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19 Sep 2011
Asian Cyberspace on the Rise: Challenges and Opportunities
by Ming Tan, www.dragonbn.com
Asia now comprises nearly 45% of the world’s Internet population. China alone, home to the world’s largest number of Internet users, makes up more than half of the region’s entire Internet population. Even more remarkable, nearly two thirds of Chinese, and close to 70% of the Asian population as a whole, are not yet even online. As this growth continues, the culture of global cyberspace will undoubtedly change.
A new article from the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a Canadian think tank, makes it clear that the "future of cyberspace lies with Asia."
The article, entitled Asia Cyberspace on the Rise: Challenges and Opportunities for Canada, identifies cyber security as a key issue.
"Cyber security, rather than the 'Internet freedom' agenda, may provide the most important engagement opportunity for Canada and other liberal democracies in Asia."
However, there are too many variables to predict the future of cyberspace with complete certainty.
"Asian cyberspace is a dynamic ecosystem exploding in numbers and a challenge for even the most ambitious governments to tame. It is difficult to anticipate how those controls will be met with the burgeoning number of young Asia Internet users who have shown remarkable ingenuity, creativity, and even in China a remarkable capacity to evade the heavy hand of the censors. Asian cyberspace is thus likely to be a contested ecosystem among governments, the private sector, and civil society."
The author of the article is Ronald Deibert, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
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