Russian lawmaker Dmitry Gusev is proposing the development of an alternative Internet in collaboration with the other BRICS nations, stating that such a network would help preserve traditional values. The proposal was submitted in the form of a request to Maksut Shadaev, the head of Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media.
The document, which was seen by RIA Novosti, emphasized the creation of a “single inclusive BRICS+ cyberspace” with the intention of implementing an internet where traditional values and goodness prevail. It is suggested that this could be achieved using the technical, organizational, and civilizational capabilities common to the entire association.
Gusev sees the ongoing 5th International Municipal Forum BRICS+ as a perfect opportunity to discuss the possibility of a unified internet for the BRICS countries. The BRICS group currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, with plans to be joined by Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in January, creating the expanded group known as BRICS+. It is projected that by 2040, this expanded group will represent nearly half of global GDP.
The proposal for the development of an alternative internet aligns with recent calls from Chinese President Xi Jinping for changes in the global internet to benefit people of all countries. President Xi Jinping advocated for prioritizing development and building a more inclusive and prosperous cyberspace during the opening ceremony of the 2023 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit.
The idea behind creating an alternative internet within the BRICS+ group appears to extend beyond just technological infrastructure. It reflects a desire to foster an online environment that preserves and promotes the traditional values and cultures of the member nations. It also represents a potential shift in the global digital landscape, as it introduces the concept of a parallel internet that is shaped by the collective interests and values of the BRICS+ countries.
This proposal opens the door to a larger discussion about internet governance, user privacy, and digital rights within the BRICS+ nations. It also raises questions about the implications of having multiple internets with divergent rules and regulations, and how such an alternative internet would interface with the existing global internet infrastructure.
As the BRICS+ group looks to shape the digital future, it will be essential to consider the technical, legal, and geopolitical aspects of creating and maintaining an alternative internet. This includes addressing issues related to cybersecurity, data privacy, and the free flow of information. Additionally, it will be important to ensure that the development of an alternative internet does not lead to further fragmentation of the global digital space but instead works towards fostering greater cooperation and understanding among nations.
To achieve these goals, active collaboration and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, technology companies, civil society, and international organizations will be crucial. By having an open and inclusive dialogue, the BRICS+ countries can work towards developing an alternative internet that is not only technologically robust but also reflects their shared values and aspirations.
In conclusion, the proposal to develop an alternative internet within the BRICS+ group represents a bold and ambitious vision for the digital future. It raises important questions about the role of traditional values in shaping the online world and presents an opportunity to rethink the current dynamics of internet governance on a global scale. As the BRICS+ countries continue to expand their influence and impact, the development of an alternative internet may become a significant component of their collective vision for the future of the digital world.