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The world wide web may be fracturing into a bunch of regional internets...

Stashed in: Interconnectedness!, The Web, Marc Andreessen, Teh Internets, @ericschmidt, internet, International Incidents, Internet of Things, The Internet of Things, WWW, @marcandreessen

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In 2011, according to the World Economic Forum, growth in the digital economy created six million new jobs. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that transborder online traffic grew 18-fold between 2005 and 2012 and that the global flow of goods, services, and investments—which reached $26 trillion in 2012—could more than triple by 2025. Facebook has launched a major initiative, in partnership with tech giants including Samsung and Qualcomm, dedicated to making the Internet available to the approximately two-thirds of the world’s population not yet connected. Cisco forecasts that between 2013 and 2022, the so-called Internet of Things will generate $14.4 trillion in value for global enterprises.

Yet all of this growth and increasing connectedness, which can seem both effortless and unstoppable, is now creating enormous friction, as yet largely invisible to the average surfer. It might not remain that way for much longer. Fierce and rising geopolitical conflict over control of the global network threatens to create a balkanized system—what some technorati, including Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, have called “the splinternet.” 

“I’m the most optimistic person I know on almost every topic,” the Internet entrepreneur Marc Andreessen recently said in a public interview, and “I’m incredibly concerned.” Andreessen said it is an “open question” whether the Internet five years from now “will still work the way that it does today.”

So basically, China, Russia, and some Middle East countries will have their own Internets?

Yeah.  What would be some of the implications of that?

People in those countries would not be able to access our Internet. 

They would be disconnected. 

And us from them and each other.

Yes. It's that last part that's worst. It disconnects the world.

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