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Cerf: Internet Governance Critical Issue

Vint Cerf, widely considered one of the inventors of the Internet , recently said that Internet governance is one of the most important issues in the high-tech world.

Cerf, speaking at a Google event in California, said the Internet is a disruptive influence in most areas of people's lives and is making a lot of governments around the world nervous.

"I hope no one will forget the effects of the Arab Spring," Cerf told the audience. "There are governments that see the Internet as an important social element, business element, political element. Governments have liked to think they were in control of those elements. And they feel less in control of the Internet."

The threat of losing control will spur some governments to try to extend their reach and reassert their authority, Cerf said. He called it a dangerous situation.

"There are some big issues coming," Cerf said. "Remember governance is a very, very big word that includes law enforcement, human rights, business transactions. It touches everything, including the standards world and copyrights. That's why Internet governance is Topic A in many quarters."

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about internet in Computerworld's Internet Topic Center.


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