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Wanted: Counter narrative to beat back the International Internet Union

Some time back I wrote about the dangers of the emergence of an International Internet Union at the behest of Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao. They’ve held a conference in London to beat it back, but apparently were missing something really important: a counter narrative.

In his closing message, he said: “State-sponsored attacks are not in the interests of any country, long term… those governments that perpetrate them need to bring them under control.” He did not name names.

Some private-sector delegates like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales were less reticent.

“People do realize that there are some legitimate problems and that those problems need solutions,” he told Reuters in an interview. “The difficulty comes when you’ve got countries like China who maybe view freedom of speech as the problem that needs to be solved.”

Canadian academic Rafal Rohozinski, an expert on cyber warfare and chief executive of the SecDev Group, said the West was under pressure to regain control of the agenda on Internet governance in the face of a growing bloc of developing nations that want more influence.

“The G8, the Euro-Atlantic alliance if you like, needs to come up with an effective counter-narrative,” he told Reuters.

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