The dream of a global internet is edging towards destruction

The internet appears to be a persistent medium for work, leisure, friendships, news and shopping. It might disappear when the router goes down, or be impossibly slow at a conference where everyone is on Wi-Fi, but these are glitches, not existential crises.

Yet it is not a monolith, even a virtual one. It is a tangle of systems, protocols, standards, hardware and organisations, all of which have to be managed by different bodies – international, governmental, private sector, non-profits. And underpinning it are individuals, organisations and bots uploading and downloading content, and creating the links that give it form.

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