The internet has evolved to deliver a huge increase in connectedness – a person logging on in Timbuktu can quickly find, and easily communicate with, someone with a common interest in Des Moines, Tokyo, or Seville. That’s the idea, anyway.  But many pundits and policymakers say the friendly and efficient ecosystem is under siege.  Their concern: fragmentation.  If the internet splinters into tiny slivers, with barriers between them, the efficiency of the information superhighway may be lost.

Milton Mueller

Milton Mueller

Milton Mueller, an international expert on the subject of internet governance, attacks this hot topic in his Tullock Lecture at Clemson University, on Monday, April 24.

Mueller, professor of public policy at Georgia Tech and author of “Will the Internet Fragment?: Sovereignty, Globalization and Cyberspace” (Wiley, 2017), will speak in Lowry Hall, Room 100, from 5-6:30 p.m.

Mueller argues the threats of geopolitical and cybersecurity issues fragmenting the internet aren’t nearly as concerning as governments’ attempts to block information flows for political reasons. He says the network effects of global compatibility are powerful enough to defeat a technical fracturing of the web. However, a power struggle may loom over the future of national sovereignty in the digital world.

The Tullock Lecture series is sponsored by the Information Economy Project (IEP), housed in the John E. Walker Department of Economics at Clemson University. Refreshments and informal discussion will follow the lecture.

The IEP is directed by Thomas W. Hazlett, H.H. Macaulay Endowed Professor of Economics. For more information on the lecture or the activities of the IEP, go to www.IEP.Clemson.edu. Please direct any questions to Kyra Palange at kpalang@g.clemson.edu.

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