The geopolitics of the internet, vector of US hegemony

09.05.2019

The simple fact that the USA was the inventor of the Internet through the DARPA military project of the Pentagon has impregnated a unique hegemony, but that is beginning to be diminished by its cybernetic rivals in China and Russia.

The 'cyber war' has already started and the US is fighting against China and Russia. Now that the president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, engrossed in the stinking INA Papers scandal , gave his bosses in Washington in an unglorious way the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange - of dual Australian-Ecuadorian nationality - a great debate has been unleashed in the decadent Occident ('whatever that means'). This is about freedom of expression and censorship, especially in the cybernetic era dominated by the GAFAT Silicon Valley technological giants (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter), who even break into the privacy of the code genetic of the valetudinary’s citizens.

In this regard, it is pertinent to quote a book from 2017 by the French author Laurent Bloch - former head of the Computer Science of the Pasteur Institute and Director of the Information System of the Paris-Dauphine University - who addresses the "geopolitics of cyberspace as a new strategic space" and places the Internet as "a hegemonic vector of US power."

The book belongs to the French geopolitical sector DiploWeb, which analyzes the US cybernetic hegemony: coming from one of the most important countries in the European Union, France, which was left behind in the cyber marathon when Brussels attempted to control the grievances of the citizen intrusion.

For the author, Russia - with an immense scientific tradition - has "real comparative advantages in certain significant but circumscribed domains" but it lacks the "necessary industrial power" for its expansion.

Bloch underestimates the scope of Russia, especially its ability to synergize with China in the cybernetic field.

Because the US, with its hand on its waist, can obstruct Internet access in any country, Russia seeks its "cybernetic independence", in addition to creating its autonomous server infrastructure.

The author judges that the "war of information technology and currency" between the US and Japan plunged Tokyo into an economic stagnation that it has not emerged from 30 years later.

China does not want to repeat Japan's mistakes and, in the "positioning art" of war means, has selected "ambush and fortification," while the US "chose movement and centrality."

The central strategic position of the USA on the internet today is unrivaled. A special chapter deals with the 'Topology of Cyber-espionage': it effectively states that "to capture the data and the communications from all over the world, the ominous NSA (National Security Agency) of the USA did not hesitate to force the big American operators, which now bite their fingernails, to provide the means of permanent access (sic) to the traffic of their data ".

The NSA placed considerable technical means to "connect on the transoceanic optical fibers and to monitor them with the complicity of the British GCHQ", which is facilitated by the "centrality" of the immense global internet traffic that transits through the USA.

The revelations of Edward Snowden, now a refugee in Russia, about the spying of cyberspace by the NSA, shook the whole planet and stunned the same specialists in cyber defense, who were overcome in their suspicions about the amplitude of the Prism-Muscular device.

The intersections of Muscular to the transoceanic optical fibers broke into the private networks of Google and Yahoo!.

In itself the NSA "has open access permanently without any formality to the servers of Google, Yahoo!, Microsorft, Apple, Dropbox, YouTube, Facebook and AOL "which are thus converted into armed "private" US cyber espionage at the highest military level."

The US NSA and the British CGHQ lead the two approaches to espionage in the networks: PRISMA, in cooperation with the US operators, and Muscular, which is clandestine and non-cooperative by circumventing the FISA amendments ('Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act') of 2008 that restricts the surveillance of communications of US citizens (but not foreigners!).

The US has used its dreamy technological panoply in cyberspace to seek and obtain economic information from its rivals in order to benefit its transnationals, as is the case with the famous interceptions of Echelon - who spied on Mexico and Canada during the old NAFTA; the competition between Boeing and Airbus for the sale of aircraft to Saudi Arabia in 1994, etc. - and that has the "institutionalized" support of the 'Office of Executive Support' of the US Department of Commerce.

One of its consequences was the European malaise that dislocated the TTIP pilgrim and ended up burying Trump himself.

James Staten, an analyst at Forrester Research, goes so far as to conjecture that Snowden's lethal revelations can damage cybernetic connectivity between the US and Europe by up to $180 billion.

Laurent Bloch deduces that "the open conflicts in cyberspace are ineluctable" when "the US position is very solid" and China has not fallen asleep and is preparing for the "future cyber wars of the Internet."

The big business of the 'Big Data' confers considerable power to the GAFAT technological giants.

It should be noted that Amazon and Apple have a stock market value of $1 trillion dollars equivalent to Mexico's nominal GDP (ranked 15th in the global ranking), according to the IMF.

Such US hegemony contaminates the laws of all countries within the 'Anglo-Saxon right' that exploits 'copyright' and affects the cultural sphere.

Thus, Twitter in Latin America - its branch in Mexico in particular - has a license to impose its neoliberal political agenda and enjoys extraterritoriality before the catatonia - perhaps deliberately, perhaps through ignorance - of the Mexican authorities. exceeded by the imposition of a de facto "new cybernetic right". It should be noted that former President Rafael Correa was blocked from his Facebook account. Are Latin Americans slaves to the US 'cybernetic neomonroism'?

It is not the first time that an industrial revolution (the sum of the third and fourth revolutions where the internet stands out) upset the 'hierarchy of powers'.

In a certain way, the industrial revolutions expose the validity, perhaps now with greater speed, of the famous 'Kondratiev cycles', which entail 50 years of boom and 50 years of decline.

According to the author, in the cyber-industrial age, similar to the nuclear powers, there are the cyber-industrial powers and the others who are not.

Despite the hegemony of the Anglophone sites, "which published more than 95% of the web pages in the late 1990s," the US retains its hegemony through its control of 53.6% of the global website in 2015.

The author refers in a persuasive way that, for the military/industrial hegemony to last, it requires an unavoidable corollary: the 'cultural hegemony', in which the USA is in the first place with its audiovisual industry, which is one of its main Export sectors, in unison with aeronautics, agri-food and electronic-informatics.

Laurent Bloch judges that the worldwide distribution of television series and Hollywood films erect the social-American model as a world standard, which gives the US a "soft power" and exerts a "huge influence on the evolution of the world ".

Who can stop the totalitarian 'Orwellianism' of the American cybernetic 'Moloch' that seeks to control, if not swallow, the citizens of the world?