Rising protectionism, nationalism, and security fears could see the internet split into separate parts in future – into the so-called ‘splinternet’ – as countries try to control what they regard as its negative aspects.
Russia is already considering a plan to temporarily disconnect from the global internet. It’s an experiment to see whether data transmitted between Russia’s users can remain in the country without being rerouted to servers abroad, where it could be subjected to interception. It is also a way to gauge how the country’s cyber defences would fare in the face of foreign aggression, according to Russian media.
Different countries have different priorities so a one-size-fits-all global internet may have a short lifespan. A fractured version of the global web is known as the splinternet. Eric Schmidt, the former Google chief executive, thinks a fragmented internet is not only possible but likely within the next 10 to 15 years.
If he is right, going online will become a very different experience.
What would happen if we in Britain created a national intranet, walled in by our borders and completely cut off from other nations online? From wake-up calls to NHS services, watch the video to find out six ways your life would change.
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