The Guardian reports: The vast scale of online surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden is leading to the breakup of the internet as countries scramble to protect private or commercially sensitive emails and phone records from UK and US security services, according to experts and academics.
They say moves by countries, such as Brazil and Germany, to encourage regional online traffic to be routed locally rather than through the US are likely to be the first steps in a fundamental shift in the way the internet works. The change could potentially hinder economic growth.
“States may have few other options than to follow in Brazil’s path,” said Ian Brown, from the Oxford Internet Institute. “This would be expensive, and likely to reduce the rapid rate of innovation that has driven the development of the internet to date … But if states cannot trust that their citizens’ personal data – as well as sensitive commercial and government information – will not otherwise be swept up in giant surveillance operations, this may be a price they are willing to pay.”
Since the Guardian’s revelations about the scale of state surveillance, Brazil’s government has published ambitious plans to promote Brazilian networking technology, encourage regional internet traffic to be routed locally, and is moving to set up a secure national email service.
In India, it has been reported that government employees are being advised not to use Gmail and last month, Indian diplomatic staff in London were told to use typewriters rather than computers when writing up sensitive documents.
In Germany, privacy commissioners have called for a review of whether Europe’s internet traffic can be kept within the EU – and by implication out of the reach of British and US spies. [Continue reading…]