China Might Cause A ‘Dangerous’ Split In The Internet, FCC Chief Warns

Chinese flag carried by a man.
Buda Mendes / Getty Images

China may be planning on utilizing its 5G technology to build its own version of the internet, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai has warned, per The South China Morning Post. Though this internet would be super fast due to its superior technology, it would nonetheless likely be heavily censored, which is why Pai has called the possibility “dangerous” for the global community.

Pai made the remarks while speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York.

“You don’t need to look hard to find evidence that the Chinese government is willing and able to use its growing influence in global commerce to advance its own interest,” he told his audience.

Pai added that he worries “that the end result [of China’s technological advances] is essentially to create two different internets.”

“That will be something that’s unfortunate for consumers and something that’s potentially dangerous in the long run,” Pai added.

“We don’t want the internet to be Balkanized.”

Already, China heavily regulates its internet and has blocked several websites in the Middle Kingdom. Many of these blocked websites include some of the most popular in the world, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Even animated comedy show South Park was banned and scrubbed from all Sino-sites after it voiced support for Hong Kong protesters, as reported by The Inquisitr.

Pai then went on specifically to address Chinese technology firm Huawei. Already, the company has faced much opposition in the United States, and President Trump even added the firm to a trade blacklist back in May, calling it a potential risk to national security.

“Huawei positions itself as a private company, but it has significant ties with the Chinese government as well as with the Chinese military,” Pai explained.

ajit pai speaking at podium
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai speaking at another event. Alex Wong / Getty Images
Loading...

Pai’s comments come just days after an opinion piece that he wrote for The Wall Street Journal. In the article, he warned against letting Chinese equipment into the United States, claiming that it would open the door to “censorship, surveillance, espionage, and other harms.”

The potential for China to create its own internet is only made more likely due to its superior position in the race to 5G. Analysts have said that this modern version of the internet will have a massive impact on everyday life, as it will be able to support billions of devices with virtually no latency at speeds around 20 times faster than current 4G standards.

The downside, however, is that 5G networks will also increase the scale of potential vulnerabilities in tech safety and privacy, in addition to making it harder to detect hacks and other security breaches.

However, Pai remains optimistic about the future, hoping that the United States can beat China in deploying 5G networks if it cannot beat the Asian powerhouse in development.