Niger, Kenya and Cape Verde are among the 60 countries that have signed the Declaration for the Future of the Internet

[DIGITAL Business Africa] – Is the vision of Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the Internet, obsolete? However, this is the feeling given by the Biden administration and some sixty partners, including Cape Verde, Niger, Senegal and Kenya.

This through a joint statement made public on April 28, 2022 called “Declaration for the Future of the Internet.” The goal, according to Washington, is to end “growing digital authoritarianism and ensure that it strengthens democracy, protects privacy, and promotes a free global economy.” An illustration made of the internet cuts in the world in general and in the DRC, Togo, Gabon in particular … during the presidential election.

This statement about the future of the Internet was presented on April 28, 2022 at a hybrid event hosted in Washington by the White House National Security Council. Many countries participated online by video conference. Between them, Niger, Kenya and Cape Verde are the only African countries to have signed the declaration. Margrethe Vestagerthe executive vice president of a Europe fit for the digital age and Thierry BretonEuropean Commissioner for the Internal Market.

Original version, revision factors

The Internet offers its users communication opportunities. It is also the crucible of economic opportunities. Undoubtedly, this has given rise to a kind of “black” economy: cybercrime. In the case of Cameroon, its economy deplores, in the name of 2021, a deficit of more than 12 billion FCFA, due to this gangrene.

To arrive at the statement, it is based on a number of reasons, obviously identified after almost a year of consultations.

“The previously decentralized Internet economy has become very concentrated and many people have legitimate concerns about their privacy and the amount and security of personal data collected and stored online.”underlines the statement.

Among other factors that have prevailed for a change in internet policy, the absence of online privacy, the preservation of human dignity and above all censorship in the technology industry.

The EU followed by the US

Remember that the European Union did not wait for this statement to make a crusade against these abuses that surround the network. The organization is already firmly committed to this front. As proof that the European Commission adopted the Digital Services Act on 23 April 2022.

A legislative text that entrusts major technology companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., with the responsibility of protecting consumers in the area.

The 60 partners believe that the Internet should be a decentralized network of networks, where many authorities have a say in how connectivity develops. Similarly, the United States wants the development of the Internet to be collaborative between governments, the technology industry, and academia.

“Internet-dependent digital technologies will pay the highest dividends when they operate as open, free, global, interoperable, reliable and secure systems”says the statement.

It also reveals that some companies have turned monetizing and selling user data into a real business.

“The previously decentralized Internet economy has become very concentrated and many people have legitimate concerns about their privacy and the amount and security of personal data collected and stored online.”she says.

The birth of the Internet

His father is still Tim Berners-Lee, a British researcher at the European Center for Nuclear Research in the 1970s. He put the first website online. It is a computer network that connects several machines. It was then for strategic military purposes.

“In the event of a massive attack by the USSR on strategic computer centers, a decentralized network made it possible not only to lose all strategic data, but also to maintain the possibility of communicating and ordering the response.”. We are in 1989; the cold war is in full swing. The US is already thinking of a new weapon: data.

Let’s go back to the origins. September 2, 1969. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), two huge electronic calculators, ancestors of our computers, exchange data in packets over a simple copper wire, called an “Arpanet.”

He is the one who will later become the Internet. Thus, in 1972, this network will be combined with other data sources, in particular universities and business.

In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web, now for the general public. It was funded in part by the United States Army Investigation Services (DARPA).

By Jean Materne Zambo

The 32 signatories, in addition to the EU Member States and the US, as of April 28, 2022 are

Albania Andorra
Argentina Australia
Cape Verde Canada
Colombia Costa Rica
Dominican Republic Georgia
Illa Israel
Jamaica Japan
Kenya Kosovo
Maldives Marshall Island
Micronesia Moldova
Montenegro New Zealand
Niger Northern Macedonia
Peru Serbia
Taiwan Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom Ukraine

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