China proposes radical change How the Internet Works A UN proposal calls for enabling cutting-edge technologies such as holograms and self-driving cars, but critics say it will also integrate authoritarianism into the architecture that supports the network.
of Telecom Group HuaweiAlong with the state-owned enterprises China Unicom, China Telecom, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of the country, a new standard for core network technology called the "New IP" was jointly proposed at the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU). ).
of Proposal It has caused concern in Western countries including the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States, who believe that the system will split the global Internet and provide state-owned Internet service providers with fine-grained control over citizens' Internet use. According to the ITU's Western representative, it has received support from Russia and possibly Saudi Arabia.
An ITU UK representative, who asked not to be named, said: “ Under the surface, there is a huge battle over the appearance of the Internet. & # 39; & # 39;
"You have two competing visions: one that is very free, open and … the government let go … and one that is more controlled and regulated by the government."
Huawei has said that with the help of multiple states and companies, it is already building some technologies for the new network architecture, but will not disclose the names of the people involved. It also said that the element will be ready for testing in early 2021.
in a PowerPoint presentation with Official Standard Proposal The information obtained by Huawei from the Financial Times describes the existing Internet infrastructure that supports global networks, namely TCP / IP. This state is "unstable" and "seriously insufficient" and cannot meet the needs of the digital world in 2030. People drive cars, the ubiquitous Internet of Things, and "integrated perception of invisible teleportation."
Instead, China's proposal suggests that ITU take a “ long-term view '' and “ should assume top-down design responsibilities for future networks ''.
Huawei stated that the development of the new IP is purely to meet the technical requirements of the fast-growing digital world, and that no type of controls are built into its design. It said that it leads a group of ITU dedicated to future network technologies. The spokesperson added: "The research and innovation of the new IP is open to scientists and engineers worldwide and they can participate and contribute."
ITU is currently led by China Telecom engineer Houlin Zhao, who was nominated by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2014.
But a paper published by the network security company Oxford Information Labs to NATO was also authored by ITU's UK representative., Warning that the new IP will enable "fine-grained control on a network basis", while China's approach "will result in even more centralized, top-down control of the Internet and its users, which will have an impact on security and human rights . "
According to the standards approved by ITU, which includes nearly 200 member states, and is widely adopted in developing countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the Chinese government has agreed to provide infrastructure and monitoring technology under the Belt and Road Initiative in these countries . To experts.
Huawei and other co-developers plan to promote the standardization of new IP at a major ITU telecom conference in India in November.
How is the new IP different?
The structure of the Internet was designed half a century ago and operates in a manner similar to the postal system.
To solve the problem of sending information around the world, engineers break messages into small packets that can be passed around the computer until they reach their destination.
Each packet is labeled with the address (or IP) of the computer it is going to reach, and when they are received, they will be reassembled in the correct order.
This process occurs at the speed of light and is called the Transmission Control Protocol or TCP. Combine the system to identify a single computer and you will get TCP / IP.
John Naughton wrote in "A Brief History of the Future: The Origin of the Internet", "You can say that TCP / IP is the same for the wired world, and DNA is the same for the biological world."
A paper shared with the Financial Times claimed that the new IP was described by Huawei as a "more dynamic IP addressing system." Their engineers describe how the Internet is increasingly fragmented into separate networks, such as private communications networks and satellite-borne networks.
The paper said: "The interconnection between these networks is a challenge because of their incompatible addressing mechanisms." He added that emerging technologies require a more efficient addressing system.
The new IP will provide this functionality, enabling devices on the same network to communicate directly with each other without having to send information over the Internet.
Concerns about new IPs come from how much control governments or operators can have over IP addresses. Critics say the new protocol will require the network to have "tracking features" that are responsible for authenticating and authorizing new addresses to be added to the network, people on the other end, and packets sent on the network.
The source said that in the ITU speech, Huawei also made it clear that the new IP will be called a "shutdown command", and a central point in the network can effectively cut off communication with specific addresses. Who is present. He described this feature as a "fundamental departure" from the current network model, which acts as a "overwhelmed postman, just moving between boxes."