On Geopolitics

The Age of Splinternet: The Inevitable Fracturing of the Internet

Matthew Bey
Senior Global Analyst, Stratfor
Apr 25, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
A telecommunications antenna tower stands tall against a blank sky.

The concept of a "splinternet" or the "balkanization of the internet" -- in which rules and regulations would carve the global internet into a series of smaller internets -- has existed for years. But we're now barreling toward a point where concept will become reality.

(STESHENKO/Shutterstock)

In 2001, a young Jeff Bezos -- whose Amazon had yet to turn a quarterly profit -- said in an interview, "I very much believe the internet is indeed all it is cracked up to be." Now, 18 years later, the emphasis should be placed on how "cracked up" the Internet could become. The concept of a "splinternet" or the "balkanization of the Internet" -- in which the global internet would be carved up into smaller internets due to rules and regulations -- has existed for years. But we're now barreling toward a point where concept will become reality....

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