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  • Hubert Marlin

Internet & Geostrategy


Freedom is essential to development; the popularization of the Internet worldwide proves it acutely. Also, Tim Bernee Lee the inventor of the world wide web said "If the technology had been exclusive and under my total control, it probably would not have taken off. You cannot propose that something has to be a universal space and at the same time keep it in control. "

If the first idea of the creation of the civil cybernetic networks was the sharing and the free access to information on the web for those who had tools essential to the connection to the virtual network, the virtual world as the material world remains a field of the perpetual battle between freedom and the control of freedom. This control takes on subtle forms such as codification concerning the creation of rules or policies aiming at finding a legal framework for cybernetic activity, or liberticide , such as the simple and utter censorship to preserve public order.

. A disorder to the public order whose concept remains vague, because it translates more the will of insidious control, of certain state and even supranational entities like Facebook Amazon, google or twitter which since arbitrarily ban some contents on their platforms. Even if the rules of common law apply to offenses perpetrated on the internet such as bank fraud, or scam, there is however a real concern of governments of the world, as well in the northern hemisphere as the South, to control internet or rather to control the information circulating on the internet by imposing a kind of censorship, or by manipulating contents for both hawkish and propagandist purposes. Industrial and interstate espionage has made the internet the privileged place for the ultimate battle for the technological hegemony of certain nations or multinationals towards one another.

The internet is considered by some as the fifth power, that goes beyond nations. Several countries, such as China or Russia have realized, that the US dominance over the internet was a danger that threatened to greatly influence their societies. Faced with the linguistic and alphabetical barrier that imposed an anglicization of Russian and Chinese Internet users, to gain access to the content of the Internet, the nationalization of the Internet in the Russian and Chinese geographical area responded above all to a need for cultural preservation and geopolitical protectionism. By creating autonomous systems and social networks that reclaimed western social media such as Facebook or YouTube , the Russian and Chinese governments have offered to their people the benefits of Western technology in a controlled geopolitical setting.

The conquest of the virtual world is inseparable from its creative process, which is tinged with the need for security, collection and transfer of information. In the early 1960s, the computer revolution created a race for technological innovation almost permanent. At the same time, the risks of nuclear confrontation prompted the US Department of Defense to find ways to preserve the functioning of military communications in the event of an attack. Initially, a Pentagon-based agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) was commissioned to design a communications system that could withstand the effects of a nuclear attack.

This approach culminated in 1968 with the establishment of a decentralized network called Arpanet. Its principle was based on the interconnection of a set of computers and a new mode of data transfer by packet switching. (Packet switching is a technique of grouping data that is then transmitted over a digital network in the form of packets consisting of a header and a payload). Following the same principle of exchanging information between computers through virtual highways, in 1989, Tim Bernee Lee, then a scientist at CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research), created the world wide web that Hypertext, made accessible to all exchange of information through a global network.

Since the cyberspace has become an extension of the material world, that it mimics or improves in its own way, all Internet users find themselves faced with the same challenges of both predation and protection. Also, the cyber war could only be the logical continuation of this state of affairs. Cyber warfare is the use of computers and the Internet to wage war in cyberspace, a war that often pits states or competing multinationals against each other under a backdrop of hacking that has since been the preserve of cybernetic banditry, or hacking, which is either the work of isolated individuals, criminal organizations, or state spying services.

Apart from the deep web * (The deep web is a nebulous network that is not accessible by traditional search engines, it includes data stored there by public or private entities, such as e-mail, private content on the social media sites bank statements, medical records and others nefarious entity like hit men networks.) which is the hidden face of the internet, The global network that is internet has become a place of major military confrontation. The use of the Internet makes it possible to infiltrate quickly in all the most sensitive networks of the world. New battlegrounds have been organized with targets of government sites, organizations, institutions, large and medium-sized enterprises, private organizations and individuals. The perpetrators of these attacks are groups of hackers, the terrorist organizations, the crooks of all kinds, but also the armies and governmental organizations.

Industrial espionage or data collection (using Trojans and spyware), steals confidential information that is not properly secured. It can be then intercepted and modified, making it possible to spy from one end to remote part of the world. Cyber espionage can greatly influence decision-makers, the future of a Nation, or of a multinational company.

With the billions of Dollars that pass through the Internet every year, it could not be otherwise. Companies that have grown exponentially in the last 20 years are all largely internet-based including the foursome commonly known as GAFA, Google Facebook Apple and Amazon

At a time when an economic war opposes the two largest economies in the world, namely China and the United States, the cyber war is widely used. Nowadays, there is even a certain technological deterrence, namely that the best digital communication systems are not only the prerogative of the United States, but also of China, which after being accused so often of industrial piracy is no less confronted with cyber-attacks for the simple reason that the Chinese are no longer content to copy others. Since, they create innovative technologies as well, they do not necessarily make friends in the rest of the world,

and their technological potential has been aimed to dissuade Western powers and others to hack their to hack their top-secret data.

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