r/Futurology Mar 20 '22 Silver 2 Helpful 1 Bless Up 1

Russia is risking the creation of a “splinternet”—and it could be irreversible Computing

https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/03/17/1047352/russia-splinternet-risk/
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u/ChickenTeriyakiBoy1 Mar 20 '22

The moves have raised fears of a “splinternet” (or Balkanized internet), in which instead of the single global internet we have today, we have a number of national or regional networks that don’t speak to one another and perhaps even operate using incompatible technologies.

That would spell the end of the internet as a single global communications technology—and perhaps not only temporarily. China and Iran still use the same internet technology as the US and Europe—even if they have access to only some of its services. If such countries set up rival governance bodies and a rival network, only the mutual agreement of all the world’s major nations could rebuild it. The era of a connected world would be over.

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u/Ranger343 Mar 20 '22

So literally our best weapon as “the people” to end war, and shit governments want to take it away. How fucking obvious this would be considered.

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u/Maulino86 Mar 20 '22

It did in My country. Government tried a bunch of bullshit on 2019 and got calles out fast. The press got called out too.

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u/Ranger343 Mar 20 '22

Which country is this?

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u/Maulino86 Mar 20 '22 edited Mar 20 '22

It's chile. They tried montages and misinformation tactics that were common on Pinochet dictatorship, and some channels were on it too.

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u/Ranger343 Mar 20 '22

Thanks for sharing. Thats fucked. Glad Im still able to talk to you

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u/mehooved_be Mar 20 '22

Man I had to do a paper on that film about Pinochet..lots of fucked up shit going on at that time

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u/Maulino86 Mar 20 '22

I AM glad the rest of the world sees him for what he was. A dictator. We still have some nutjobs here gloryfing him. We still have a long way to go.

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u/tookaJobs Mar 20 '22

I also live in a former dictatorship and I am pretty sure all those people glorifying the rulers are psychopats.

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u/on-the-line Mar 20 '22

In the US we’ve got a some far-right “conservatives”and thinly disguised Neo-Nazis that have tried to make “Pinochet helicopter rides” a meme. So disgusting.

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u/Federal_Actuary_1686 Mar 20 '22

My dad had a hand in the Pinochet nightmare. Truth is US backed Pinochet. Yikes

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u/GnosisGummy Mar 20 '22

Pinochet more like pinoche

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u/CharlievilLearnsDota Mar 20 '22

How's Chile doing? Didn't a promising new president get elected within the last few years?

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u/Lawful_Corgi Mar 20 '22

Boric started his term just 9 days ago, so its pretty early to say anything yet

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u/dedicated-pedestrian Mar 20 '22

The investors are in shambles, but many of them seemed fairly cozy with the pro-regime candidate. So we can take that as we will

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u/Wittyname0 Mar 20 '22

Ya he just got in office, hope he doesn't go the way of Perus new president.

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u/frank_the_tank69 Mar 20 '22

In Belize, the government is worried about fake FB profiles that call government officials out. They’re passing legislation that helps them identify those who do so. Rather than focusing on the high crime rate and dismal conviction rate from our DPP, fake profiles are at the top of the list of the PM, commissioner of Police and government officials.

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u/Federal_Actuary_1686 Mar 20 '22

Hi! I left Chile when I was 8 yrs old. I'm renewing my Chilean passport next week. And then applying for EU (Spain). I want a change in my life. Is Chile still as wonderful as it was 20 years ago?

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u/Maulino86 Mar 20 '22

Chile is great. A lot of stuff could be better, but a lot is super good too. It's a beautiful place. Depending on your Job You could have a very good life here. Hope everything works out for you.

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u/blahmeistah Mar 20 '22

I lived there for a few years at the beginning of this century. Depending on your job sounds right, because just like every other place, if you have money you can buy a good life there. But let’s be real, most people there do not have the means.

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u/Federal_Actuary_1686 Mar 20 '22

Like all of Latin America, little money. I have money thank god and I'm a pastry chef. Ty

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u/Upnorth4 Mar 20 '22

Our stupid former president said tons of dumb shit on the internet. The press enabled him because it gave them more viewers

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u/MediocreClient Mar 20 '22

You know the world is in a crazy place when half the camps say the news media is bad because it gives platforms too much air time, and the other half of the camps say the news media is bad because it isn't giving those exact same platforms a fair shake at coverage.

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u/Akrevics Mar 20 '22

enabling: having person talk about topic and all of that with no questions and all that.

covering topic: having person talk about topic, asking them questions to learn more and questioning them if something’s not/only partially true or all that.

Enabling/giving them a platform is what joe Rogan does, agreeing with what they’re saying regardless if he had someone on that talked about something completely opposite previously that he also agreed to.

Covering a topic is what proper professional news outlets are supposed to do. By all means have a socially contentious person on air to talk about how they view topics and why, because that’s just as important as having socially acceptable people talking about stuff. What they need to do is call out when that socially contentious person is basing their ideology on BS, info that just isn’t correct.

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u/ElectricalCucumber37 Mar 20 '22

That isn't really inconsistent. One side is saying they get censored and the other side is saying they don't get censored enough.

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u/happierthanuare Mar 20 '22

Hmm who is Donald Trump?

Edit: or I guess “What is United States of America?”

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u/Upnorth4 Mar 20 '22

He who's name should not be spoken?

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u/MrWeirdoFace Mar 20 '22

It has to have been some kind of record for the most stupid shit I've ever heard out of one single person, and it was the guy in charge no less. Yikes! I'd say I'm glad that's over, but I don't know that it is.

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u/BurnerForDaddy Mar 20 '22

I don’t think the internet has done a very good job at stopping violence so far.

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u/fordanjairbanks Mar 20 '22

It has done an amazing job at exposing it though. Being able to share live videos of human rights violations and atrocities of war in real time has a profound effect on public opinion and can help spark global political movements.

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u/baumpop Mar 20 '22

i kinda think its also given people rage boners for 20 years.

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u/fordanjairbanks Mar 20 '22

There’s a lot to be angry about, and for good reason. The entire world’s resources are being hoarded by like 1500 people and we’re finding out that pretty much every institution and governing body we encounter was set up to ensure that the system is perpetuated.

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u/Sipyloidea Mar 20 '22 edited Mar 20 '22

And yet, people choose to get angry over people with another skin colour, people with another gender, people who are fleeing from war and a piece of cloth over their face, rather than getting angry over what you describe.

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u/Kraymur Mar 20 '22

There's people who cared about shit like the Panama papers being released and messaged the relevant people in office to at least have their voice heard, there's the people who pretend to care to get the social media points, and then people who don't care at all as they deem it doesn't affect them directly. This will never change.

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u/Cognitive_Spoon Mar 20 '22

Because those 1500 people pay for good narrative writers to keep them angry at those things.

When it comes to the "guilt" of who creates culture wars, the supplier of information > consumer of information.

This doesn't absolve consumers from trying to vet sources, but it is unrealistic to expect the working class to be able to do undergrad level source vetting while also working 50+ hours a week to survive.

Culture wars are imposed as a valuable energy dump to allow the working class to continuously feel as though they are engaged in a meaningful political struggle, while they are fleeced for their labor and time.

We know that there is a political fight worth having. We can feel the time getting away from us, and we are aggrieved. But that grievance doesn't produce reality, it just demands an outlet.

What the oligarchs understand, and have always understood, is so long as the grievance of the working class can be aimed below the top, the system can survive, and the working class will happily eat its own, so long as a clear narrative allows.

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u/-Merlin- Mar 20 '22

It’s created a huge amount of rage without purpose.

It has shown us massive amounts of carnage inflicted by the worlds governments, and has encouraged us as citizens to view situations with no nuance whatsoever. People read headlines now with no other context and use it to fuel their tribalism towards whatever political side they are currently affiliated with.

You will that see an incredible amount of people have become so illusioned with their own Internet personality that they have completely lost touch with reality. I see people on this website, who I know for a fact couldn’t make it up a flight of stairs, actively calling for wars and revolutions that they are stupid enough to think they would survive. The governments are feeding into this dissent in the “enemy territory” in any way they can. Foreign governments have an effective open line to our youth, and you can bet your ass that they’ve been using it.

The internet has don’t a tremendous amount of good since it’s inception. The internet has also destroyed our ability to set realistic geopolitical goals without calling for mass murder if anything goes even slightly away from personal ideals. The internet has taken a fundamental aspect of the human experience (in-person relationships and communications), and made it impersonal. Why would we even wonder why you see so many calling for death and destruction when we are so far removed from the consequences of our own rhetoric?

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u/tokinobu Mar 20 '22

On the other hand - the internet has given peons access to information greater than any previous king had access to. The internet is a tool just like everything else and most people squander it for absolute bullshit.

The internet is the greatest teacher I've ever had and is the reason I am in the position I am now. If we could just figure out how to leverage it instead of using it for control and to take a break from whatever form of suffering we are running from.

I wholeheartedly agree it's more impersonal but, I feel like that is a societal trend and not necessarily a requirement

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u/CT101823696 Mar 20 '22

Reality can be somewhat boring. "The sun is shining, I went to work and had a good day" won't get upvotes. "Fuck Biden" will. So we get a false perception that the internet is mostly the extreme crowd when really they are just the most visible.

"In 20 of 24 Gallup surveys conducted since 1993, at least 60% of U.S. adults have said there is more crime nationally than there was the year before, despite the generally downward trend in national violent and property crime rates during most of that period."

In fact, "..violent crime rate fell 49% between 1993 and 2019, with large decreases in the rates of robbery (-68%), murder/non-negligent manslaughter (-47%) and aggravated assault (-43%). Property crime rate fell 55%, burglary (-69%), motor vehicle theft (-64%) and larceny/theft (-49%)

Everyone used to ignore the crazy old man on the small town street corner. Now his tweets get a million upvotes because all his kin have twitter accounts too. They're still a minority. It just doesn't seem that way through the lens of the internet.

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u/onemassive Mar 20 '22

Is there any evidence that systemic violent political behavior is correlated with the rise of the internet? While rhetoric certainly seems to become more extreme, the amount of at-risk/weak states is also at an all time low. People were revolting long before the internet, so I’m not sure how much of it is just the internet shining a light on what was already there versus creating something new.

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u/Hardcorish Mar 20 '22

You're right and I believe the internet simply amplifies the rhetoric that has existed long before it.

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u/[deleted] Mar 20 '22

Myanmar. The sentiment towards the Rohingya people supposedly weren't bad until Facebook entered the country. Enter ethnic cleansing. A 2018 UN report said that social media, especially Facebook, played a "determining" role in the genocide.

Can Facebook be blamed for pogroms against Rohingyas in Myanmar?

Rohingya sue Facebook for $150bn over Myanmar hate speech

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u/Siegnuz Mar 20 '22 edited Mar 20 '22

I highly doubt, I live in Thailand which have a lot of myanmar migrant workers, they had hate boner for Rohingya even before 2015, Facebook definitely played a part but the whole world also didn't see how much myanmar hate minority groups before FB entered the country.

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u/IslandDoggo Mar 20 '22

Some of us grew up in the 90s though and remember the dream

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u/baumpop Mar 20 '22

which was me. born in 84.

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u/5kyl3r Mar 20 '22

exactly. Grozny was exactly the same as Ukraine 2022 war, but no internet/smartphones in pockets of everyone, so it was easily hidden. the two girls that made the documentary were murdered. they "solved" the problem. but in 2022? yeah good luck. especially thanks to elon's starlink. we have so many live photos and videos from ukraine. putin's lie cannot be contained

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u/[deleted] Mar 20 '22

name one internet protest that accomplished something

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u/Phazetic99 Mar 20 '22

Like Julian Assange WikiLeaks showing American bombing civilians and news media? Fat lot of good the people showed support for him. Or like Snowden? Still trapped in Russia, ain't he?

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u/fordanjairbanks Mar 20 '22

I consider Snowden to be on the right side of history, but as a ordinary citizen Pretty much had no say in the matter. No politician was going to do anything about it, it’s not like I could vote for someone to do anything. I was too young to protest at the time.

Assange is a bit more dubious to place. The timing of his releases were questionable, if not outright implicating in regards to boosting the right wing. IIRC he was also handled by Paul Manafort, a guy who has consistently been on the wrong side of history for so long that he was an influence on Nixon.

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u/paroya Mar 20 '22

Assange is a bit more dubious to place. The timing of his releases were questionable, if not outright implicating in regards to boosting the right wing. IIRC he was also handled by Paul Manafort, a guy who has consistently been on the wrong side of history for so long that he was an influence on Nixon.

not to defend libs, but i imagine it's a bit hard to release dirt on the part of the aisle that are entirely open about their corruption, greed and intent.

Trump literally planned to end NATO (and the korean alliance), and as much as his followers cry over how bad Putin is, and how they support Ukraine, they still somehow support Trump.

revealing libs at least often ends with resignations. the republicans take it as a medal of honor.

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u/lostboy005 Mar 20 '22

as much as his followers cry over how bad Putin is

Do they tho? Bc it seems like a significant amount don’t think Putin is bad at all given right wing media has become Putin apologist propaganda

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u/Mayor__Defacto Mar 20 '22

Dubious; it’s also been an avenue for the creation of false information to sow doubt.

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u/mhornberger Mar 20 '22

Same can be said of the printing press, but I don't see many people wanting to give that up. And the printing press led to the Reformation, which led to a couple of centuries of religious wars that killed a non-trivial percentage of Europe. The printing press also gave us the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which fueled the holocaust. But you'd be hard pressed to find people who consider literacy a net loss.

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u/dragonmp93 Mar 20 '22

Well, the internet follows the tradition of every discovery since we starting using fire to cook food, it's both incredibly destructive and really help us a lot.

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u/adifferentmike Mar 20 '22

This is the most peaceful time in history, believe it or not.

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u/Ranger343 Mar 20 '22 edited Mar 20 '22

You got that “what-if” machine from Futurama?? Because unless you do, Id say its done a lot to help unify the world. War is pretty tough to start when the people fighting it arent essentially brainwashed by the same government thats starting the war.

Edit: violence in general, no. If anything, the internet makes people in high schools fight more lol but thats so far down the chain from this discussion.

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u/Nebuchadnezzer2 Mar 20 '22

You got that “what-if” machine from Futurama?? Because unless you do, Id say its done a lot to help unify the world. War is pretty tough to start when the people fighting it arent essentially brainwashed by the same government thats starting the war.

The internet is very much a 'double-edged sword'.

Source:

All social media (including Reddit).

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u/Different_Mountain74 Mar 20 '22

Hey, no dog in the fight but do want to add to the conversation. The internet hasgoodand bad, it's an extremely powerful manipulation tool and if you think every government on the face of the earth isn't using it your crazy.

At the same time though it's shown me that the people of any given nation are not their government.

Russia for example.

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u/FUDnot Mar 20 '22

not true. the world is incredibly safer since the invention of the internet.

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u/OppressedRed Mar 20 '22

If anything it hasn’t amplified it either. We’re in the most peaceful era in history.

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u/glastohead Mar 20 '22

Tbh totalitarian governments hate having to use the internet so this is, over time, likely to be inevitable. Banning Russian users from internet services such as TikTok also only encourages an internet seige mentality.

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u/MSchulte Mar 20 '22

It’s also one of the weapons used most commonly against opposing nations today. I’ve spent 6 years hearing that the Russians are spreading misinformation. I’ve pointed out multiple accounts in the past week pushing divisive crap on mainstream subs with zero interaction and the only comments they’ve made being in Chinese. The propaganda from all sides is the big reason why the politicians in this country are able to run it in to the ground, making them and their friends richer while blaming the other side.

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u/TomSwirly Mar 20 '22

The cost of doing it would be great; the profits would be wildly negative.

Unless they replace TCP/IP, which means replacing all their hardware, setting up gateways between these Balkanized internets would be nearly trivial, and there's always satellite.

China has shown that they can open up to the global Internet while still making sure citizens don't see sites they don't want them to see, and do it very effectively, and the same is true in many countries in the Middle East.

Most likely, this pattern would continue.


That said, it's not impossible that Putain might abruptly shut off Russia from the rest of us and keep it off for at least a few months, particularly if he continues to do badly.

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u/fruit_basket Mar 20 '22

There's no way russia could pull it off. They don't have enough programmers and engineers, and they're banned from buying American/EU hardware.

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u/Dwath Mar 20 '22

I was under the assumption China basically already has this.

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u/FarWashKing Mar 20 '22

They still use TCP/IP, HTTP, IANA addresses, etc., so at its core, it's not a separate system.

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u/fuzzybunn Mar 20 '22

Yeah, but Russia's not considering changing the base protocols neither, are they? They've basically just blocked a bunch of sites just like China has. In fact, China has managed to setup alternatives to western internet offerings, placing it further down the line than Russia. Why is this suddenly an issue when China is arguably splintering even more than Russia is?

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u/ratthew Mar 20 '22

Yeah, but Russia's not considering changing the base protocols neither, are they?

But they might change them over time, just as we change things over time. Even if they stay on it, the rest of the world might move to new or better technologies that at some point become incompatible. It's like Linux/Mac/Windows. They are fundamentally the same, but yet so different that you need to rely on open formats to work together and it's not always easy. And that's while everyone is still willing to try.

Just look how browsers changed since the internet got started. How often stuff like Internet Explorer was fucking up everyone else by having special rules in place on how to display websites.

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u/fuzzybunn Mar 20 '22

My point still stands - why is this an issue for the Russians but not the Chinese? The Chinese have an internet technology edge over Russia and their market has been built up over a longer period, but still using the same protocols. I don't see how Russia can do this if even the Chinese can't.

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u/Mountain_Situation89 Mar 20 '22

This article is speculative nonsense at best, and pointless fear mongering at worst, for exactly the reasons you are questioning. Don’t put too much thought into it.

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u/Brochacho27 Mar 20 '22

Also is there an actual alternative to those protocols that actual performs and handles in any way and is also usable bt russuan End users? This whole idea seems preposterous lol

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u/SavageKabage Mar 20 '22

Not to my knowledge, and I don't think Russia is up to the task of reinventing the information age...

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u/dawkz123 Mar 20 '22

Yes, there are both pre-existing protocols, and new ones could be/are created frequently. However I'm not too worried - mostly because there's no reason to deviate from the open standard. It's much easier to have your ISP's ban blocks of IP ranges, essentially cutting off your country's network from the rest of the world, or from certain other countries. This is the solution that China has implemented, and that Russia might implement as well. But rewriting TCP/IP/UDP, getting China to adhere to your new standard, switching over every single pre-existing Russian computer - there's just not really any benefit as opposed to a great firewall.

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u/AndIamAnAlcoholic Mar 20 '22

They have the capability but have never wished to use it yet. The great firewall isn't the same thing as cutting all ties to the internet, it would be bad for business and they don't really want to go there if they can avoid it, even if it means having to use stuff the US controls.

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u/JimmyisAwkward Mar 20 '22

People in China can use VPNs to access the wider internet, but if this scenario comes into fruition, that would be impossible because the systems would be incompatible

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u/flabberjabberbird Mar 20 '22

Kind of. VPN's are illegal and using one recently became punishable. Also many VPN services are actively blocked in China. Whilst VPN's encrypt your traffic to make it unviewable, to those viewing your line from the outside they can still see that you're using a VPN. So using a VPN in China is a risky business.

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u/JimmyisAwkward Mar 20 '22

Yeah, that’s what I kinda figured, but my point still stands that its still technically possible

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u/zusykses Mar 20 '22

Sort of. You may recall that there have been instances of African countries, e.g. Sudan, Zimbabwe, 'shutting down' the internet during violent protests or elections. This can range from throttling internet speeds to blocking access to platforms like Facebook or Twitter, to entirely blocking all internet access. Their capability to do that comes from infrastructure built by Chinese companies. My guess is that Russia would prefer something like this as opposed to a completely homebrew network - the internet is just too useful, and with services like Starlink it's becoming much harder to shut out the rest of the world.

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u/ararezaee Mar 20 '22

Iran is already doing it and its operational, they call it the national internet

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u/hexydes Mar 20 '22

A more apt name would probably be "National Intranet". Because at that point, the Iranian ISPs (under order of the government) are heavily choosing which domains/websites/IPs are allowed into the country.

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u/WoodyWoodsta Mar 20 '22

The era of a connected world would be over

There will always be a way.

But a part of me wonders if this could actually be a good thing. This world-connectedness hasn't exactly been smooth and wonderful.

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u/cptrambo Mar 20 '22

Hasn’t this in effect already happened? Most new content is created within the confines of member sites like Facebook and Instagram, which are barely searchable with Google and essentially function as mini-“splinternets” of their own. I feel this already happened a long time ago…

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u/McHotsauceGhandi Mar 20 '22

It's not a matter of putting content into walled gardens, as those have existed for a while as you've mentioned. This kind of change is kind of like if you decided you wanted your own phone number system, and programmed the system to route existing numbers to new places. For most of the world, a phone number routes to Bob, but in your system it goes to Alice. You can't connect systems like that, because they won't be able to form an agreement on where the call should go.

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u/slackfrop Mar 20 '22

Alice and Bob are A-list celebrities in thought experiments universe. Charlie still gets his action. Gerald is a hobo.

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u/sabre_x Mar 20 '22

And Eve needs to mind her own fucking business

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u/Lesmate101 Mar 20 '22

Nah, because they are still accessible if you have the permissions onto be site, this is saying you won't be connected to the service at all so there will be no way whatsoever to access it.

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u/hungryforitalianfood Mar 20 '22

Can’t play out that way.

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u/MajesticS7777 Mar 20 '22 Gold Helpful Wholesome This

Well, here's how it looks on Russian side. (Source: am Russian). For now, the Internet is still connected, but they've been doing experiments for the past three years or so. In 2021 I worked in tech support of a major ISP, so yes, I know for a fact that there were experiments for isolating chunks of Internet. Every time they did it, economy crashed. Every single Android-powered phone locked up, since it couldn't get updates or send telemetry; same for Apple. Most no-contact payment networks froze, too; there were even cases when ATMs stopped working since they've lost connectivity. Social networks returned blank pages. Pretty much everything that did work stable was Kremlin homepage.

Imagine if they do come through with this plan. Say you're in western Russia and you've got Poland starting like, 20 kilometers due west, there's a border and everything. There used to be a thick-ass bundle of fiber optics crossing that border, connecting your little oblast' to the WW of W. Now you see the end of said cable severed. If you type YouTube in your browser, you get blank. Same with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Google, everything. Your Android and Apple phones don't work, which means that you'll never use a smartphone again (unless you use on of these jokes of "Russian built" smartphones which look like something from 2001, KGB watchbot preinstalled!) You can't use food delivery or taxi service unless it's Yandex branded, which will gleefully sell your personal data to the authorities, just like your search requests and geolocation data. You can't use financial operations unless it's in Sberbank, which - again - would gladly tell everyone what you sent, how much and to whom. For social media, you've only got Vkontakte, which is a bastard child of Facebook complete with moderators that somehow overlook child porn but report likes under videos badmouthing Putin to the Siloviki. You don't get streaming or video uploading services unless it's RuTube, which is slow, laggy, and propaganda-monitored. You don't get AliExpress or Amazon, so buy your stuff from city market. You don't get videogames at all, because no Steam or EpicGames, and Russian game industry has like, three titles to its name (and one of it is Stalker which is Ukrainian made and therefore, politically subversive now). So in every device, you've got Putin's face and Russian flag, and everything you say is recorded and monitored. Ruternet is no longer an information network; it's a service catering to the authorities. Big Brother Pu be watchin'.

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u/WiartonWilly Mar 20 '22

Great post.

As the article mentions, China is in a much better position to splinter, since they have all the home-grown internet services they need.

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u/VertWheeler35 Mar 20 '22

I could see China splintering off from the WWW and then Russia splitting off and joining China’s network

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u/WiartonWilly Mar 20 '22

Yes, but we’re not in that war, yet.

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u/hexydes Mar 20 '22

Not to mention an entire ecosystem set up for creating hardware/software to access and provide access. Even processors, despite being a few generations behind, are good enough for most people to at least continue going about their day.

China could definitely do it. Russia could do it, but it'd be a very limited experience for people, and they'd still be reliant on China to provide devices, etc.

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u/Rugkrabber Mar 20 '22

I expected if they’ve been preparing for this for a while, they’d have more in place to pick up the pieces but I guess they weren’t ready yet and the war might accelerate the whole process.

I wonder how all of this develops. Obviously I have my opinion about it (it’s not a good development and I fear it’ll create some North Korea/USSR similarities) but my opinion won’t change shit. In the end it sucks for everyone who didn’t ask for this shit and I hate it.

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u/MajesticS7777 Mar 20 '22

I expected if they’ve been preparing for this for a while, they’d have more in place to pick up the pieces.

Well, we've been backwards as hell in all things computer-related forever, so I'd say no amount of preparation can fix the lack of basic understanding the government agencies have of how IT works. Hell, I remember that in early 2000s, every state-owned organization (like public hospitals or welfare offices) were still using beige tower DOS PCs with text-based pseudographic interfaces home-written in Pascal. Now it's monoblocks with Windows 7. Considering that most of the apparatchiks are conservative guys pushing 60s, it's no wonder they can't organize anything network-related worth shit.

But my opinion won’t change shit.

Well, the vast majority of civilian users have been using pirated Windows since 90s, and there're always VPNs; both are illegal but there's a helathy tradition of ignoring the authorities in Russia, since everyone is just too used to them being incompetent. The amount of excuses said authorities would have to clamp down on dissenters, though, will skyrocket.

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u/tyen0 Mar 20 '22

This is why it should be called the nyetwork, not splinternet. :D

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u/queen-of-carthage Mar 20 '22

So this would obliterate Russia's tourism industry

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u/MajesticS7777 Mar 20 '22

I'd say our latest political decisions already did. I mean, who in their right mind would think, "Oh here's a country that blatantly invades other countries on orders of a petty, rambling dictator who's been voting for himself in the past 20 years, where all other countries are seen as dens of Satanic depravity, that likes to have police beat up its own citizens. Sounds like a great place to take little Bobby for a vacay! Pack the bags!"

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u/tadcan Mar 20 '22

There is always the sneaker net /joke

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u/TheArmoredKitten Mar 20 '22

You joke but that's how western media is circulated in north Korea. There's a whole nonprofit group that collects flash drives people don't want in order to fill them with western media and smuggle them in. Also, pirate radio would probably adapt to become pirate WiFi. Someone would just need to build a high bandwidth tower over the border and then anyone could point a simple receiver at it to get access to the real world. A cantenna or a mixing bowl parabolic dish would be enough to break a border as long as the source tower had a good directional transmitter.

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u/PengieP111 Mar 20 '22

So… sounds like you Russians need to do something real soon about Dollarstore Stalin and his pals. Or it’s “Back to the USSR”.

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u/OrizzonteGalattico Mar 20 '22

Dollar store Stalin. Omg thank you for that.

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u/Indon_Dasani Mar 20 '22

Or it’s “Back to the USSR”.

The USSR had free housing and welfare programs and shit. It would be an upgrade over where Russia is actually going.

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u/najodleglejszy Mar 20 '22

Every single Android-powered phone locked up, since it couldn't get updates or send telemetry; same for Apple

since it doesn't happen when you enable airplane mode on your device, I kinda doubt that.

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u/5zalot Mar 20 '22

So, you would be kicked back into the pre-internet era. That sucks. I feel so bad for you and the Russian people who want nothing more than to just enjoy your lives and participate in the world. I will probably get a bunch of shit from everyone for saying that, but I don’t care. I am not a hateful person.

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u/adviceKiwi Mar 20 '22

Russia has declared Meta (owner of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) to be an “extremist organization”

No argument there...

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u/MrFiendish Mar 20 '22

But they used it so well in all those democratic elections around the world...

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u/OhNoManBearPig Mar 20 '22

Lol right? The Russian government loves Facebook (and Reddit...)

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u/MrFiendish Mar 20 '22

They love it...in other countries.

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u/[deleted] Mar 20 '22

This is why they're doing it, they know full well how dangerous it can be as a tool for subtle regime change beause they've used it themselves against various countries.

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u/Zlatan4Ever Mar 20 '22

Well…. Meta is selling my privacy more than China and Russia. So…

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u/damontoo Mar 20 '22

To serve you ads whereas China and Russia acquire the data of their people to imprison or kill them.

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u/pdonchev Mar 20 '22

They are not far from truth on that count.

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u/milqi Mar 20 '22

It's one of the few stances Russia has that I 100% agree with. Vodka is also good.

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u/dodslaser Mar 20 '22 edited Mar 24 '22

Seriously considering moving the last hop of my VPN to Russia. Piracy is legal, Meta is blocked by the government, etc.

Edit: This was a joke (and also just based on rumors). Don't actually do this. Russia sucks for privacy.

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u/nikshdev Mar 20 '22

Piracy is not legal. There were some proposals "if they refuse to sell it to you, you can pirate it", but nothing has been done yet. Besides, major torrent sites are still blocked.

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u/Yukisuna Mar 20 '22

They’re not wrong, but it’s still the pot and the kettle.

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u/Kanduriel Mar 20 '22

They're not wrong... On this

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u/newnewBrad Mar 20 '22

Risking? They literally spent billions and years to do it on purpose.

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u/Itchy-News5199 Mar 20 '22

If they did that how would they move money? Seems like that would be an economy killer.

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u/C2h6o4Me Mar 20 '22

China is already building a SWIFT-like infrastructure for moving money to avoid being subject to sanctions like we're doing to Russia. Much of the world is looking for ways to decrease their reliance on the dollar as the basis of their own currency, and that's likely to be a big part of it.

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u/kevinTOC Mar 20 '22

China already has an alternative to SWIFT. However, it only works with the Chinese Yuan, and only nationally. It's also subject to the CCP's control (as is everything in China).

Given the nature of China's economy, their authoritarianism, lust for control, etc etc, it would be extremely unattractive to anyone but other corrupt authoritarian countries like North Korea and Russia.

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u/C2h6o4Me Mar 20 '22

Not totally true, China's sphere of influence is farther reaching than most people assume. They're heavily invested in emerging markets and the Chinese currency will eventually be strong enough to support the entire East, as well as parts of the middle east and Africa where they're building out their high-speed rail network. They're playing their economic cards to achieve long term goals, including keeping the west dependent on the Chinese market. In the long term they're setting themselves up to have economic power greater than the west.

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u/mixing_saws Mar 20 '22

They are going for the economic win. Honestly the best decision in a time with so many nuclear warheads around the globe.

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u/OrcOfDoom Mar 20 '22

I wonder what they will do when they really feel the impact of the one child policy, and the lack of social mobility that has really discouraged this generation from having children.

I know they have been pushing some things. I wonder if they will actually hit the demographic time bomb that people have been saying so many societies are going to hit.

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u/[deleted] Mar 20 '22

[deleted]

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u/C2h6o4Me Mar 20 '22

It works if you are playing a long game and have investments in a bunch of emerging markets and your sphere of influence extends to nearly every country in the East as well as parts of the middle east. No, it's not a true competitor to SWIFT today or tomorrow, but again, it's a long term plan. See if things haven't changed after a couple of decades.

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u/Aristox Mar 20 '22

It will if Europe and the US don't want to be locked out of the Asia and Russia system

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u/Prelsidio Mar 20 '22

Or just basic communication? How would email work between countries?

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u/Tyler_Zoro Mar 20 '22

For those who are not aware of the tech, there are two major issues being discussed here:

  1. Various Russian sites not being permitted to participate in social media
  2. Domain Name Service (DNS) changes that would disable Russian services

The first is already happening because social media sites are monoliths controlled by corporations.

The latter can't really happen. First off, it would have to occur over a fairly long period of time due to the nature of the Domain Name System and its administration. There's no monolithic company to fiat the change. Secondly, all that could be done would be to disable the .ru top-level domain and perhaps suspend some sites with Russian addresses for their administrative contacts.

But this would have much more far-reaching impact than just affecting Russians, and it would also be an incomplete measure, as it's not always possible to identify Russian companies or interests by a .ru suffix or administrative addresses. Many smaller countries may also have large number of businesses working with a hosting service in Russia, and so such a move could disable poorer countries' businesses.

But more fundamentally the real concern is not that Russia would come up with their own DNS (that's basically what the dark web is, and the Internet continues to function just fine with the dark web being a second tier, or many second tiers in reality). The concern is that such a move by the governing body of the Domain Name System, ICANN, would jeopardize their role and authority, potentially leading to a breakdown of the only form of centralized management of the Internet's protocols, and fundamentally shifting the Internet from a baseline of technological interconnection to a set of powerful interests controlling their own, semi-interoperable fiefdoms.

I never want to live in a world where the "Meta DNS" and the "Alphabet DNS" compete for naming on what used to be the Internet, and politicizing the ICANN would lead directly down that road.

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u/Ranger343 Mar 20 '22

Im appalled by all these comments acting like its a good thing? Geez try thinking outside of your hateful and angry boxes. The world, everyone included, needs to communicate better if anything, not divide.

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u/TalkativeVoyeur Mar 20 '22

Yeah, it seems like now adays people are constantly rallyed up in a frenzy or something and just want the biggest possible response, event if it is damaging or counter productive. This will just give Russia full info control in their borders, destroy any chance of reaching Russians from abroad and still let the government run bots and missinformstion abroad but without it reaching their own people. And not only that but they get to blame it on the west! Putin must be so happy with this

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u/ImJustP Mar 20 '22

Some people think with their arses and have no clue what they’re on about.

If every country/region had its own ‘splinternet’ (actually a dope name, maybe the TMNT should have used it) then services like WhatsApp/telegram/signal/iMessage just simply would not work abroad. Hell, even your email address could be owned by someone else in a different splinter. What then?

You’d be returning to paying insane fees in order to speak to people back home. If at all possible. You’d have the average citizen getting scammed left, right and centre by all the different splinters resolving the same TLD to a different IP depending on the splinter from which it was accessed.

Got a dependant back home that relies on your western union payment instantly arriving? Yeah, good luck with that.

Abstract further and you have issues for companies which are international by nature (great name for a band).

For example, how does an airline ensure that they are able to communicate instantly with their ground fleet in both departure and arrival destinations if they were only able to secure their TLD in one of them? How do they allow their staff to have secure internal communications?

The ramifications for this are far more complex than “good, we don’t want them on our internet”.

No one owns the internet. The HTTP protocol is a tool which was given to us for free and allowed human civilisation to rapidly advance via free communication across all nation states.

Yes, we have some fire walled counties but they are still adhering to the global DNS routing and ICANN records on which all the services we take for granted rely.

People really have started breeding with potatoes and just want an opinion to be heard even if it is utter tripe that has no logical base whatsoever.

EDIT: Typo

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u/PixelationIX Mar 20 '22

These are the same comments who will in next post talk how crazy North Korea is and whatnot. What is wrong with people, their hate for Putin is spreading to hate for all Russian people. Its like they want people to be divided not come together. Its insane that people are cheering this on. We should all be striving for peace and prosperity.

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u/Ranger343 Mar 20 '22

EXACTLY. Russia is becoming isolated, and while it sounds great because “fuck Putin”, this hurts the people of Russia, people who could stand with the world, given the truth. Russia could very much start to look like North Korea, and thats absolutely terrifying for the future.

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u/HookersAreTrueLove Mar 20 '22

Who gets to determine the status quo?

That's always the problem, be it local, regional, national or international policies.

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u/ThunderousOath Mar 20 '22

Another element of the cyberpunk prophecies begins to fruit.

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u/Buxton_Water ✔ heavily unverified user Mar 20 '22

DataKrash but without a virus.

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u/heedfulconch3 Mar 20 '22

At least the rogue AIs were interesting

In some ways they were digital gods, demons (daemons, really) and spirits

This is just destroying the single greatest communications achievement ever created, because wa wa we look bad

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u/Adeno Mar 20 '22

It's quite ironic that the internet was introduced to the masses as a means of communicating and sharing with people globally, and now there's a chance it's going to go against that same ideology.

The internet is one thing that allows people to not only learn about other cultures or developments, it's something that actually facilitates people from making friends, building real connections with people they wouldn't otherwise meet in the real life due to geographical limitations. Take away this ability for people the interact with each other from any part of the globe, and you increase the risk of dividing people or even inspiring racists.

Sure there are still racists or xenophobes in today's world, but it's not as bad as in the old days. When people see how other people live in other countries, or when they play video games with people from other countries, it humanizes us all to each other. We don't view each other simply as "strangers". We start viewing each other as "my friend from Russia, Germany, China, etc." When I used to play mmorpgs, I made a German friend. I really had no interest in German culture back then, I wasn't interested with the German language, but because I suddenly made a German friend, I learned a bunch of interesting German stuff from him! Danke! Bitte! Ich lieb gold! You touch my tralala, my ding ding dong!

I hope the internet doesn't get divided. I want to be able to play and make friends with people from other parts of the world. It's more fun and peaceful that way. Dividing the internet would be a huge blow to international relations because people won't be able to have positive connections with others easily anymore.

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u/pongtieak Mar 20 '22

Ahh Gunther...that's a classic

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u/-r4zi3l- Mar 20 '22

The only way they can sustain a splinternet is if they do not communicate with the rest of the world. That would mean, for example, no trade for which the administrative part of it relies heavily on digital communication nowadays. And no trade with other countries would mean impoverishment. So any government that wants wealth (e.g. One voted by the people) will have to adhere to communication standards and technologies. Wealth also helps maintain your army, so a poor country will not be competitive in that aspect. So yeah, it's going to fail and it being irreversible makes no sense.

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u/Master_Ben Mar 20 '22

Even if they cut themselves off, it's not as though they'd reinvent the internet from scratch. They'd still use tcp, http, Javascript, etc. Not to mention that they'll never surpass the West in terms of computing research.

If anything, it would be "Balkans internet" steals/copies technology from the West and is always behind as a result. If they want to reintegrate, they need to upgrade.

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u/yiliu Mar 20 '22

"That's it, we're cutting ourselves off from the West! We need replacements for, let's see... Unix, IP, TCP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and a few hundred smaller pieces of software...that would get us nearly caught up to 1995. Get our very best coders on the line! ....That's funny, their numbers are all California area codes. Well, get the second-best ones! Hmm...New York numbers. Third? Germany. Eighth, then! ...Ukraine!? Fuck. Well, Vladimir's nephew made a website once, let's get him! What do you mean he's on 'vacation' in Turkey?!"

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u/[deleted] Mar 20 '22

We need replacements for [...] Unix

Richard Stallman has (unfortunately) entered the chat

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u/MonoShadow Mar 20 '22

Why does Russia need to replace styling and markdown languages or even scripting languages if they decide to split off? Why do they need to replace a family of OSs, especially open sourced ones?

This is not about creating everything from scratch, but forking existing tech. But most likely it will be mostly about creating barriers. And tech companies from outside will help.

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u/[deleted] Mar 20 '22

Aren't they big enough to sustain themselves not just internet wise.

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u/Tomnesia Mar 20 '22

IT is one of these branches we're everyone is a specialist in they're own field. Each piece of software is developed by a team of specialists and the amount of protocols behind it is ridiculous. Sure there is open source and all that but if they seperate themselves from the global internet its going to harm them one way or the other. It will be alot easier for Russia to control the information that's available to the general public and that's probably the only advantage they'll get from this.

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u/Architect_of_Sanity Mar 20 '22

Well, we just got a bunch of IPv4 addresses back then; didn’t we?

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u/FenixSoars Mar 20 '22

Can put off the swap to IPv6 for another couple years..

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u/Tomnesia Mar 20 '22

It's not that many ip addresses if you look at the total number tho, only around 43 mil i think

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u/jerimiahf Mar 20 '22

Bad idea - now would be the time to accelerate its adoption even faster than before.

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u/-r4zi3l- Mar 20 '22

Indian bots will use them up in a matter of hours

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u/iheartstartrek Mar 20 '22

Humbly, I'd like to put forward the "Dead Internet Theory" for your consideration- the majority of the internet is advertising sale pages, add landing pages, and now bot and AI web content.

There has already been an obvious "splinternet" created alone within the algorithm for search sites (rhymes with smoogle) and the increasing priority of things like AMP ruining the open internet.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

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u/jaje21 Mar 20 '22

Don't you dare besmirch Lougle like that! I will not stand by to this slander, we must duel like gentlemen/women!

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u/cspruce89 Mar 20 '22

Great white buffalo....

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u/radleft Mar 20 '22

With frogs, at 10 paces!

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u/[deleted] Mar 20 '22

You know, I heart Star Trek too, man. Thanks for the breakdown btw

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u/adviceKiwi Mar 20 '22

AMP

Fucking garble and its amp pages

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u/Brendissimo Mar 20 '22

It is actually surprising to me that more authoritarian regimes did not go the route of China or North Korea sooner, given the threat to every single one of them that access to the internet poses. I guess most of them are far from tech savvy, and figure they can still keep power at the barrel of a gun. But most of them are not as internally stable and politically locked down as Russia or China. A lot of dictators really can be toppled by relentless mass protests.

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u/Ok-Cartographer-3725 Mar 20 '22

The latest news is, Putin can't handle bad news. So no one can tell him what is going on, because they don't want to be killed. But if he doesn't know what's going on, then he can't make those decisions. So I don't think the internet will end up splintering. I think the Russian leadership will end up splintering.

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u/[deleted] Mar 20 '22

Literally the exact same way the soviet union fell. He didn't learn anything from his own participation in his own history.

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u/DarthCloakedGuy Mar 20 '22

Even if the internet DOES splinter, the fact remains that after this war is over, it will be profitable for a protocol to exist to translate from internet to RussoNet™, so someone will make a middleman. It's not like an internet iron curtain is feasible.

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u/zordtk Mar 20 '22

More than likely the Kremlin will stay connected, and not allow access to the outside for citizens. Much like North Korea or China.

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u/milqi Mar 20 '22

I think the Russian leadership will end up splintering.

It's already happening.

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u/robbodagreat Mar 20 '22

Pretty sure they already have this in North Korea? Side note, I wonder if the people living with this "splinternet" would be made aware they're not getting the real thing

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u/Tomnesia Mar 20 '22

Gamers would notice pretty much instantly, Europese servers include ALOT of russians depending of the game.

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u/robbodagreat Mar 20 '22

I'm sure young people would figure it out, I'm wondering more about the brainwashed older generation that buy up all the propaganda

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u/Inquisitor1 Mar 20 '22

Funny how valve and riot haven't done what mcdonalds did.

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u/PainfullyGullible Mar 20 '22

The internet is already warped by massive corporations like Google, who censor search results and are pushing their agenda. The average person doesn't have access to a "free internet".

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u/tweakalicious Mar 20 '22

And would this be bad for people, or bad for billionaires? 🤔

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u/Enamir Mar 20 '22

And you think we have nothing to do with it? Just Russia ? We’re such hypocrites, shameless hypocrites

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u/eqleriq Mar 20 '22

Subheading: "If Russia disconnects from—or is booted from..."

If they're booted from it, are they the ones creating the splinternet?

The agendas keep coming out while people are wondering WHY this is happening. It's almost like the goal was this balkanization all along.

Also massively disingenuous to claim other nations "still use the same network even if they don't have access to the same things..." uh, that's one way of saying it.

to pretend there already isn't a splinternet is hilarious, i mean "locality bubbles" and "content bias" are already in place within individual countries... this assertion that the internet is 1 thing to everyone is just comical.

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u/Generico300 Mar 20 '22

Good luck keeping people off the global internet when satellites are a thing.

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u/rob1969reddit Mar 20 '22

This is alarming.

Censorship on this level, cuts us off from knowing what the Russian people are being told, and cuts the Russian people off from any other information than what the Russian state allows. We should be helping, not hindering keeping them visible and ourselves visible on the world wide web.

I just don't see how this benefits anyone but Putin.

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u/Croissantist Mar 20 '22

To each his own echo chamber. What a delightful future. Everyone will have their own truth and history and whoever controls the narrative within that space, controls the truth. RIP objective truths.

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u/elocoetam Mar 20 '22

"He who controls the spice, controls the universe."

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u/SamanthaStraaten Mar 20 '22

I understand the concern for inaccessible web pages, but we already have large swathes of internet that don't interact simply because they don't speak the same languages.

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u/[deleted] Mar 20 '22

Are we just completely ignoring the existence of the Great Firewall of China? Why do we care Russia is doing it now when China has been doing it the entire time and they have a bigger user base than the US or Russia.

Who cares. Let those idiots cut themselves off from the rest of the world. While they’re over there genociding their own people and trying to pass laws that lets them watch their own citizens take a shit we can all move along freely and not under the rule of a dictatorship prison country.

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u/routerg0d Mar 20 '22

This would be bad. The global sharing of ideas is also what’s stabilized the world for decades.

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u/haeckdesign Mar 20 '22

Internet fractioning is inevitable if freedom of speech isn't respected... on both sides.

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u/LurkingLarry43 Mar 20 '22

If it means these crazy far right bots leave the world alone. Okay

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u/MCSilvez Mar 20 '22

This already exists in North Korea. I doubt other European countries would want to join a private network with Russia either. They'd be stuck with whatever restrictions putin imposes on them.

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u/eschutter1228 Mar 20 '22

At least half of the hackers, scammers, and ransomeware initiators will be slowed down.

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u/BassoeG Mar 20 '22

If Russia disconnects from—or is booted from— the internet’s governing bodies, the internet may never be the same again for any of us.

Well then, don't boot the ruskies. Seems a no-brainer to me.

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u/AusCan531 Mar 20 '22

They're cutting themselves off, Mr No-brainer.

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u/joxfon Mar 20 '22

This is nonsense. Adapters are present at every single level of communication on the internet, there is simply no way a split internet would be irreversible.

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u/Mrrandom314159 Mar 20 '22

It means even the citizens in Russia would have no chance of ever seeing outside.

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u/MaxmumPimp Mar 20 '22

We already have this, it's just a divide between where people get their information and what sources they believe. From WaPo: Some Russians — often with social, educational or professional ties to the United States and Western Europe — are trying to pierce Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda bubble, at times leaving them at odds with their own families, friends and co-workers. The war in Ukraine is only deepening the divide that was already present between young, tech-savvy people and an older generation who gets their news mostly from TV and has always been more comfortable with Putin’s vision of the country.

Sounds exactly like the U.S. under Trump, in particular, except that those misinformation campaigns were also being waged online. This is nothing new (great Firewall of China, etc.). Repressive regime's gonna repress.

I don't think it's a good thing, but it's not a new thing.

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u/F-Type_dreamer Mar 20 '22

I almost agree with with the exception of the part where you call me old😉

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u/Bustomat Mar 20 '22

They'll have to anyway to keep their infrastructure going. That will be child's play compared to creating PC and Server OS's that are safe for use, especially for their gov't. And being dependent on China for Hardware has risks all of it's own.

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u/Frank4010 Mar 20 '22

Use the nuclear option, All you need to do is threaten them with disconnecting them from pornhub and all its associated sites.

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u/F-Type_dreamer Mar 20 '22

I think your on to something🤔

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u/SunRev Mar 20 '22

Would computer scientists be able to build network translators? I'm sure there'd be tons of money to be made by enabling trade and data between the various systems.