MyNotes - The New Digital Age - Chapter 3: The Future of States

About This Series - Earlier this week, a copy of Dr. Eric Shmidt's and Jared Cohen's book, The New Digital Age: Transforming nations, businesses and our lives arrived on my desk. You can read my notes on this book.

In this blog entry, I explore Chapter 3 - The Future of States, then offer reflections.

Table of Contents


Over the next few days, I'll be reading the book and sharing my notes on what jumps out at me and my quick reflections.

My Notes
  1. Empowerment for people comes from what they have access to, while states can derive power from their position as gatekeeper (control over physical infrastructure required by connectivity).
  2. The Internet could ultimately be seen as the realization of the classic international-relations theory of an anarchic, leaderless world.
  3. The impulse to project laws from the physical world into the virtual one is a fundamentally naive notion...
  4. The most sophisticated censorship states invest a great deal of resources to build filtering systems, then punish violators.
  5. China, Turkey, Germany are listed as models of Internet censorship--the bad kind of model.
  6. The authors predict that states will attempt to engage in "collective editing" through the use of nationalized Internets.
  7. Internet asylum seeker - a dissident who can't live freely under an autocratic Internet and is refused access to other states' internets will choose to seek physical asylum in another country to gain virtual freedom on its Internet.
  8. "National intranet:" Countries might create their own walled gardens for internal content that separates its people from the rest of the world,giving them complete control over the contents and what people can access.
  9. Declaring virtual statehood would become an act of treason...the concept of virtual institutions alone could breathe new life into secessionist groups that have tried and failed to produce concrete outcomes through violent means...one example includes the suggestion that if the Texas secession movement rallied together to launch a virtual Republic of Texas.
  10. In the future, superpowers will look to create their spheres of online influence around specific protocols and products, so that their technologies form the backbone of a particular society and their client states come to rely on certain critical infrastructure that the superpower alone builds, services and controls.
    Response: Reminds me of China and other countries expelling Microsoft Windows and switch to a copy of GNU/Linux that they've customized for use in their country.
  11. One neglected or unprotected device on the network can become the attacker's base and then compromise the whole system.
  12. "What we observed in cybersecurity is that we needed to create the equivalent of an adaptive immune system in computer security architecture."
  13. States will long for the days when they only had to think about foreign and domestic policies in the physical world.
What a fun chapter to read. Some of the concepts were familiar to me, but if you haven't read any of this before, then it can be pretty mind-blowing. Virtual and physical warfare, creating national walled gardens, states creating their own infrastructures to control the flow of information and ideas and safeguard your work...wow.

It's almost like building a digital moat around your country and then populating the water with elements of "adaptive immune system..." like virtual crocodiles, etc.!



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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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