Internet Way of Networking 18 September 2020

Internet Society: U.S. Administration ban of TikTok and WeChat is a direct attack on the Internet

The U.S. Administration’s move to ban TikTok and WeChat for U.S. app stores is a direct attack on the Internet. It is an extreme measure that fundamentally undermines the foundation of the Internet. It’s especially a threat to the principles of openness and accessibility as well as its decentralized management. The Internet has no center. This type of top-down intervention is worrisome because – similar to efforts in China – it tries to impose a centralized management style that runs counter to how the Internet actually works.

This total ban goes contrary to the United States’ commitment to an open Internet. If the Administration wanted to support an open Internet, it would have avoided this route; rather, it would have first tried to understand how such actions may affect the Internet and conducted an impact assessment. An Internet impact assessment is needed for any policy or regulation that could affect the Internet to make sure our actions don’t break the foundation that makes it work for everyone.  At a time where society is increasingly reliant on the connectivity and opportunity that an open Internet enables, this move is counterproductive.

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