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EU: Restrained response to Biden’s Internet Alliance proposal

Joe Biden’s initiative to establish an Internet alliance with the EU and other institutions has so far met with little approval. While the EU is enthusiastic about some of the goals, it fears a fragmentation of the Internet into different blocks.

Biden’s idea

The goal of the Internet Alliance is to define uniform standards, contain the influence of Russia and China in the technical infrastructure, and thus maintain the upper hand in terms of access to and influence on the Internet. According to a position paper, a video conference scheduled for next week will discuss establishing technical as well as non-technical security standards and agreeing to “use only trusted providers for the core infrastructure of information and communication technologies.” There are also plans to establish common standards regarding government surveillance and to curb the power of leading technology corporations.

Reactions from the EU

The EU, Biden’s partner of choice for the Internet alliance, is reacting cautiously to the move. While it welcomes the fact that the U.S. is interested in data protection and Internet regulation, it also points out that it wants to prevent further fragmentation of the Internet. An EU position paper states that the unity and integrity of the Internet should not be compromised in any way. The EU would thus not support a digital cut-off of Russia and China.

The Problem

Behind the idea is primarily the threat of the growing influence of Chinese corporations on the digital infrastructure in the Western world. The two great powers, the U.S. and China, are not only locked in a trade conflict, but are also vying for supremacy in other areas. The aim now is to prevent China from gaining a decisive advantage in telecommunications. There are similar debates in this country as well, for example over whether the Chinese company Huawei should be granted a license to operate 5G networks. This is seen as a possible gateway for Chinese surveillance and influence in the West.

Another push

Biden’s idea is further seen as a response to a push from the other side. With the New IP Initiative, an association of Chinese companies has already formed that is working on establishing its own technical standards – and could thus potentially break the previous dominance of Western technologies. All in all, the idea of an Internet alliance can be seen as part of a global conflict for supremacy in a politically and economically highly relevant area.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Joe Biden’s initiative to establish an Internet alliance with the EU and other institutions has so far met with little approval. While the EU is enthusiastic about some of the goals, it fears a fragmentation of the Internet into different blocks. Biden’s idea The goal of the Internet Alliance is to define uniform standards, contain … (Weiterlesen...)

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