[DIGITAL Business Africa] – Is the perspective of Tim Berners-Lee, father of the internet, obsolete? Anyway, this is the feeling provided by the Biden administration and approximately sixty partners, including Cape Verde, Niger, Senegal and Kenya.
This is through a joint declaration made public on April 28, 2022 called the “Declaration for the future of the internet”. The goal, according to Washington, is to end “growing digital authoritarianism and ensure that it strengthens democracy, protects privacy and promotes a free global economy.” Illustration made of internet cuts in the world in general and specifically in the DRC, Togo, Gabon… during the presidential election.
This statement on the future of the internet was presented on April 28, 2022 at a hybrid event organized in Washington by the White House National Security Council. Many countries participated online through videoconference. Theirs, Niger, Kenya and Cape Verde, are the only countries in Africa to sign this declaration. Margrethe Vestagerthe Executive Vice-President for Europe Fit for the Digital Age and Thierry BretonEuropean Commissioner for Internal Markets.
Original version, change factors
The Internet offers communication possibilities to its users. It is also a signal of economic opportunities. This has certainly resulted in a kind of “black” economy: cybercrime. In the case of Cameroon, its economy is suffering, on behalf of the year 2021, a deficit of more than 12 billion FCFA, due to this gangrene.
To arrive at the declaration, it is based on a string of reasons, of course determined after nearly a year of consultations.
“The formerly decentralized internet economy has become highly concentrated and many people have legitimate concerns about their privacy and the value and security of personal data collected and stored online”the statement is underlined.
Other factors that prevailed for a change in internet policy include the lack of online privacy, the protection of human dignity and above all censorship in the technology industry.
The EU was followed by the USA
Note that the European Union did not wait for this declaration to continue a crusade against these abuses surrounding the web. The organization is determined to engage in this field. As proof that the European Commission adopted the law on digital services on April 23, 2022.
A legislative text entrusted to large technology companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. of the responsibility to protect consumers in the area.
The 60 partners believe the Internet should be a decentralized network of networks, where many authorities have a say in how to connect. Similarly, the US wants the development of the Internet to be collaborative between governments, the technology industry and academia.
“Digital technologies that rely on the Internet will yield the biggest dividends when they operate as open, free, global, interoperable, reliable and secure systems”said the statement.
It also revealed that some companies have made monetizing and selling user data as a real business.
“The formerly decentralized internet economy has become highly concentrated and many people have legitimate concerns about their privacy and the value and security of personal data collected and stored online”he says.
Birth of the Internet
Its ancestor remains Tim Berners-Lee, a British researcher at the European Center for Nuclear Research in the 1970s. He put the first web page online. It is a computer network that connects several machines. At that time it was for the purpose of military strategies.
“In the event of a massive USSR attack on strategic computer centers, a decentralized network made it possible not to lose all strategic data, but also maintain the possibility of communication and ordering a response”. We are in 1989; the cold war is in full swing. The US is already thinking of a new weapon: data.
Let’s go back to the origin. September 02, 1969. Inside the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), two large electronic calculators, ancestors of our PCs, exchange data in packets via a simple copper cable, called the “Arpanet “.
He will be the Internet later. So many, in 1972, this network will be integrated with other data sources, in particular universities and commercial fields.
In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee would create the World Wide Web, which is now intended for the general public. It was funded in part by the U.S. Army Research Services (DARPA).
By Jean Materne Zambo
The 32 signatories, in addition to EU Member States and the US, on April 28, 2022 were
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