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What Would We Lose From a Regionalized Internet?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the effects-of-a-balkanized-internet dept.


Vegan Pagan asks: "If the internet was separated into regions, how much would you lose? How often do you visit other countries' web sites? How often do you e-mail people in other countries? Do you ever search in a language other than English, and if you do, how often does it turn up foreign vs domestic sites? What would foreigners lose by not being able to visit US-hosted sites, and how quickly would they be able to recreate what they lost? What other process that we are not normally aware of depend on a borderless internet? I find that although I often read in-depth news about other countries, the sites I get that news from are usually hosted in USA, and I only bother to read in English. Would the Americans who report world news be hindered by a segregated internet, or do they already have the means to overcome such barriers? How much more expensive and complicated would it be to access sites outside of 'your' internet, and how much slower would it be?"

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JismTroll (588456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005542)


Spam (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005559)

I hope we'd lose the Korean and Chinese spam. That would almost make the fractured Internet worth the loss of the tentacle rape porn.

Re:Spam, would it diminish? (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005971)

No, the Korean and Chinese spam would just be replaced with Mexican spam, since it's the same region. And that would replace the tentacles with chihuahuas.

Anyone else want to take the PRO side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006206)

Most of the comments seem to be ANTI or "you're an idiot"

Besides SPAM, would there be any other benefits?

Re:Spam (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006929)

I'll bet ya that the amount of spam in their inboxes will decrease a lot more than the amount of spam in american inboxes.

About 80% of the worlds spam comes from USA.

My first thought exactally (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006932)

And yes, i also think its worth it... i get 5000 a day .. Sure 99.9% are auto filtered, but its still wasted resources.

i for one (3, Insightful)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005566)

would miss 2chan.

Re:i for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15005699)

I whould miss 4chan and all the lolikon

Re:i for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15005726)

Anonymous does not forgive, tripfag.

Re:i for one (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005745)

haha, I actualy spend a good part of my day on /b/

Re:i for one (2, Funny)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005779)

haha, I actualy spend a good part of my day on /b/

I pity you, and I pity me for knowing what you're talking about.

Re:i for one (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005835)

don't pity me, after a year or so on /b/ I'm immune to all that the interbutt can throw at me, even the kitten crusher didn't make me blink.

Re:i for one (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005849)

lol internet

Re:i for one (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006307)

That's the funny thing about the internet. The internet long ago proved to me that there is no such thing as "rock bottom." No matter how far down you go, there are people at the bottom still digging, and if you keep following them, you become insensitive. Immune is too kind of a word -- insensitive is better. You don't care about the darkest parts of humanity except as a source of humor, and so you don't have the necessary outrage to try to fix those parts of us.

4chan's /b/ board is a roiling mass of vicious, callous pricks who glory in racism, violent suffering, and porn that would be truly heinous and life-wrecking if it were real. It's nothing but a place for people to thrill in poking at their lizard brain and shout "MOAR" and "zOMG!" like it's still funny and original the 3 millionth time.

I regret visiting that website.

Re:i for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006338)

sauce please?

Sounds awesome! (5, Funny)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005567)

This is how it should be. Now the government can create a new branch of the army that will wage war both on and for the internet. We can take over other countires ISPs, under the guise of trying to bring broadband to their country, while we secretly just delete all their content. Then we'll leave and pretend like it never happened.

As a programmer... (5, Insightful)

NoxNoctis (936876) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005571)

with an open source project [] [] many of the people I correspond with are outside of the US. For that matter, a good portion of the people who view and use what I work on are outside of the US. The people who helped me get started doing this, yes, not in the US. It's apparent that the thing to be most largely hindered woud be international coopearation. Why the heck would we want to do that, or rather, advanced it? I see no tangable gains from this idea.

Re:As a programmer... (4, Interesting)

trogdor8667 (817114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005890)

I'm with you. My forums are 50% American, 50% non-American, so half of my visitors would no longer be able to post...

Re:As a programmer... (4, Funny)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005992)

Your comment just reminded me that if we did get a regionalized Internet, there would be half as many Gentoo zealots throwing plugs in unrelated topics.

I recant my opposition, then.

Re:As a programmer... (1)

NoxNoctis (936876) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006059)

Haha, sadly I almost agree with you. My obvious plug aside, open source as a whole would take a huge hit if the internet were regionalized.

Re:As a programmer... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006855)

m0n0wall []
Most codecs...
ebay (for the JDM car parts, Yo!)
The Reg
5fm (uncensored music and cool accents...)
I can't say NO loud enough.

Obviously.. (4, Insightful)

taskforce (866056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005574)

...Responses to this will be coloured by the geographical distribution of Slashdot user, e.g. most are USians. I think those who would lose out most would probably be other English speaking countries, like the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. I live in the UK, and I would say that 75% of the sites I visit are US based, 20% UK and 5% other.

Re:Obviously.. (4, Interesting)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006030)

A major question is how something like this could even be implemented effectively. Here in the US, I used to have a job with a regional distribution center for a Swedish-owned multinational, and most internet sites identified us as browsing from Sweden (even though our traffic went through a proxy in Virginia). That meant getting lots of ad banners in Svenska, and not being able to access W's re-election website back in the 2004 campaign...

I'm in the US and 1/2 of the stuff I use is non-US (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006371)

50% US
15% British/Australian
35% all other countries

And I get a lot of email from overseas.

I'm wondering how, exactly, the "separated into regions" would work. Is it the old .us, .uk, etc? Or are we talking real choke points? As if the European backbone only connected to the US backbone at one point? Or what?

A lot (5, Insightful)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005581)

I would lose a Free operating system.

A lot of software for Free OS'es violates software patents and other inane IP law here in the states, so it needs to be hosted outside our borders.

Regionalize the Internet, and I can't play DVDs in Linux anymore.

Re:A lot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15005687)

Don't worry, copies of MS Windows are available everywhere. It's pretty much like SPAM.

Intra-Net (1)

Rhoon (785258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005584)

Wouldn't you then just have a lot of really big INTRA-nets instead of an INTER-net? Everything outside your INTRA-net has a potential to be lost.

We loose everything (1)

Beuno (740018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005589)

I think that the whole success of the internet is it being global and having input from everyone.
And if you go beyond webpages, which en some way or the other can be replicated, imagine not talking to other people in other "regions".
I say absolutely not.

RE (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005592)

I email other countries all the time- I have friends in London, and some in Germany. When my sister was in Australia for a semester, I emailed her every day.
I visit foreign sites all the time- a lot of British music sites, and I love the BBC. When young, i watched BBC shows, and listened to the BBC World Service on shortwave.
I visit Carnival sites of course.
What the internet has allowed me to do, is see what people in other countries think, not just hear (occasionally, because even the few foreign counties the US Media pays attention to aren't mentioned frequently) what the US media says they think.
So the answer to the question how many foreign sites do I visit is many, and more than once a day.

Who cares what we lose... (-1, Flamebait)

supersocialist (884820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005601)

...if it keeps those Chinese commies from taking our freedom away? Where are your priorities, people?!

You don't know what you got till it's gone (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005615)

It is hard for me to quantify what would be lost but I can tell you this, I know that the price is too high part of the appeal of the internet for me is being able to expand my perceptions by having disscusions with others of diffrent walks of life.

Re:You don't know what you got till it's gone (3, Insightful)

bornbitter (813458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006928)

I thought it would be obvious what we would lose; the Wild West.

No honestly, right now it is fairly hard to censor the internet, to squash voices, or to enforce any national law. If the internet was fragmented it would allow nations much more ability to mandate what is and isn't allowed in their country, (and possibly in and out of the country as well).

Isn't that what everyone is upset about with Google, Yahoo, and China? I'm not intending to sell tin-foil hats, but this seems to be a bureaucratic wet-dream when it comes to cover-ups or media control.

I believe people would discover a way to circumvent any censorship is imposed on the internet, but let's not make it easy to censor in the first place.

Google Seppuku (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005646)

You wouldn't be able to play Google Seppuku []

Holy (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005657)

Holy questions batman!

Um, it's called the INTER-net for a reason... (1)

user24 (854467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005666)

What would foreigners lose by not being able to visit US-hosted sites?

Oh nothing much, except /., google,, megatokyo, gmail... basically every website I check.

Don't assume that "foreign to the US"="non english speaker". Even if it did, I can see no compelling reason to segregate the net

TBH, I don't really understand why you're asking this; what would anyone have to gain by this?

A lot of sites are hosted in a country other than where their target audience is, for reasons of cost mainly, but also legality.

Re:Um, it's called the INTER-net for a reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006816)

I cannot believe this even got Slashdot time... I'm a Brit in the US and am dumbfounded when people get confused by my web address... There is a world out there, and the joy of the internet is how easy it is to communicate with it. If you're only emailing people in the US, and only reading US hosted and US produced news sites, travel, online or offline outside of the borders and discover the world!

Freedom Goes Down, Gov't Control Goes Up... (4, Insightful)

RockClimbingFool (692426) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005703)

For citizens oppressed countries, their ability to reach content not authorized by their government is dramatically reduced. Think the Great Chinese Firewall, but several layers deep.

Think about programs like Skype.

The US is getting close to making sure all encrypted communication has back doors for the government. This rule only seems enforceable on US based companies. Most of us probably didn't think too much about that, since we could always just use Skype or some other foreign based VOIP. Kiss that back up plan goodbye. Access to the executable gets diminished, as well as communication with Skype's servers.

The Government can then start to come down on all questionable content, since all hosting servers will on US soil.

I think internet fragmentation would be one the greatest disasters seen by the modern world. Is that a little over the top? Maybe... But I definitely don't want to see it happen.

Re:Freedom Goes Down, Gov't Control Goes Up... (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006236)

The US is getting close to making sure all encrypted communication has back doors for the government.On what information do you base this?

Not Gonna Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006423)

If what you say were really true, people would take to the streets, like France right now, but 100x worse. There is too much value in the Internet, for international business, communication, etc. Heck, didn't both Gore and Bush claim to have created the Internets? No politician will want to be responsible for destroying the immense societal valueadd that is the Internet. They were freaking out when Blackberry/RIM was in trouble.

Not Gonna Happen.

Re:Freedom Goes Down, Gov't Control Goes Up... (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006873)

The algorithms for creating encrypted content are public and simple. I could teach most of them to an interested 7th grader in an afternoon. That's why encryption technology export restrictions were so silly.

Re:Freedom Goes Down, Gov't Control Goes Up... (4, Informative)

polioptera griseoapt (961130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006898)

I very much agree. So, to add to the list:
  • ssh (was for the longest time only available from abroad)
  • decent encryption (hosted abroad)
  • BBC (try it, better than most US news sources, ALSO regarding the US)
  • Ocaml (developed and hosted in France)
  • Python (I bet originally this was not hosted in the US, even though van Rossum is now at Google)
  • SuSE Linux
  • LOTS of open source projects
  • Well, linux! Linux was started abroad.
  • Email/web would instantaneously cease to be the main means of scientific communication, as there is research all over the world.
  • Think at companies that do commerce or have subsidiaries offshore...
Frankly, a regional internet is a ridiculous idea, even more so that a regional phone network.

Gain nothing, lose everything (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005704)

One of the key benefits of the internet is that it enables us to hear different opinions. Sure, you can have different opinions in your country (if you can, it's still not so certain in some areas), but it can show you what other countries and the people in other countries think.

You get to see a different point of view, you gain insight, you get to see things from a different angle. You get more information to base your judgement on. Thus your decisions will improve in quality, being based on more information. Not necessarily "better" information, but you can gain insight into the various views different people from all over the world have on a certain matter.

This will enable you to make well founded decisions and it allows you to understand some of the things going on around our planet better. Why some people react "irrational" from your point of view can be explained when you're able to listen to them and see their point of view.

I'd like at least regonailized searches (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005722)

I think there are things that I'd miss--there are informational sites in the UK that I visit occasionally. I would probably miss the BBC. There are also things that you can order from the UK that require a prescription to order in the US, which I might also miss.

Overall, I like the ability to see sites that aren't here in the US. The different perspectives you get when reading about issues on a UK or Australian news site are both interesting and useful in getting a clearer picture of what is newsworthy in (some) non-US countries. I wish I had a better grasp of the other languages I know (Italian and Spanish) so I could better grasp information from sites in those languages.

On the other hand, I'd really like a more convenient way to optionally restrict product searches to US-based sellers. It's time consuming to sort out all the UK sellers when I'm looking to buy electronics, but between the currency conversion rates and the high cost of shipping, it's unusual for me to purchase something from outside the states.

Sheesh QWZX (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15005727)

What an idiotic question. I don't particularly feel like wasting my time with this; I just felt like I wanted to state the obvious on how idiotic it was.

Community. (2, Insightful)

Demon-Xanth (100910) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005729)

I regularly take place in online communities from many different countries and continents, seperating the internet would fracture these communities to tiny groups which wouldn't have a point to existing.

The internet is, as I see it, the biggest social step from being a couple hundred countries to becoming a world. The internet allows the social interaction to reach the level of economic interaction, and then proceed to push both further. Fracturing the internet would undo what I see as progress towards a world with less important boarders. Some day, country lines may be what state lines currently are.

What would I lose? (3, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005730)

Only access to the web sites of about half the people I know. And access to half my hardware vendors (including such minor things as case-maker Lian-Li and thermal product vendor Zalman). And access to the support site for my motherboard (made by Soyo). And a huge number of anime-related sites.

Is the picture clearer now?

Holy Shit (5, Insightful)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005732)

Every other time I've read "Ask Slashdot", I've thought "that was a pretty fucking stupid question. I wonder if Slashdot can ever get any dumber."

But not any more. Today, I'm convinced Slashdot is as stupid as it will ever possibly get.

Fuck you guys. Seriously. If you're not even going to try to post interesting articles, I'm not going to bother reading anymore. Frankly, you shit on your readers when you post bullshit articles like this, and lately every time I've read slashdot I've felt like I was sharing a shower with tubgirl.

Re:Holy Shit (1, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005811)

Thanks - you summed up my feelings quite perfectly, and I wish I had some mod points to give you a +1 Insightful...

Come on... (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006359)

No offense meant, but this kind of whining is somewhat pathetic.
If you are disliking /., leave it. Go away. Don't read; mainly, don't post!

I read foreign sites (2, Interesting)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005752)

I, for one, would miss being able to read the BBC's news site, which is where I get most of my international news. I also frequently turn up foreign news sites on Google News that sometimes cover things that American news doesn't (and often shouldn't in the case of the Pravda, but I digress).

I also read The Register occasionally for snarky IT, and it's sometimes good to get a feel for what people in foreign countries think about the US without going through the "We're awesome; they're all biased against us" filter. (It's also good to find out who is genuinely biased against us.)

I actually get a lot out of an international internet.

Also, global trade hinges on our current, growing levels of connectivity, and that will never allow some aspects of the internet to ever become fully severed without a huge breakdown in global trade into segemented markets -- which is pretty much prelude to global war.

Re:I read foreign sites (1)

tech_guru5182 (577981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005949)

Sounds like the same two major international sites I visit. Also, being a ham radio operator who collects obscure equipement, and makes it functional on the air, or to decide if I want to do so with a specific piece of equipment, I have contacted manufacturers of equipment in many different countries. Although my correspondence is in English, I have communicated by e-mail with technology companies across Europe and Asia, at hours where it would be highly unlikely I would reach anyone in the office with real time communications methods that are more expensive (Phone)

Bad idea (2, Insightful)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005754)

Part of what makes the Web so great is the ability to surf foreign news sites, download videos of foreign TV shows, foreign music, order from foreign businesses...all the opportunities our corporate overlords here in the US have decided we don't need access to.

Segmenting the internet geographically would be a "Very Bad Idea".

Pretty much... everything (2, Insightful)

jedrek (79264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005771)

Outside of a little ecomm, a few new sites and sites about truly local (city/neighborhood level) event, everything I use is outside out my country. That includes my photo hosting, web site hosting, email, dedicated servers, the dozenish online communities I'm an active member in. Not to mention MY JOB, which I perform via an extranet platform.

A regionalized internet would seriously hurt the net's diversity. I can't imagine waiting for someone from Poland to re-invent every application that I use right now. What would happen is companies that could afford it, would find markets that can support licensed copies of the app and invest in those markets. So all the little, quarky, cool applications/rss feeds/sites we use every day would disappear outside of their home markets. And that'd suck for everybody, except the corporation that could afford to franchise.

University research (2, Insightful)

the real chahn (727189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005780)

As an academic, I'm expected to read various works in my discipline in the original language. Even after adjusting for international shipping, it often is as much as $100 cheaper to buy a volume of an author's collected works through (for example) instead of

Also, a lot of works are not translated and are relatively minor outside of a very narrow discipline, and so American bookstores (online or in the real world) do not carry them. Having access to international bookstores via the internet is crucial for my research.

Language (1)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005789)

I'd argue that the 'Net is not being utilized to its potential as long as language acts as a barrier. Currently I have no hope of understanding anything written in a language other than English.

As for communicating with people in other countries -- every day on IRC.

Would loose the community feeling (2, Insightful)

Simon Donkers (950228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005820)

I very often visit international sites. I'm programming in a very specific language and I'm talking to a a select group of talented people in that language a lot. Also for research projects for school I almost always look abroad for content as, being a Dutchman, there's far more content available internationally.

There's a difference within this case of course for large countries like the US where there are lots of content is generated already but this will defenitely harm the many smaller countries. The great thing about the World Wide Web is that I can just as easely speak about something with somebody from Finland, the US, Russia or my neighboor next door.

I make freeware computer games and several months ago I was featured on a Dutch site, last month front page news of a US gaming site, last week at a Czech news site and next month on a German PC magazine. Without the internet a lot of freeware projects would end such as open source development programs and a lot more.

It wouldnt be much of an Internet (1)

Macblaster (94623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005852)

As someone who has no extended family in this country, I (but even moreso my parents) would lose a lot. Our closest relatives are in Canada, followed by the UK, and then the middle east. My mom uses skype to talk to her siblings in the UK at least once a week. Emails to relatives in the middle east are less frequent, but it is truely our only way to contact them, with phone service not being as reliable over there.

Personally, we all stand to lose a lot with regionalized internet. As someone doing research in particle physics, i know how much the High Energy Physics group here relies on being able to access CERN's resources. This isnt just to access their grid (although i use both CERN an BNL's computers), but also to coordinate meetings, actually have meetings via webcam, and much more.

Finally, i dont know where I would be without my daily regement of bbcnews to complement slashdot and Although others may satisfy themselves only with, I, and i think many more, need that trifecta i just listed.

Sheesh (5, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005868)

...I find that although I often read in-depth news about other countries, the sites I get that news from are usually hosted in USA...

More fool you, then. It's dubious enough relying on the US media to report US news, let alone world news.

Re:Sheesh (2, Funny)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006429)

A lot of the International media has more interesting, or at least more colorful, reporting. Right-wing columnist Mark Steyn [] writes his often hilarious and always insightful column for publications in Canada, the UK, Israel, the US and probably a few other countries I'm not remembering right now. He's a great writer and I'm happy to see him around.

If you want someone on the radical left, there's always good ol' blood and guts Robert Fisk of the Independent [] , also out of the UK, although you have to pay to read him nowadays. Be warned that although his writing is colorful, his predictive ability's a bit off; he thought our army would be facing tens of thousands of casualties in the Afghan war, for example.

The British press overall seems better written and more enjoyable to read than that in the US. Take The Economist [] on the center right and the Guardian [] on the left. So you can see news from every perspective and political viewpoint without even leaving your computer.

On a more positive vein, many nerds, who are complete losers in love in the US, might want to consider a Filipina wife [] . Once in the Philippines, you change magically into the biggest winner on the planet. International communications and relatively cheap flights makes this something worth thinking about for many.

Filipinas are not subservient, unlike what you may hear, but they do center their world around you, wanting to make you happy. You won't be happy with one if you want a slave, but if you want someone who really cares about you and will support you in what you do, my personal experience says a Filipina wife is just what a lonely nerd needs.

Needless to say, without an International internet, I would not have found out about this and I'd still be thinking my romantic potential was just about zero.

I'm planning to move to the Philippines permanently, due to the low cost of living and the potential happiness from finding a good girl. And of course that makes me hungry for news of the Philippines. Google news aggregates it, but I notice most of it comes from an interesting, diverse set of countries. Of course the local Philippines press is represented, but I also see myself commonly checking out news sources from China, India, and other locations too numerous to mention.

In short, if you look at where I get my news and even where I plan to get my future wife, you can see I'd lose a lot of the net were no longer an International place. And I'm lousy with foreign languages; it doesn't matter since most of these services are either English in origin or translated into English.


but...but... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005871)

I would lose my software 'sales' associate friends from Russia. j/k


What could you possibly gain? (2, Insightful)

buttfuckinpimpnugget (662332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005905)


I'm in Poland (5, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005943)

...if I was limited to sites in my country, it would be a pathetic resource. Most of stuff I use is foreign. Not necessarily american, but usually outside Poland. And even in Poland I'm often using sites that depend on the net being international - tucows, sunsite, google - I use the net inside Poland usually for local info - maps, news. But then I jump to across the Baltic Sea or some 300km south of me, I use one of the european Furnet IRC servers, travel somewhat further south for Ubuntu updates (and friendly business cooperation offers from Nigeria ;) then struggle through obscure taiwaneese sites for drivers for my motherboard, log in to a talker in Sweden to talk with friends, where they refer me to their own websites in their countries. Until not long ago I'd go to chineese and download the mp3s I wanted using very comfortable search engine, (unfortunately shut down now), but now I have to bump around through several russian sites until I find one that -really- offers free mp3 downloads of what I want, and finally go read slashdot :)

I know many people in Poland who are limited only to .pl domains, not knowing foreign languages etc. But I know how terribly shallow is their network experience. And that they usually depend on me because they can't RTFM :P

BTW, what if Linus never left Finland and his ftp wouldn't be available across the ocean?

Ethnocentrism (5, Insightful)

JohnWilliams (781097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15005946)

Let me sum up all those words in the article in two questions:

  1. Does anything worthwhile or of interest happen outside the USA?
  2. Why should people in the USA care about the wellbeing of foreigners?

In other words: "We are not part of a global culture, we are Fortress America and have everything we could ever want right here."

The views expressed in the article are part of the reason why the rest of the world regards the average American as at best ignorant and naive, and at worst simply lame. I sincerely hope the writer was below the legal age to vote.

Re:Ethnocentrism (1)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006554)

The views expressed in the article are part of the reason why the rest of the world regards the average American as at best ignorant and naive, and at worst simply lame. I sincerely hope the writer was below the legal age to vote.

Don't worry. As far as I understand your constitution, your President isn't eligible to vote whilst he's in office.

Regular contact with offshore folks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006010)

As part of my fun activities, I am regulary in contact with Folks from around the world: DE, AU, NS, etc. I also make regular purchases from
Plus, I work for a multinational with headquarters in Germany. Our business would take a major hit.
Splitting up the internet is a Very Bad Idea!

Why?? (4, Insightful)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006042)

Why in the world is the question being asked? Before bothering to answer this question, I would like to know what anyone would stand to gain from this. Why is this even something to consider (even assuming it would be feasible at this stage)?

Maybe the next question can be: "What would we lose from getting rid of passports?"

Re:Why?? (2, Insightful)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006200)

Maybe the next question can be: "What would we lose from getting rid of passports?"

Now that is a good question!

A regionalized Internet is completely absurd and could only appeal to people who would like to destroy it.

But a world without passports is just like it has always been (except for the last ~ 100 years) and should be.

Re:Why?? (1)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006729)

But a world without passports is just like it has always been (except for the last ~ 100 years) and should be.

Don't ever want to travel overseas then? I think the OP was suggesting the US government stop issuing passports, thus preventing you from travelling outside the country.

Re:Why?? (1)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006783)

You are correct.

NO (1)

lengau (817416) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006069)

Here is a partial list of what I, personally, would lose in one way or another: The KDE Project Ubuntu/Kubuntu/etc The ability to e-mail/IM/Etc. my non-US friends connection with my family a job

Rediculous,Borderline nationalism (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006080)

This approach is contrary to even the word Internet (International Network),
If it was country based I wouldn't even pay for internet access (it would be called state data network access instead?).Internet suppose to be a International medium not a local network.
I wouldn't be able to read slashdot,and
hundreds of sites i frequent.Without Internet present(such a crazy idea to even consider today),economy and trade will collapse,all cultural/informational exchange will
cease or revert to other,less efficient methods(think of breakup of all forums and online communities).
Internet is what shapes 21st century.It a mandatory for technology and progress of human civilization.(i'm not joking,though it doesn't matter to some farmers in Nigeria, it is most important information hub ever created).

Re:Rediculous,Borderline nationalism (1)

bugg (65930) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006607)

Internet (International Network)

I've never heard that listed as a definition for Internet. The term was coined I believe by Vint Cerf, and he was using it to refer to a network of networks: internetworking.

It's inter-network as opposed to intra-network. The prefix "inter" has nothing to do with nations.

Slashdot (1)

niXcamiC (835033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006082)

I would loose slashdot, as well as, well.... pretty much everything now that I think of it. Not many websites hosted in central america. Well, not many legitimate, usefull websites.

We would lose the internet. (1)

Wolfger (96957) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006095)

Pirate Bay. Online gambling. More pr0n than you can shake a stick at. Perl Monks. Gentoo Forums. Slashdot. Newsvine. Lugradio. Digg. Google. Just about every site I go. If it isn't hosted outside the U.S., it has value-added content created by people who are outside the U.S. We're better off isolating the real world, and leaving the internet alone.

What would foreigners lose? (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006171)

If you really want to know, you could try asking us, there are one or two of us here. But no, you feel you have to talk about us rather than to us.

I guess there's one thing I'd lose - the unconscious jingoism that makes people such as you forget that you address an international audience, even as you speculate on the effects that such a change would have on that very audience. I don't think I'd miss it much though.

You're missing the whole point! (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006186)

I have no real idea which web sites I use are in the U.S. and which are not. It would be a complete, utter, ruinous disaster for the internet to be partitioned in the way you describe. It would be the ultimate victory for Big Brother. I'm frankly shocked that anyone would even ask this question.

Peeling the onion another layer would help (1)

Big_Al_B (743369) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006215)

How do you think world news content wanders onto US-based sites?

I bet the computers on which the articles are created and the computers that serve the articles are all connected to different LANs, which are internetworked.

Hm. "Internetworked"...There's something familiar sounding about that.

you're not in any mailing list do you ?? (1)

garaged (579941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006231)

Or any OS project

Im in a few OS related mailing list, and make a little contribution with 1 project (officially) and try to help in any way I can whenever possible with any OS project I use.

If I had a regionalized internet I would lost like 50% of my interaction (at best) and would not share oppinions and thoughs with a lot of people.

Right now I don't care if the other side is on neatherlands, colombia, my country (mx), usa (like most of the internet people) or anyother place.

Is it enought to make you forget about that so bad idea ?

OK, what's your point? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006254)

What is the point of this question? Who wants to regionalize the Internet? I don't get why this question is even being asked.

I mean the greatest strength of the Internet is connecting people from all over. When my business associates are overseas it lets me still communicate with them. I have friends in other countries that I otherwise would have never met.

A regionalized internet would not be The Internet.

Re:OK, what's your point? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006369)

What is the point of this question? Who wants to regionalize the Internet? I don't get why this question is even being asked.

You don't need to know who wants to region-code IP packets. These aren't the droids you're looking for. You can go about your business. Move along.

What I love about the internet (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006270)

The very nature of the internet as it stands is what makes is so special. I can jump on IRC or MSN and talk to anyone who I happen to have the nick of. If I want to learn about "Jumping the shark" on wikipedia I can. The uncontrolled nature of the internet is what has led to filesharing, true (or very nearly) free speech, freedom of information (gagging orders are nearly useless at stopping things passing around on the net). I love the internet exactly because noone at the moment really controls it, yes that means spam and script kiddies, but to me thats a small price to pay for the pay offs, I'm just sad that when I tell my kids about how the web used to be, they won't be able to imagine it because the highly regulated one they use won't be anything like it.

I'd rather split the internet ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006390)

I'd rather split the internet on the basis of ISPs that allow, or do not allow, spammers to be hosted. There would then be 2 internets, of which one (the clean one) would have rules against spam and any other forms of abuse (but not any rules against any particular content, per se, though local jurisdiction rules would still apply). Any ISPs that allows spammers and other abuses would then be forced to move their connection to the other one (the dirty one), which would, of course, affect all their customers.

Which net would you want to connect to if it turns out all the big ISPs won't or can't connect to the clean net? Suppose there were tunneling gateways where those whose physical layer connection is through a big ISP can still reach the clean net?

Hopefully... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006422)

...they'll create a segment of the Internet for people who know how to spell check and read their posts before they hit submit! That's a pipe dream.

Go ahed, try it! (1)

Theto (923622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006435)

Just try to use US-sites only.
If you don't miss anything, stay with it and stop bothering us with questions dumb as fuck!

What the %^&* does that even mean? (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006479)

What do yuou mean by "regionalized internet"? That's a term with no real meaning.

But to answer some of your other questions, 99% of the sites
I care about use English, but many of those are in outher
countries, and loss of access or difficult access, or pay
per access would be a huge loss. SInce I also provide
information to people in other countries, as well as interact
with them on a couple of forums hoste din the USA, they would
lose as well.

The 1% that aren't in English are either in Spanish or they are
sites where I view schematics, project build photos, or similar
things, and losing those would vary from aggravating to problematic.

Again, I'm really not sure what you're asking other than whether
putting up walls is a good idea (no, it's a stupid one, IMO).
But whatever it means, I don't see much good coming from it.
The fact that the internet is open for most of us is precisely
what makes it so wonderful.

Absurd question, but let's answer anyway... (5, Interesting)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006480)

how much would you lose?

Well, the Internet is what I would lose....

How often do you visit other countries' web sites?
How often do you e-mail people in other countries?

All the time.

Do you ever search in a language other than English,

My Google preferences are set to "Any language".

and if you do, how often does it turn up foreign vs domestic sites?

I usually search first in English, then in German, then in French. That is the order of quantity of existing pages in a language which I can read easily. But I may change the order depending on the subject. My main language is really French, but on most subjects for which I search the net, the results in French tend to be much poorer than in English or German.

I occasionally found relevant results in Spanish, Italian or Polish. While I don't speak these languages, for computer related stuff, I could sometimes decipher enough of what I found to make it useful.

What would foreigners lose by not being able to visit US-hosted sites, and how quickly would they be able to recreate what they lost?

It depends. If I had only acces to sites in my own country, the Internet would become pretty much useless. But if the world lost the US and vice-versa, I guess it would be the US which would lose the most. The rest of the world is much bigger after all.

News is where the biggest difference would be, and where the US would lose the most. Since US TV tends to be completely clueless about the rest of the world, all the news sources you have are papers and the Internet. How much of the news in the papers is actually gathered or researched in more depth through the Internet, I don't know.

But what a stupid idea to begin with anyway!...

Ethnocentric Bigotist View (1)

robix_mevdev (220397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006631)

I think regionalizing the internet would make it cease being the internet. It would be many intranets.

I oftentimes surf german websites. It is sometimes when I exhaust the english sites, or just want to have a different taste. I would get german newspapers, but I can't because of the little body of water between me and them. The internet bands that gap and makes the world a little smaller.

Just think if you would subscribe to a certain internet just to get content like cable. It would take away the whole point of the internet being a sharing community.

Also think if you were to subject everyone to speak english on the internet.


Or perhaps you can envision the internet that makes peace between nations and broadens education and innovation to everyone.

You can wall off your internet, but I WANT THE WORLD!!!!

Goverment control over content and Profit (1)

idommp (134503) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006651)

for the providers of the infrastructure are the only logical reasons for a regionalized internet.

We're all on the same boat here. If you don't don't like being around all these other people, your only choices are to die or get off the planet. Otherwise, you have to learn to get along. You can't go isolating yourself.

I visit sites outside the USA daily. I like to see what other cultures think, especially about the idoits that run this country. I buy and sell stuff online that has a very small niche market. A lot of that market is overseas. I couldn't reach them without a world-wide web.

Oh internets, how do I love thee (2, Insightful)

Meph_the_Balrog (796101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006714)

Well in a business sense, you'd loose the worlds most powerful communications tool. You'd loose the ability to trade shares on anything but your own stock exchange (short of using a third party at any rate). eBay day traders would loose bigtime. Corporate multinationals (Sony, Microsoft etc etc.) would experience a blowout in costs in terms of VPN tunneling equipment (assuming this is even possible under the model you describe).

This is not even taking into account things such as online MMO's, entertainment websites and software, game patch releases from the developers, gambling, porn, news, government communications to embassies etc.

IMHO it would cost billions to completely restructure the internet in this way, including the costs involved in hardware and software to allow organisations that span the globe to circumvent or tunnel through any of the restrictions.

Gain and loss (1)

GuardianLurker (303081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006731)

First, let me point out that the Internet has already been through a phase where in had regionalized TLDs. Originally, there were these wide-area-networks (mostly US college-based) that had names like BITNET, FIDONET, and CLARINET. And it was a big deal for a college to be on multiple such. Often you had to get special permission to actually even access any of those, much less multiple ones. Internetwork gateways were magical arcane beasts, not to be trifled with.

This was in the early to mid-80's. By the early-90's the situation had changed dramatically. Gateways where well understood, bandwidth costs had dropped, transfer speeds had risen, and the last vestiges of the original regional networks had vanished for the most part. It was now more the norm for local networks to talk together than not, and most places didn't even wonder about it.

Technically, nothing prevents any nation today from regionalizing their networks; I imagine most have a few top-level DNS boxen that are for the most part wide-open, just as they are here in the U.S. But there are nations today - China, some of the Muslim/Arab countries - that have effectively already done this. And there's *very* little anyone can do to stop it.

In terms of what would be gained: one thing that leaps to mind is that it would stop the least-common-demnominator content laws that have already caused problems. Remember why there's an Ebay Europe, a Google Europe, etc.? A regionalized 'net would allow such issues to be handled without the need for international diplomacy. And you probably wouldn't need ICANN anymore either.

From the corporation's viewpoints, it would also allow much tighter control of their electronic IP. Something they'd enjoy greatly, but not ourselves as consumers.

People have already repeated pointed out various other down sides.

Me personally, I think it's more in the nature of growing pains. When the first small nets started sharing and cross-fertilizing there were a lot of similiar issues (on a smaller scale and with less heat, but similiar). The 'net grew past that. It'll grow past this.

The 'net might fracture. It might regionalize. And I'll miss all the wonderful things I used to access in the other regions. But so will everybody else. And they'll start looking for ways to regain the access, to share information. First, this will just happen with a very small cadre of determined network wizards. But it will propogate quickly down from there. And in short order, the default mode of the DNS won't be grumpy and quiescent, but euphoric and free-flowing as it is now. In some cases, it will be altruism that motivates the first ones. But there are plenty of self-interested reasons as well, many of which have already been touched on.

That new state will probably look a little different that it does now. But I have faith that it will happen.

Just Regionalize to This Planet (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006737)

Part of the fun of the internet for me has been visiting persons from all over the world.
Favorite chat friends and enemies have come to my screen from everyfrigginwhere.
Pals with bud in B.C. Pals with Bud in Holland.Anti-gun nut Australians.BZflaging Germans.South American QUAKErs.Persons claiming to be from somewhere called Palestine spamming chatrooms with their pathetic moanings.All these people and more make up my internet experience.
Hell,lets find permanent hacks into Chinas intranet and go where we wilst.Let them come freeley also.
I welcome all the chaos the internet has brought with it.Deep inside so do you.

I would lose a lot! (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006821)

How often do you visit other countries' web sites?
All the fucking time! Slashdot, sourceforge, fsf, userfriendly, linuxquestions and my email providers (one of which is--afaict--hosted in egypt) are all sites not hosted in Denmark.

How often do you e-mail people in other countries?
All the fucking time! Altkeyboards@yahoogroups, the various devs I run into on interesting projects, some indian bloke from LQ, ...

Do you ever search in a language other than English, and if you do, how often does it turn up foreign vs domestic sites?
I do most searches in English, and as English is not an official language in denmark, most hits are foreign sites.

You have so far displayed the nigh-obliviousness of the existence other countries than the United States of America that I suspect a lot of USAians suffer from (and that really pisses me off). And if they are aware of other countries, they still think USA is just fine and dandy (Dane Cook: "Look, we're the greatest country on earth, ...", said as if that was an obvious and obviously true fact).

What would foreigners lose by not being able to visit US-hosted sites[?]
(copy-paste) Slashdot, sourceforge, fsf, userfriendly, linuxquestions and my email providers.

how quickly would they be able to recreate what they lost?
Never! If I can't communicate over the 'net with my fellow developers from the USA, India, the Netherlands, etc., then the bazaar development model loses almost everything for people in fairly small countries. Scale the internet down to 3.5 million users (wild guesstimate, five point something like five million people live in Denmark). Then scale the number of gdb developers down by the same number. How many developers do you have left? More than zero?

Imagine this: instead of the net being limited to the USA, it was segmented such that you couldn't cross state boundaries. I think that is a reasonably fair comparison to large parts of the rest of the world. Okay, Russia, India and China would be the most notable exception (Russia mostly due to sheer size, not so much the population count).

That means that you can only download software from if you live in Massachusetts. And that you could only... uhh... gee, look up some arin records to see where stuff is hosted, and pull some more examples out of your... pocket.

Suffice it to say, it would be really bad if the internet was split up.

Bad news for international companies (1)

deman1985 (684265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006832)

Even small companies like the one I work for during the day could suffer because of a regionalized internet. I'm uncertain of the exact figures, but I would wager that on the order of half of our customers are international. Our research instrumentation is shipped around the world and I speak with just as many international customers via phone and email as Americans. I also have friends who live outside of the country, and most of my wife-to-be's relatives live outside the US. If regionalization would eventually introduce any barriers/fees/annoyances beyond what already exist for having transactions of any kind with another country, then it is a terrible idea.

It won't happen (1)

Tatsh (893946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006846)

And secondly I would hate it. I search in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean all the time on Google looking for sites in those languages (whether it be song lyrics, information, language itself, articles, etc). The Internet is the reason why I can read/write Hangul, Hiragana, and Katakana, and why I know so much Hanzi/Kanji/Hanja.

I also take time to speak with people from Asian countries on Skype, and it helps me to learn these languages way more (and also French and Spanish too).

Without the Internet, the LAMP would go out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006869)

Linux -- originated in Finland; contributions from all over the world
Apache -- originated in USA(?), contributions from all over the world
Mysql -- originated in Sweden, contributions from all over the world.
Perl -- originated in the USA; contributions from all over the world.

I think it's very likely that if open source contributors were significantly more restricted by geography, we'ld get significantly fewer contributors to any given product, significantly more duplication of effort, and significantly less useful results.

Open source would suffer; web sites built on open source would be harder to make work. Without the cultural influence of Richard Stallman's Free Software Manifesto, open source and/or free software might not exist in a given country at all. Companies built on open source concepts, such as Slashdot or Google, might not exist yet at all.

As a resident of Canada, I'm grateful to the people in other countries who worked hard to provide useful tools that I can work with. In return, I've contributed bug reports, bug fixes, and code patches to the original contributors; typically, to people miles away in foreign countries, and for mutual benefit. I've asked people in the United States for help with a CCD camera driver, provided patches to a Perl PDF module to the maintainer in Germany, and answered technical questions for people from all over the world.

People have known for centuries that science works better when there's a broad base of peer review and collaberation. I'm always puzzled to see them act so surprised to learn that it works that way with technology, as well.

It's already segmented (3, Insightful)

Big_Al_B (743369) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006882)

I forgot to mention in a previous reply that this question betrays a very simplistic understanding of the internet.

The internet is nothing more than an interconnected series of independently operated networks--some privately run, some government run, but all separated physically, administratively, and financially.

They are interconnected via circuits that generally fall into one of two catagories, transit and peering. Transit circuits are your basic ISP/customer type, where one customer--who could be a smaller ISP--pays for connectivity to a service provider--who may, in turn, pay an even larger provider for their service. Peering circuits are commonly arranged between networks that exchange roughly equivalent amounts of traffic, where neither party bills the other for service. If billing is done on a peering arrangement, one network bills the other based specifically on the amount of imbalance in traffic between them, eg. the network sending more data gets paid.

The only technical aspects of the internet that are centralized administratively are domain naming and ip address allocation authority. This is a pain point for some non-US networks and governments, who want more influence over policy decisions. That's understandable. And if the world manages to wrest total control away from the US-based entities that have complete authority now, things will probably be okay, as long as there remains a single centralized and authoritative system for DNS and address allocations.

If alternate authorities start flourishing, the namespace will get unstable and corrupt, and Bad Things (c) will happen. For example, if your naming authority and my naming authority separately assign "" to different sites, you may get a useful tech news site...and I may get this one. ;^)

My comments (1)

Pseudonymus Bosch (3479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006894)

You'll lose my comments, insensitive clod!

Contract programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15006901)

At first glance, seems a regionalized internet would actually be good for the US. No more competing with the 10.00/hr programmers in India for example.

Downside is.. you know full well big business would have nothing of it. There would be provisions made so that cheap labor is still available to us companies who threaten to leave.

Already missing out on some stuff (1)

KeiichiMorisato (945464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15006925)

Actually it is already happening.

During the Olympics, I wanted to watch highlights from some of our Canadian athletes. Luckily I found some clips on Google video that linked to NBC. However, when I tried to view them, it said that the video could not be viewed from my country.

Sure it was only a video, but I felt so frustrated, since I was use to being able to view anything I wanted on the net, regardless of my location.

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