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NCAFP: Power Struggle on Internet Affecting Sovereignty

networkA recent National Committee on American Foreign Policy report states that some modern societies are leveraging the Internet as a tool to influence or assert their power and interests over others and undermine sovereignty.

In the report published in a 2014 issue of NCAFP’s American Foreign Policy Interests journal, Melissa Hathaway pointed to connected choices across economic, political, social, technical and regulatory sectors as an embodiment of the Internet power struggle.

Hathaway, a senior adviser on cybersecurity at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said that the Internet presents a global platform for information flows, power projection as well as access to financial, health, government and other services.

The “Connected Choices: How the Internet Is Challenging Sovereign Decisions” report focuses on how these capabilities can also bring challenges to national security.

“Global leaders must wrestle with the fact that their Internet infrastructures and citizen-facing services are vulnerable to interference and that their economic dependence on the Internet will not permit them to abandon the adoption path they are on,” Hathaway wrote.

She noted that competing interests and control of the Internet infrastructure and the information and communications technology marketplace have become topics of debate as some countries work to build Internet power.

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