‘Splinternets’ and their challenges for the EU

The European Union is concerned about so called ‘splinternets’: loss of the united, global and decentralised internet, fragmented into separate non-interoperable and disconnected networks controlled by governments or corporations.

Behind the term ‘splinternet’ (a combination of ‘to splinter’ and ‘the internet’) lies an emerging geopolitical reality where certain countries aim to control the internet within their national borders.

A study, published by the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), examines the phenomenon and underlines how recent EU legislative proposals – on the digital services act, digital markets act, artificial intelligence act, and NIS 2 Directive – could help to address patterns of fragmentation, but also have limitations and potentially unintended consequences.

This video features Clement Perarnaud, research fellow in the Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation, Digital Economy (GRID) unit at the thinktank CEPS, and co-author of the STOA report ‘Splinternets’: Addressing the renewed debate on internet fragmentation.

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Read also the blog post: STOA study examines internet fragmentation in the context of EU policy.

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