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F-Secure's Hypponen: The Internet Is a 'US Colony' 263

Posted by Soulskill
from the sure-hope-it-doesn't-rebel dept.
nk497 writes "Web users are vulnerable to mass online spying because the U.S. has too much power online, according to a leading security researcher. Discussing revelations of U.S. spying at his LinuxCon keynote speech, F-Secure's chief research officer Mikko Hypponen argued that the internet had 'become a U.S. colony,' at the expense of democracy. 'We're back in the age of colonization,' he said. 'We should think about the Americans as our masters.' Hypponen argued that its dominance over the web gave the U.S. too much power over foreign countries, noting that while the majority of European politicians likely use U.S. services every day, most U.S. politicians and business leaders don't, for example, use Swedish-based cloud services. 'It's an imbalanced situation,' he said. 'All the major services are based in the U.S.'"
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F-Secure's Hypponen: The Internet Is a 'US Colony'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2013 @01:50PM (#45237281)

    People act like the US is the only country to have ever spied, when really, in this case, they just got caught. How do you know that others wouldn't be doing the same sort of monitoring? How do you know that they're not already?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nomad63 (686331)
      That is absolutely right. They are not bitching about spying. They are bitching about America has too much power to do spying and them (Finnish people ??) NOT! If the balance was tilted towards their side, do you think they would complain this much ? I think not...

      Also, I'd prefer American's do the spying instead of Russians or god forbid Mujaheddin army from the garden variety of middle eastern kingdoms/banana republics. I am not a born American by the way, if you are going to try flaming me with phrases s
      • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday October 25, 2013 @02:04PM (#45237535) Homepage Journal

        Also, I'd prefer American's do the spying instead of Russians or god forbid Mujaheddin army from the garden variety of middle eastern kingdoms/banana republics.

        You would really rather be spied on by a country that has the capability to summarily execute you anywhere on the planet via drone strike, than a bunch of radicalized extremists living in tents, who couldn't get close enough to harm you, even if they really really wanted to?

        Pardon me for finding that an odd position to hold.

        • by countach44 (790998) on Friday October 25, 2013 @02:25PM (#45237881)
          I think the assumption is that if those governments had as much power, then the damage they could inflict would be proportional. If the US couldn't do anything with the knowledge, then no one would care.
          • I think the assumption is that if those governments had as much power, then the damage they could inflict would be proportional.

            But they don't, which makes it a terribly inaccurate comparison.

            If the US couldn't do anything with the knowledge, then no one would care.

            Which is why I find OP's position odd, since the US very much can do stuff with the knowledge. Bad, unpleasant stuff.

            Considering probability, it's a lot more reasonable to fear the US government's panopticon than one that Osama bin Deadtowel might have built in some remote Turkaturkastani cavern.

            • by neonKow (1239288)

              Slow down and try to understand what people are saying. Their points are that the US is trampling on a bunch of liberties, but most other places in the world would be doing worse with the same amount of power. The best place to have your data center is in the US because, well look at the clashes between big tech companies and governments like Italy's, China's, Russia's, Australia's, etc. It would be much, much worse if the Syrian governement were in the US's position, for instance.

              • Slow down and try to understand what people are saying. Their points are that the US is trampling on a bunch of liberties, but most other places in the world would be doing worse with the same amount of power. The best place to have your data center is in the US because, well look at the clashes between big tech companies and governments like Italy's, China's, Russia's, Australia's, etc. It would be much, much worse if the Syrian governement were in the US's position, for instance.

                If that's the point OP was trying to make, they should have actually said it.

                Intent is pretty damn hard to infer from an anonymous online posting.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2013 @02:47PM (#45238215)

          You would really rather be spied on by a country that has the capability to summarily execute you anywhere on the planet via drone strike, than a bunch of radicalized extremists living in tents, who couldn't get close enough to harm you, even if they really really wanted to?

          I find it rather amusing that you consider England, Russia, and China to be a bunch of "radicalized extremists living in tents".

          What this article is bitching about is essentially "Everybody goes to the US to setup companies, data centers, hire tech people, and that's not fair". Bullshit, there's nothing the US does to force people to setup their stuff in the US. There's nothing the US does to penalize anybody in other places.
          There are a wide variety of reasons why the internet is "US-centric" for most services, but US having some kind of vague, undefined Authoritarian Control is not one of them.

          A lot of people avoid the EU because of Net filters and (in their mind) excessive privacy regulations. People avoid China and Russia because they have little or no confidence those governments are not going to simply take their assets. And more to the point in the case of Russia and China, most people assume they'll have all their data and intellectual property straight ripped off... of course no mention of that recently because right now the NSA is the bogeyman people are hiding from.

          If you don't want the internet to be US-centric then it's easy to solve it- make your own country a more appealing place to setup shop. The US offers relative stability in terms of economy, infrastructure, and laws, and if you look at the planet and where communications lines run it's "centralized". You could try setting up in a country in the Middle East, but political instability, poor infrastructure, and lack of a wealth of advanced educational services make it a pretty piss-poor region to consider right now. So if you're going to try and offer Internationally available services the US is currently the logical place to be.

          And what are you going to gain by moving elsewhere? Technically the NSA's job IS to spy on other nations, the controversy is that they got caught doing it to US citizens. You still have to worry about the NSA everywhere else, in addition to the local governments. Sure, setup shop in Saudi Arabia, that sounds great until the local Dictator decides you're violating some religious requirement and shuts you down. China? Get ready to see your products show up on the black market with a minimally altered logo affixed. South America somewhere? Nope, there's crap for infrastructure and political stability is a major issue. Asia? Sure, some countries are appealing, but again you're looking at connections to the rest of the world having to go either through the US, or politically unstable regions.

          Pardon me for finding that an odd position to hold.

          Hold whatever position you desire, but please at least try to base it in some type of semblance of reality.

          • If you don't want the internet to be US-centric then it's easy to solve it- make your own country a more appealing place to setup shop. The US offers relative stability in terms of economy, infrastructure, and laws, and if you look at the planet and where communications lines run it's "centralized".

            What is your point, actually? Are you suggesting that having stability and thereby attracting service providers justifies using those service providers to spy on people? And if you don't live in a country with an economy comparable to the US, you deserve to be spied upon, because it's your own fault for not "solving it"? It's "easy to solve", after all.

            I'm not really a fan of those FTFY kind of comments, but for the sake of your own education:

            [T]he controversy in the US is that they got caught doing it to US citizens.

            I can assure you, that is not what is the controversy elsewhere.

      • Hypocrisy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Roger W Moore (538166) on Friday October 25, 2013 @03:42PM (#45238887) Journal

        They are not bitching about spying. They are bitching about America has too much power to do spying.

        Personally what I finding hard to deal with is the amazing level of hypocrisy. The US tries to project a picture that it is a beacon of democracy, high moral values and an all round "good-guy"...and then spends its time going around behind all its friends and allies backs spying on them. It is probably correct to assume that other countries do this too and there may even be good arguments for it in some cases (although I have trouble understanding the motivation for bugging European leaders' phones) but nobody else tries to claim that their country is some amazing paragon of virtue that everyone else should follow.

        So while I might agree that if I'm going to be spied on I'd rather it be by the US than by others the rest of the world would really appreciate it if you could lay off the hypocritical good-guy act. The US may come off looking very good compared to some of the more troubled nations on this planet but compared to some of the better ones they are beginning to look rather dodgy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ciantic (626550)

      They are, it's just that individual states of Europe has a intelligence budget so low, they couldn't even spy on their own citizens let alone foreigners abroad.

      Why should I, as a citizen of Europe, have less rights online than US citizens? Especially when we are talking about companies (Google, Microsoft, etc.) that operates within EU, whom are also forced by US law to give away stuff to US government.

      Europe should create laws where service providers (working directly or indirectly in Europe) can't give

      • by neonKow (1239288)

        Those laws would do nothing. In fact, it's very likely that anyone supporting those laws would lose major monitary support for having that stance, but also you can't really make laws that regulates a company's actions in another country.

        The most you can do is to not do business with any company that complies with those US laws, in which case you're telling companies to choose to operate in your country or in the US. And good luck convincing people your country is a bigger market than the US. Most internatio

    • People act like the US is the only country to have ever spied, when really, in this case, they just got caught. How do you know that others wouldn't be doing the same sort of monitoring?

      While some level of monitoring goes on in every Western country, most national intelligence bodies don't have the resources to tap at the same level as the NSA. Just look at the budget of the NSA compared to that of Finland or Poland's intelligence ministries. The NSA can tap fiber even outside the US, but even wealthier and more powerful European governments don't enjoy that same luxury.

    • All bets are off when your hand is revealed, man.
    • if it wasn't [us], it would be someone else

      isnt that the exact excuse that China used for selling arms to Darfur?

  • Yeah, so? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xevioso (598654) on Friday October 25, 2013 @01:50PM (#45237289)

    We built the original infrastructure. The original backbone was developed here, and nearly all the funding came from US sources. Everyuthing else is an extension of that, and built on that framework.

    Don't like it? Build your own, like China or Iran, and see how well corporations and people flock to use your "Internet".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As the FOSSolytes say: It's all open, fork your own if you don't like our implementation.

      • Re:Yeah, so? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hawguy (1600213) on Friday October 25, 2013 @02:10PM (#45237633)

        As the FOSSolytes say: It's all open, fork your own if you don't like our implementation.

        That's the problem, if countries *do* fork off their own internet, it's going to make things worse for everyone.

        http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2013/09/17/brazil-fights-us-internet-hegemony-wants-to-shield-brazilian-data-from-nsa/ [foxnews.com]

        Imagine a fractured internet, where if you want your site accessible from the world, you have to buy domain names and have your site be vetted by every country that you want your site accessible from.

        • Yeah, but if they build new 'backbone' routes that don't pass through the US, then everyone benefits.
          • by hawguy (1600213)

            Yeah, but if they build new 'backbone' routes that don't pass through the US, then everyone benefits.

            Do any countries not on this continent route significant amounts of traffic through the USA on purpose? Seems like the double ocean crossing would add quite a bit of latency for no good reason.

        • by melikamp (631205)

          Imagine a fractured internet, where if you want your site accessible from the world, you have to buy domain names and have your site be vetted by every country that you want your site accessible from.

          OK... Uh, I can't seem to do that, may be you can help? What way of fracturing the Internet cannot be fixed by client software? I mean, besides unplugging the cables? China is spending billions of dollars and millions of full-time workers on fracturing the internet, and what do they have to show for it? People have to use https proxies to get connected, oh horror! They are suffering the global Internet which is slightly slower, and takes an extra step to set up.

          What do you even mean by "fracturing"? IP? D

          • by Bengie (1121981)
            The Internet works on standards, not ad-hoc network layer DNS resolving based on the application layer logic. try building a sky-scraper when using lots of different standards, see how well it works.
    • You're quite right.

      Although the www bit was given a major shove in the right direction by TBL at CERN.

      Still public money seeding things, of course.

      Even if the UK, France, German whoever Govt. funded a "free" Google rival, would you trust it?

      • by xevioso (598654)

        Well, I don't know, probably not. Google is a for-profit company, not beholden to the government. I doubt the European version would be the same.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Sounds like you're in violent agreement with Mr. Hypponen in the article.

      Another possible response would be, "We have overstepped. Soon you will see concrete steps that we are stepping back towards more transparency and less intrusion."

      I prefer the second because I think it's better for Americans as well as people everywhere. And it's not an either/or choice, since it ramping down US surveillance and control doesn't preclude people everywhere from developing their own indigenous web services or Inter

    • "We built the original infrastructure. The original backbone was developed here, and nearly all the funding came from US sources. Everyuthing else is an extension of that, and built on that framework."

      We did, and that much is true. But even that is not the point here.

      TFA is all about the major SERVICES being in the U.S. And they are. Why? Not because we built the infrastructure. But because we innovated and built them. It's called capitalism.

    • I wrote a paper and gave a presentation in college about the likelihood that internet would become balkanized by 2020, the wild west would be over, and the genie put back in the bottle. (i'm sure I'm missing a cliche there). My reasonings behind it were the increasing capabilities of off the shelf technology to then allow countries to filter and control content would come available and the legal will to do so. The professor of the class, ironically this was a cyber-philosophy class (yes liberal arts colle

      • by neonKow (1239288)

        The backbone doesn't seem to matter much. You can keep the backbone providers as neutral as you want, but with most of our computer time devoted to browsing, and almost 100% of our activity tracked by social media and ad networks own by a few companies, I don't think whether the internet was a mesh or not matters.

    • My sentiment exactly. The US has all these services because companies based in the US developed them. You want to compete, build your own "Silicon Valley" like location where you have a high number of programmers and engineers + venture capital to fund them.
      • On a side note, I would love to see that happen personally because then my wages might actually go up with less H1Bs willing to work for chump-change in the US if there are other places around the world which are actively competing for the personnel.
    • i think several countries who think they have the tehcnological balls are leaning in that direction. I really don't have a problem with the logic, if some one is going to claim to be a non-partisan, benevolant, shepherd of the world's main digital infrastructure (implied by the fact that the US has resisted efforts to make ICANN a part of the UN, which was an intelligent decision in my opinion) they need to NOT be evil. The US has broken this implied promise, and has completely ruined the good will it has e
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2013 @01:55PM (#45237371)

    Israel has been colonizing the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights since 1967l. Turkey has been colonizing Cyprus since 1974, probably encouraged by the example set by Israel. China has been colonizing Tibet since the 50's.

    There are probably other examples but these are three of the most notable that continue today.

    • Just becasue some contries are still doing these things doesn't mean we are still in the age of colonization. Colonization has always been going on. The Age of refers to a period of time where it was happing on a large scale. Such as all of Africa and all of East Asia. There are still kingdoms in Europe but we are no longer in the Age of Monarchy. North Korea is communist but we are not in the Age of Communism.
      • Yes, I quite agree with this. I wonder if a more appropriate name for the current era in terms of politics and demographics would be the Age of Migration?

        For example, on my father's side, he and his three siblings were born and raised in Maine, US. His parents lived their entire life in Maine except near the end of their lives when they moved to a nursing home near Boston to be near one of their children. None of the children stayed in the state after college. And their kids in turn moved around even mor
    • by jodido (1052890)
      And the US has been colonizing Puerto Rico since 1898. I think that's pretty notable.
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday October 25, 2013 @01:57PM (#45237395)

    The problem is, what can be done about the problem that would actually improve matters?

    The most commonly suggested answer is to turn it over to the UN, and, frankly, I don't think that there can be much argument but that would make matters immeasureably *worse* for the average user.

    • Dear god, the UN? I'm not American but I would *not* like to see them take over. Besides, reading TFA reveals that it isn't really about controlling top level DNS, or the hardware (a lot of which is Chinese), or controlling key hubs (many of which are outside of the US). It is not about the Internet at all, but about the services. So, no need to transfer control of DNS or whatnot to the UN, or even to "fork" parts of the Internet... just roll your own secure services and cloud centers.
    • The problem is, what can be done about the problem that would actually improve matters?

      The most commonly suggested answer is to turn it over to the UN, and, frankly, I don't think that there can be much argument but that would make matters immeasureably *worse* for the average user.

      Even if there were an actually-benevolent-and-competent contender in the wings, the part of internet governance that the ITU and some states keep trying to pull into the UN isn't really the part that gives the US leverage.

      The US does have the ability (and willingness) to exert control over the registrars for a number of the most desirable TLDs. Just operate a piracy-related website and you'll probably learn that firsthand. That matters because US-controlled TLDs are popular; but being able to change the

  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Friday October 25, 2013 @01:57PM (#45237401)

    Where are the non-US-based search engines, social media sites, video hosts, and email providers? Yes they exist, of course, but there are almost no notable standouts. For every Vimeo there's a dozen US-based YouTubes.

    You only have yourself to blame for complacently letting US businesses dominate these fields. The internet is based on open protocols and open networks. The playing field is level other than the minor niggle of ICANN's control of domain names and DNS root servers (minor since the internet works without DNS and could be replaced with something else). Hell, most countries have an advantage over the US considering our antediluvian telecom infrastructure.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Where are the non-US-based search engines, social media sites, video hosts, and email providers? Yes they exist, of course, but there are almost no notable standouts. For every Vimeo there's a dozen US-based YouTubes.

      You only have yourself to blame for complacently letting US businesses dominate these fields. The internet is based on open protocols and open networks. The playing field is level other than the minor niggle of ICANN's control of domain names and DNS root servers (minor since the internet works without DNS and could be replaced with something else). Hell, most countries have an advantage over the US considering our antediluvian telecom infrastructure.

      For the examples you mention, yes, I agree. But I work for an European based DropBox competitor, and we have had an explosion in interest and sales after the Snowden revelations. Some people like to say "it's all the same", but it is *really not*. We only respond to specific official court orders, and they are quite rare.

  • "Colony"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday October 25, 2013 @01:58PM (#45237429) Journal
    I'd argue that "Colony" is sort of an unfair term: a "Colony" is something that I set up by getting some of my jackbooted thugs together, sailing to your country, and telling you that this is how it's going to be from now on, while drinking gin-and-tonics and exporting your resources to the home country.

    On ye olde intertubes, it's sort of hard to 'colonize' somebody (especially since, unlike land, which hasn't been available in the "actually not populated by somebody you'll need to shove if you want to 'discover' it" flavor in centuries to millenia, the internet exists because it is built, and you can build more if you want more), except on the very limited scale of cracking their server and stashing stuff on it.

    It seems that it might be fairer to say that the internet is more of an American shopping mall. It is true that, to a surprising degree (especially surprising in areas that have never liked us much, or for which we never bothered to do much localization), that lots of foreign traffic crosses into American-held internet infrastructure to work, play, and do business; but (unlike a 'colony') that isn't because that infrastructure used to belong to somebody else until we grabbed it, and the locals are still stuck there; but because once it was built, people came.

    Anybody who doesn't fancy being watched by Uncle Sam, or a EULA-serf of a major American multinational(including US residents) should definitely give some strong consideration to how much of their activity is currently firmly within the grasp of the US government and a few cooperative (except on taxes) corporations; but if they want to get anywhere, the line of thought is going to have to be closer to "So, why does everybody go through $AMERICAN_COMPANY$ anyway, and why isn't there a homegrown equivalent elsewhere?" rather than following the misleading road of some sort of post-colonial process. There simply was no such colonization, so expecting to decolonize is going to fall into exciting category error fun time.
    • Re:"Colony"? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by melikamp (631205) on Friday October 25, 2013 @02:15PM (#45237739) Homepage Journal

      I'd argue that "Colony" is sort of an unfair term

      I'd argue that the judging by the summary, TFA is a crock of shit. European countries that are themselves not US colonies own the entirety of their Internet infrastructure, a.k.a. the tubes. They can (and do) run their own DNS if they so please. US has colonized the German Internet about as much as it colonized the German forests. US plays a huge role in the development of the world-wide network, but that influence is more akin to the influence of Hollywood on film. Like you say, "colony" is not the right word. A "captive audience" is not a right word even, since the audience loves it. More like, US have captured the world's imagination.

    • by mspohr (589790)

      We don't send jackbooted thugs to most countries (just a few special "problem" locations... in the last 10 years, for example, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Libya plus about 700 military bases in other countries).
      What we have today is called Neocolonialism:
      From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neocolonialism [wikipedia.org] :
      Neocolonialism (also Neo-colonialism) is the geopolitical practice of using capitalism, business globalization, and cultural imperialism to influence a country, in lieu of either direct military cont

      • Re:"Colony"? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday October 25, 2013 @03:23PM (#45238685) Journal
        Oh, there are, indeed, a great many ways of getting what you want without (too much, visible, unpopular) overt violence, and we use them.

        However, Nkrumah's own career is not a hopeful bit of reading from the perspective of somebody looking to decolonize on the internet:

        His ability as an anticolonial leader, and at least the beginning of his post-independence period went very well. Then things went... off the rails. A lot. In that 'elected dictator for life and father of the revolution by 99.1% of the alleged electorate' sort of way. If there's anything that puts a sad note on your struggle for independence, it's throwing off the chains of foreign occupation and then taking up the chains of local dictatorship.

        On the internet, since it isn't built on land or particularly scarce, the revolution is easy. (You probably have your very own free and independent LAN right now!) Building alternatives to the hegemonic American cat-video/industrial complex? Less easy. Building alternatives that succeed and aren't under the thumb of authoritarian surveillance nuts or ruthless corporate titans who are just as unpleasant as their American counterparts and live closer to you? Harder still. That seems to be Europe's problem at present, also common in other areas, to varying degrees (China's language barriers and blatant willingness to exercise mercantile favoratism seem to have rendered them partially immune, in terms of web services, though I haven't heard of Red Flag Linux burning up the sales charts...)

        Europe has culture, and money, and networks, programmers, and guns; but apparently they still flock to US web services (either directly hosted/operated in the US or physically located in Europe as appendages of US companies and subservient to them) in numbers large enough, and for business important enough, to raise TFA's author's concerns.
        • by mspohr (589790)

          Very insightful comment.
          It is always difficult to remain free of despots (local or foreign, military or economic). There seems to be a natural tendency to accumulate power and to abuse that power. The US and the Internet is just the latest revision of that story. I, too, am pessimistic about any long term ability to remain free and keep the spirit of the revolution alive. Perhaps it is best to be like a small Scandinavian country which can enjoy their "social democratic" society with strong socialist suppor

          • On other thing strikes me, in considering Nkrumah's theory(specifically it's marxist aspects, and the general struggle of 'labor' to overcome the problem of capital always winning so long as somebody can be found to work for peanuts, issues of international solidarity vs. division, etc.) That sort of thing is one area where the internet is far more hostile than the conventional real world, thanks to network effects, Metcalf's "law", the fact that both spooks and ad-vendor analytics types are interested in
  • China seems to flip a switch on BGP and all the traffic gets routed through them. The US can't stop that. The problem is that the rest of world relies on US benevolence. Something they seem to be re-evaluating as we speak.
  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Friday October 25, 2013 @02:02PM (#45237497) Journal

    The solution is to bring our own US government back in line with the Constitution, and recognize the spurious nature of arguments about mass and warrantless surveillance.

    Making chunks amenable to foreign countries, with less protections (see arguments about Europe spying being literally 100x more intrusive) is just an insensate knee-jerk reaction: it is useful in practice only to bring pressure to bear against the US government to be more open and restricted.

  • Nobody is stopping other people from building their own services.

    If you don't like the state of affairs whining about it isn't going to fix it.

    • ...whining about it isn't going to fix it.

      Comic Book Guy: I have no time to converse with you, I must be first to register my disgust on the internet

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Friday October 25, 2013 @02:07PM (#45237575)

    You don't need to ask permission or pay a western "king" before competing with google or facebook you just need to execute. Who did the Chinese ask or pay before starting Baidu?

    Talk is cheap, whining even cheaper. As a US resident I certainly hope the rest of the world treats NSA as a wakeup call to diversify. The more distributed services are, the more choice there is in the market the more *EVERYONE* wins. Get off your asses and compete.

  • Under US control: Spying
    Under "International" control: Censorship
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naver [wikipedia.org]

    Maybe it's just Europeans or westerners that are affected by or really notice this US dominance of the internet. Our most eastern asian relations don't seem concerned - but please anybody from an east asian culture feel free to chime in and enlighten me beyond my 30 seconds of googling.

    • by slew (2918)

      My take...

      In many asian countries, the lexicographic and cultural barriers allows "copy-cat" internet business to thrive in the presense of multi-national generic providers. Despite many protestations by Europeans that their lexicography and culture are highly distinct from America, they are in actuality so similar that it is difficult for a "copy-cat" local internet business to differentiate themselves from a multi-national business.

      Of course if there was some novel offering it might be able to fend off t

      • by spyfrog (552673)

        Oh please. I am sick and tired of hearing of referral to the "jante law". It simply isn't true in most of Europe anymore. What is true is that there is less capital for starting businesses and consumers that doesn't choose a local alternative - they will choose the American mega corp instead.

  • IIRC that was a Swedish thing, and quite popular at one time.
  • Perhaps it's about time we overthrow the evil overlords and take the wild west for ourselves?
  • by borgheron (172546) on Friday October 25, 2013 @02:53PM (#45238313) Homepage Journal

    The web is not a US colony it is a meritocracy. In this case the US has most of the services which are essential for NOW. But this may not always be the case. So, Sweden and other countries that are upset should start working on the technological things that might give them the edge in the future.

    In this world it is now all about the information and the technology. There is no fair and balanced here. Whoever knows the most... wins.

    GC

  • Nobody's stopping other countries from doing whatever they want with their portion of the internet. It's as simple as that. Stop bitching and do something about it. Look at China.
  • by TheSync (5291) on Friday October 25, 2013 @03:52PM (#45238991) Journal

    1) There is a reason why tech VC is concentrated in the US - our laws don't punish the greedy 0.1% who put cash in high-risk startups. The rest of the Western world is way behind us due to tons of crazy legal restrictions on VC.

    2) Companies like Google may be founded and headquartered in the US, but they are really global companies with workers, offices, servers, and taxable incomes everywhere around the world.

  • and I really like it. However, I found it more by luck than it finding me (cubieboard).

    If the folks in the EU want Americans to use their services:
    1- Advertise in the US. I haven't seen many ads for VPN, secure email, cloud services, etc, on the media I read in the US.
    2- Be cost effective. No, $15-$20USD for an email account isn't cost effective. I run my own VPS with SSL for about the same cost in the US, and I could probably do that more cheaply. There are other services based out of the EU that I've

  • by msobkow (48369) on Friday October 25, 2013 @06:06PM (#45240455) Homepage Journal

    Who is to blame for the fact that no nation other than the US has come up with a paradigm or service that the whole world has decided they need?

    I'm as much against US domination of global politics and economic issues as anyone, but I don't blame the US for the fact that they have a lot of successful internet businesses. No one is forcing anyone to use their services. There are competitors in other nations (e.g. Baidu) that haven't spread outside their local markets. There are forums and services which cater to local markets.

    It's not like you can claim that it's so outrageously expensive to register a .com that no one from another nation can compete -- far from it.

    If you want someone to blame, look to your own citizens who'd rather pony up the cash for an American service rather than buying locally. Take a look at your local services and ask yourself why they aren't achieving greater market share.

    I think you'll find they all have one problem in comparison to their American counterparts: they suck donkey balls.

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