The global reach of technology and information into every village creates a crisis of legitimacy for national governments, which are increasingly challenged in their ability to secure the safety and livelihood of their citizens, says EWI Global Vice President Bruce McConnell.
Many metaphors have been applied to the internet (information superhighway, world wide web, cyberspace, etc.), each evoking its different aspects. A more comprehensive view is that the internet—overlapping global networks of people, technology, and ideas—shares key features with a rainforest or a coral reef, a community of living organisms and their surrounding environment, interacting as a system.
Over the past 50 years, the internet and the technologies that support it have evolved into an ever more complex ecosystem, expanding their reach into every corner of human activity and every part of the planet. Life as we know it today would be impossible without the global internet.
This commentary appeared on The Cipher Brief on July 31, 2016 and can be accessed in full here.