officially in charge. Keenly aware of its international role and the worldwide trust placed on it, ICANN lets anyone monitor this ceremony, providing a live stream over the internet.
It also publishes the scripts for each ceremony. On October 27, ICANN will hold another ceremony – and this one will be historic, too. For the first time, it will change out the master key itself. Technically speaking, it will change the “key pair” upon which all DNS security is built, known as the Root Zone Signing Key.
- “If you had this key and were able to, for example, generate your own version of the root zone, you would be in the position to redirect a tremendous amount of traffic,” Matt Larson, vice president of research at ICANN, recently told Motherboard’s Joseph Cox.
- Read more:
Read the original article on, © 2017. Follow Business Insider UK on, : The internet is still actually controlled by 14 people who hold seven secret keys
Does one person control the internet?
Innovation Overview Articles have often referred to the seven people who hold the keys to the internet and control the web. These cryptosecurity officers protect an integral part of the internet. When a significant portion of the internet is compromised and must shut down, as it did on October 21 in 2016, an important group of 14 people with highly protected keys hold a ceremony to essentially restart the internet.
- Unlike what is rumored about the seven people who control the entire internet, the crypto officers — 14 Trusted Community Representatives and seven Recovery Key Shareholders — protect a single function of the internet, the mechanism for authenticating the data in the domain name system (DNS).
- A hierarchy of cryptographic keys starting at the root of the DNS keeps the mechanism safe and is managed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
With security always top of mind with connected lifestyles, the group of trusted officers prevent — and keep the world safe from — digital disruption.
Who is the Lord of internet?
Google, the colossus that bestrides the world of information, opposes legislation now before Congress that would give the shrinking and imperiled newspaper industry a chance to push back against Google’s rapacious hegemony. Last week, the technology giant took its opposition further by slamming a little tech upstart from Redmond that favors the bill.
Well, perhaps not an upstart. Microsoft is no minor player in the realm of information technology, but the company that once seemed so dominant has been surpassed in its reach by the likes of Google and Facebook, the two main targets of the legislation. In a blog post, Google alleged that self-interest was driving Microsoft’s push for the proposal.
Likely, Microsoft would benefit if the law reined in the power of such a significant rival in the search engine and online advertising market. Nevertheless, there is at least a bit of altruism involved since, unlike Google and Facebook, Microsoft has been doing the right thing by compensating content creators for use of their work.
Newspapers, in particular, have had their content unfairly expropriated by the lords of the internet, even as the advertising that once sustained the news business has been snatched away by the same online behemoths. Congressional action could help level the playing field by allowing newspaper publishers to band together to negotiate fair payment from the tech giants.
The geniuses at Google and Facebook may imagine themselves as champions of an open web of information, but, in fact, they are monopolists who seem to think they have a divine right to use other people’s work without paying fairly for it. They are helping destroy the free press that underpins our democracy, and the purveyors of serious journalism should be empowered to demand a better deal that will sustain and not drain their remaining resources.
Is there a secret internet?
Dark web definition – The dark web is the hidden collective of internet sites only accessible by a specialized web browser. It is used for keeping internet activity anonymous and private, which can be helpful in both legal and illegal applications. While some use it to evade government censorship, it has also been known to be utilized for highly illegal activity.
How many people in the world can’t access the internet?
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs) recently released its Facts & Figures 2021 report – a snapshot of the most important ICT indicators, including estimates for the current year.
There was a strong global growth in Internet use due to a ‘COVID connectivity boost’, with the estimated number of people who have used the Internet surging to 4.9 billion in 2021, from an estimated 4.1 billion in 2019. This comes as good news for global development. However, ITU data confirm that the ability to connect remains profoundly unequal. An estimated 37 per cent of the world’s population – or 2.9 billion people – have still never, ever used the Internet. The unusually sharp rise in the number of people online suggests that measures taken during the pandemic – such as widespread lockdowns and school closures, combined with people’s need for access to news, government services, health updates, e-commerce and online banking, brought an estimated 782 million additional people online since 2019, an increase of 17 per cent. The 2021 edition of Facts and Figures, ITU’s annual overview of the state of digital connectivity worldwide, shows the number of Internet users globally growing by more than 10 per cent in the first year of the pandemic – by far the largest annual increase in a decade. Strong growth since 2019 was largely driven by increases in developing countries, where Internet penetration climbed more than 13 per cent. In the 46 UN-designated Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the average increase exceeded 20 per cent.
Facts and Figures website Download the report Communications resources
Tune in to the general debate of the seventy-eighth session of the General Assembly starting Tuesday, 19 September. The live stream is available right here on iSeek, courtesy of UN Web TV! “Determined: Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization 2023” is now available in six official languages and in two accessibility formats.
How many people can’t access the internet
Facts and Figures 2021: 2.9 billion people still offline – ITU Hub An estimated 37 per cent of the world’s population – or 2.9 billion people – have still never used the Internet. New data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), also reveal strong global growth in Internet use, with the estimated number of people who have used the Internet surging to 4.9 billion in 2021, from an estimated 4.1 billion in 2019.
This comes as good news for global development. However, ITU data confirm that the ability to connect remains profoundly unequal. Of the 2.9 billion still offline, an estimated 96 per cent live in developing countries. And even among the 4.9 billion counted as ‘Internet users’, many hundreds of millions may only get the chance to go online infrequently, via shared devices, or using connectivity speeds that markedly limit the usefulness of their connection.
“While almost two-thirds of the world’s population is now online, there is a lot more to do to get everyone connected to the Internet,” said ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao. “ITU will work with all parties to make sure that the building blocks are in place to connect the remaining 2.9 billion.
How much of the internet does Google control?
Everyone knows Google is big. But the truth is that it’s huge, On an average day, Google accounts for about 25 percent of all consumer internet traffic running through North American ISPs. That’s a far larger slice of than previously thought, and it means that with so many consumer devices connecting to Google each day, it’s bigger than Facebook, Netflix, and Instagram combined. It also explains why Google is building data centers as fast as it possibly can. Three years ago, the company’s services accounted for about 6 percent of the internet’s traffic. “What’s really interesting is, over just the past year, how pervasive Google has become, not just in Google data centers, but throughout the North American internet,” says Craig Labovitz, founder of Deepfield, the internet monitoring company that crunched the data. His probes show that more than 62 percent of the smartphones, laptops, video streamers, and other devices that tap into the internet from throughout North America connect to Google at least once a day. Labovitz calls Google’s traffic “astounding.” The lion’s share of it comes from YouTube. But Google traffic involving search, analytics, web apps, and advertising is far from insignificant. Take these numbers with a grain of salt, though. It’s impossible to get a total picture of the internet, so Deepfield’s numbers are a best guess based on the traffic flowing through its internet service provider partners. Still, there’s no question that Google is big and getting massive. >’What’s really interesting is, over just the past year, how pervasive Google has become, not just in Google data centers, but throughout the North American internet.’ Craig Labovitz To handle its growth, Google has been on a building binge. It now has data centers on four continents. All this work has been getting a lot of attention. But the tech titan is also hip-deep in another type of build-out, one that’s largely gone under the radar. Google has added thousands of servers – called Google Global Cache servers – to ISPs around the world. These servers store the most popular content from Google’s network – a YouTube video that’s going viral right now or apps from the Android marketplace, for example – then serve it directly from the ISP’s data center, rather than streaming it all the way from Google’s data center. These servers were in a handful of North American ISPs three years ago. Today, they’re in 80 percent of them, Labovitiz says. Companies like Akamai and Level 3 have been doing this type of caching for years. It helps speed up popular pages on websites like WIRED, But lately some big websites have started cutting content delivery deals directly with ISPs. It’s a strategy that Netflix very publicly embraced just over a year ago, but one that Google is much more reluctant to discuss. The company declined to comment for this story, and ISPs that use the Google Global Cache servers aren’t allowed to talk about them. That’s not a huge surprise. Google does some pretty amazing things behind the scenes, and while it’s considered to be the world’s leader in infrastructure magic, it generally considers this work to be a closely held proprietary secret. Still, Netflix and Google’s move into so many of the ISP network operations centers that are just a few miles from its customers – what networking geeks call the “edge” of the network – is likely to be followed by other internet giants such as Apple and Facebook, Labovitz believes. “It used to be that the focus of people like Google and Facebook was about building data centers,” he says. “They’re still doing that, but what is equally interesting is watching these edge boxes – these servers being embedded just everywhere.”
Who owns most of the internet traffic
Each year, intelligence firm Sandvine identifies the websites and applications that gobble up the most bandwidth. In 2022, Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report reinforced an ongoing trend: Data usage from video sites increased by 24% year-over-year, and video now accounts for 65% of all internet traffic,
- Sandvine’s report collected data from 177 service providers across the globe.
- The breakdown of that internet usage reveals six Big Tech companies — Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix, and Microsoft — that claim almost half of all traffic.
- Among the leading sextet, Google and Netflix eat up the most bandwidth.
In a statement, Sandvine Chief Solutions Officer Samir Marwaha described video as “integral to conferencing, gaming, social networking, messaging.” He said that the internet’s COVID-era traffic spike is now the “new normal” for bandwidth usage. “The rapid acceleration of digitization led to an enhanced reliance on applications and a rapid evolution toward more sophisticated apps that fuse together multiple functions and features,” Marwaha said,
What else is owned by Google?
Key Takeaways –
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is a tech giant with a $1.7 trillion market cap. While Google is the flagship subsidiary, Alphabet has grown through a series of key acquisitions across the domains of hardware and software.Here we look at some of the most prominent companies owned by Alphabet, such as YouTube, Nest, and Waze.