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Quote of the Week: Misha Glenny

Sina Odugbemi's picture


“The internet is fracturing into a series of huge country-based intranets, in which governments define, in the name of security, what is legitimate personal and intellectual communication, and what is not.”  

-- Misha Glenny, Financial Times, August 6, 2010 


Photo Credit: St. Gallen Symposium (on Flickr) 

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Submitted by Maryanne on
This is an interesting quote and one that needs to be understood. We need to understand the difference between the internet and the intranet and why this fractioning off has taken place. This quote offers alot to be discussed, such as who and how is utilizing the intranet. I would also ponder if this is educationally linked since intellect was mentioned and what defines the factors that are considered not to be intellectual or communication.

Submitted by Fikayo on
Internet fracturing is real, though not yet perceived by most people. Fortunately, it is still light-years away from becoming anything near "country-based intranets". (Incidentally, a light-year in IT is less than 10 calendar years). Is internet fracturing "good" or not? It all depends on where you stand (or sit) regarding the issue of information censorship. Almost since inception of the internet, the problems of totally free information access became apparent. Those that were most worrisome to most people had to do with morality, education and religion. (for example, kids started having access to pornography, vulgar language, extreme violence, and the like). Many people also became more skilled in crimes and crime methodologies at levels they might never have otherwise been exposed to. Eventually, every aspect of life became vulnerable, and many nations got jittery as their cultural, religious, economic sacred cows started to experience cyber-induced assault. One of the easy reactions to such threats is to build, where at all possible, "iron walls" to protect their countries. So, again, is it right or not? More importantly, can it work? This is the old information censorship all over again - only much more serious. In the war between free information access and ignorance, ignorance will always lose. But when the access is absolute, totally without any form of reins (which is what the internet promises), should a measure of calculated or desirable ignorance not be built into the system? But easier said than done. Country-based intranets develop when governments take it upon themselves to decide what information is "in" and what is "out". Should they do this, especially in a democracy? Is it Good governance" to do so or not to do? If not government, who else? Or indeed, who can? The family? The Church (by whatever name), or simply Nobody? I don't have answers but the problem is real - and we can't wish it away.

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