Web Surfers Without Borders

Remember when we “surfed” the world wide web?

This popped up on TNW this morning: China argues that the 8 New Yorkers suing it for censorship have no right, since web regulations are a sovereign issue. (Of course it was a bunch of New Yorkers.) The fact is that web regulations ARE going to become an huge international issue. They were an issue in 2001. And web regulations continue to plague companies like Amazon even between states in the US. That’s what the Internet does – challenge conventional ways of everything, including doing business, and require creative compromises.

Every business that operates online and is or plans to operate internationally needs to pay attention to this stuff in the news. This is why: an article from HBR about how Apple or Amazon could cause a war with China. China and the rest of the BRIC countries, not the mention Africa, with its rising middle class and avid mobile internet users, have costs associated with opportunities for growth and those costs are unstable governments with unpredictable attitudes toward web regulations. I don’t personally think war is looming, but international relations will certainly only be increasingly strained as countries navigate the murky waters of a global internet. They say the “wild west” phase of the web is coming to an end, but there is so much chaos yet to be unleashed.

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