Breaking News Stories
These are news stories breaking after the publishing of this Word
– Internet Take Over?
Web China Wants To Rip The
Internet Out Of America’s Hands
by Ryan Pickrell
China released its first strategic report Thursday, outlining its view
of how cyberspace should be governed.
The Chinese government demands that all nations should respect
sovereignty and avoid conflict and asserts that no single country should
control the internet, a clear message to the U.S., the China Daily
The new strategic report states that “countries should reject the Cold
War mentality, zero-sum game and double standards, uphold peace through
cooperation and seek one’s own security through common security on the
basis of full respect for other countries’ security,” rhetoric typically
reserved for criticisms of the U.S.
Beijing is a staunch advocate of shared governance of the internet and
aims to “vigorously promote the reform of ICANN (Internet Corporation
for Assigned Names and Numbers), to make it a truly independent
international institution.” Under the Obama administration, the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) moved to
transfer overall control of the internet’s domain name system (DNS) —
the “yellow pages” of the world wide web — to a global entity.
China is eager to take advantage of that shift.
“No country should pursue cyber hegemony, interfere in other countries’
internal affairs, or engage in, condone or support cyber activities that
undermine other countries’ national security,” the Chinese report
explained, adding that countries should be free to “choose their own
path of cyber development.”
China has come under fire many times for engaging in state-sponsored
hacking and human rights violations in the form of internet censorship.
The Chinese government asserts that it is a victim of cyber crime and
that instead of engaging in censorship, China practices internet
The U.S. has accused China of engaging in cyber espionage and stealing
intellectual property. For many years, China allegedly used the People’s
Liberation Army (PLA) to carry out cyber crimes against the U.S., both
commercial and government entities. The Chinese Ministry of State
Security is believed to have carried out the infamous Office of
Personnel Management (OPM) hack, when countless files containing
personal data for more than 21 million former and current government
employees were compromised.
China has dismissed all accusations as baseless.
Last year, for the second year in a row, China ranked last on Freedom
House’s internet freedom list. Using the Great Firewall of China, the
most well-known component of the Golden Shield Project, China practices
a kind of systematic censorship to prevent Chinese citizens from
accessing content deemed unacceptable by the state.
China promotes “cyber sovereignty,” which suggests that it can do as it
pleases with its corner of the internet. Beijing focuses on national
sovereignty, social order, and national security in all endeavors.
In its new report, China said it will be boosting its military
capabilities in cyberspace. “China will give play to the important role
of the military in safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, security and
development interests in cyberspace,” which could involve targeting
foreign entities while promoting its own interests; however, China
asserts that its aim is to “prevent arms races and conflicts in
cyberspace” and “prevent cyberspace from becoming a new battlefield.”
Chinese observers believe that China’s new strategy represents “a major
contribution” to building a new order of governance for cyberspace.
Jeff Baron, a web pioneer who managed millions of domain names before a
judge allowed ICANN to give his registry to China without permission,
previously explained to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Eric
Lieberman that “if a government or non-state actor were to obtain
control of the internet’s technical infrastructure, it would be able to
engage in global censorship and mass propaganda, among other
“In the wrong hands, ICANN could be used as a weapon to dictate who has
access to the internet,” he added.
China states in its new report that it supports “formulating universally
accepted international rules and norms of state behavior in cyberspace,”
but China’s long-term ambitions are unclear.