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Internet Fragmentation: An Overview

Future of the Internet Initiative White Paper. Internet Fragmentation: An Overview. William J. Drake, Vinton G. Cerf, Wolfgang Kleinwächter. January 2016 -“A thriving and open Internet provides the foundation for the fourth industrial revolution. There has been growing concern that the Internet may be in danger of splintering into a series of bordered cyberspace segments endangering its very nature. World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge on the Future of the Internet supported research highlights a number of fault lines that need to be addressed by bringing all stakeholders together…The purpose of this document is to contribute to the emergence of a common baseline understanding of Internet fragmentation. It maps the landscape of some of the key trends and practices that have been variously described as constituting Internet fragmentation and highlight s 28 examples. A distinction is made between cases of technical, governmental and commercial fragmentation. The technical cases generally can be said to involve fragmentation “of” the Internet , or its underlying physical and logical infrastructures. The govern mental and commercial cases often more directly involve fragmentation “on” the Internet , or the transactions and cyberspace it conveys, although they also can involve the infrastructure as well. With the examples cited placed in these three conjoined baskets, we can get a holistic overview of their nature and scope and more readily engage in the sort of dialogue and cooperation that is needed.”

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