Powerful governments understand the dangers of being on the grid and are already creating their own internet infrastructure, independent of the world wide web.
A good part of the soldiers of our day does not carry firearms. Not even knives, unless the keyboard of a computer or a wireless mouse can be considered sharp elements.
Neither are the battlefields the same: wars between nations take place on the internet and are fought with ones and zeros.
For this reason, it is not strange that Russia has recently announced that it will temporarily disconnect from the Internet to test its sovereign network project.
China prohibits platforms such as Google, Facebook or Twitter in its borders; the limitations are somewhat greater in the case of North Korea.
Only two million of its inhabitants – in a country of 25 million people – have access to a local internet that barely has a score of web pages.
The threats faced by countries and individuals on the internet can be divided into two groups.
On the one hand, there is the perception that instability can be increased by the diffusion of certain information, whether false or true.
This can result in the population mobilizing to cause disturbances and is a threat that more authoritarian countries perceive to a greater extent.
On the other hand, the Internet can also be conceived as an instrument of war with which a state can hack the computer systems of another to collapse or steal information.
Not to mention that from the nuclear power plants to the water and electricity supplies are controlled in our days through the internet.
In this framework, the most advanced countries wonder how they could survive an attack of this nature.
For example, disconnecting their systems for a few hours, Russia can check if it has the capacity to overcome an attack; if it is able to live in an analogical way.
It’s an intelligent practice since cyberspace is a very tough battlefield and countries have to be aware that the threat exists.
The Russian strategy would then be to take advantage of the internet while they feel safe, but also while having the ability to disconnect if they perceive a threat.
Something similar to a drawbridge that lowers in commercial peacetime and rises when the enemy approaches.
The case of China, in the opinion of Baños, responds to different motivations. The fundamental one would be to avoid the temptation to mobilize the population through social networks.
It is a strategy that has worked in the Arab revolts: to inculcate ideas in the population through the Internet so that they oppose the government. But this is not the only reason: there are much deeper reasons that have to do with their authority and control capacity.
The scenario in which we live is based on artificial platforms, often private. Some countries try to recover sovereignty in some way over the virtual equivalent to their territory.
They want to have more control over the data of their citizens to be able to influence them before third parties do.
The strategy seems to work. The Great Cyberwall that China raised against global platforms such as Google and Facebook allowed for the rise of Baidu and Wechat, its national counterparts.
The collection of personal information from these platforms serves the country to compete in the field of artificial intelligence, a technology that needs large amounts of data to thrive.
If we look at one of the most popular phrases of any technological event -Data is the oil of the 21st century, we perceive that, in this context, the information becomes one of the most valuable raw materials to exploit.
At this point, if we do not worry about creating our platforms and developing technology in the line of artificial intelligence or 5G networks, we will be opening the door to other powers that are ahead. This is how the sovereignty of cyberspace is conquered.
Countries are seeking to empower their own ecosystems, but without neglecting their security.
Individuals are more often victims of cyber attacks that they do not even notice. People and nations should protect their data better.
Both actors, state and individuals, must do a very good job to protect sensitive information and private data, especially information from individuals from governments who seek to mine it for surveillance purposes.