Adelphi Books

The International Institute for Strategic Studies is an independent centre for research, information and debate on the problems of conflict, however caused, that have, or potentially have, an important military content. The Council and Staff of the Institute are international and its membership is drawn from almost 100 countries. The Institute is independent and it alone decides what activities to conduct. It owes no allegiance to any government, any group of governments or any political or other organisation. The IISS stresses rigorous research with a forward-looking policy orientation and places particular emphasis on bringing new perspectives to the strategic debate. The Institute’s publications are designed to meet the needs of a wider audience than its own membership and are available on subscription, by mail order and in good bookshops. Further details at www.iiss.org. acknowledgements Many people have wittingly or unwittingly helped me with this book. But I would like to single out for special mention Gary Li, Samantha Hoffman, Harriet Ellis, Eneken Tikk-Ringas, Rafal Rohozinski, John Mallery and Alexander Klimburg. To mark the first meeting of the NETmundial Initiative’s Coordination Council, held in São Paolo on 30 June 2015, China Military Online published an editorial observing that: Global internet governance can no longer dispense with China. 2014 was the twentieth anniversary of China’s accession to the internet … and, by the end of 2014, China had 649 million users, representing one-fifth of global Netizens. This huge number means that no country in the world can afford to belittle the power of China’s internet any longer. Moreover, in line with China’s continuing rapid economic development, China’s internet industries have developed to the point of being comprehensive, diversified, in-depth and international. Measured by market value, four of the world’s top ten internet companies are Chinese … and the vertiginous speed with which China’s internet industries have developed now means that China has become a mainstay of the global internet industry. The piece went on to state that China’s voice would have to be heard on issues of global internet governance, and that the country’s policies on the area, as articulated by President Xi Jinping, were attracting growing international support.1 The NETmundial event primarily brought together representatives of government, civil society and academia from various parts of the world, aiming to encourage discussions on internet governance and to promote the cyber principles purportedly shared by its attendees. However, the initiative was controversial, having grown out of the Brazilian government’s reaction to revelations by rogue National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about US electronic espionage around the globe, particularly the alleged monitoring of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The Coordination Council included few representatives from the private sector.2 But, tellingly, China enthusiastically participated in the event, and the NETmundial Initiative enjoyed the support of both the World Economic Forum and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The latter creates and controls what is in effect the address book for the internet, and until March 2016 operated under the aegis of the US Department...

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