Internet Under Siege – OpEd


By Marina Volkova

Protests against the so-called Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, are flaring up across Europe, with Poland, Sweden and Slovenia staging mass demonstrations and notorious Anonymous hacktivists crippling governmental sites.

ACTA has already been several years in the making. Among its main lobbyists are intellectual property owners like music record and movie corporations, competitive intelligence expert Yevgeny Yushchuk says.

“They are going to adopt a host of very strict measures. First, customs control of all information carriers that could contain counterfeited files – laptops, cell phones etc. Should such files be detected, the device will be confiscated and its owner fined. It will also make internet providers more liable to control. According to the official information, this will only affect providers involved in illegal sharing. But many will be tempted to abuse this right to control internet traffic under the pretext of fighting piracy.”

Yevgeny Yushchuk believes that mass protests against ACTA are sponsored and fanned by internet pirate companies for fear of losing their booty to new restrictions.

On the contrary, Andrei Massalovich, head of the competitive intelligence department with “Dialog Nauka” (“Dialogue-Science”) Company, says that it’s influential circles that are virtually “rocking the boat.”

“What we are witnessing on the internet is more than just local skirmishes around SOPA, PIPA or ACTA. Together, they factor in one single process, which can be dubbed “internet colonialism”. All of a sudden, several world powers, which pose themselves as democracies, have stumbled upon a New World – that is the Internet – and decided to colonize it, forcing it to play by their rules. Prices for web resources are sky-rocketing and it’s those resources they are after. That’s why, to my mind, it’s mostly the doings of intelligence services and cyber-troops of world powers – not of the internet community.”

Internet colonization is far from coming to a head, since the internet community has been successful in staving off attacks against its freedom. Nevertheless, assaults on the Web’s liberty won’t stop, because a billion-strong independent country called the Internet provides a good foothold for waging information warfare. And he, who rules information, rules the world.


VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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