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Digital Sovereignty

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After two days at the European Defence Agency (EDA), it is increasingly clear to me that the Internet as we know it will be splintered, or balkanized into parts under different laws, conventions, censorship and even technology. The European data privacy package GDPR is just the beginning.

As a global company, BaseN has long prepared for this by deploying data centers close to the end users, not only due to network performance but also to comply with local data protection regulations. In the coming 18 months, this well mean some twenty-five more BaseN data centers.

Many countries like Russia (RUNET2020) and China (The Great Firewall) have also straightforward plans on how they can operate domestic networks even when all outside connectivity is severed. This is not a simple feat though, as the Internet was built on mutual trust and cooperation, and copying (or faking) services like Domain Name System (DNS) root servers or Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) boundaries will be a costly affair. Another thing is that most today’s users actually assume services like Google and Facebook are integral parts of the Internet.

Digital Sovereignty, when it’s understood as a capability to run digitalized national services even during total separation from the rest of the world, is something that most countries should actually look into. BaseN home country, Finland, can for instance be disconnected in less than 45 minutes, should Sweden, Russia or NATO decide to disrupt the vital sea cables, according to one naval warfare. Having satellite capacity may help some critical communications, but with today’s fiber densities there’s no way of maintaining any meaningful Internet access to the general public.

When all of our banking, taxes, drug recipes, healthcare bookings, school system, grocery logistics and even power grids run ‘in the cloud’, an Internet disruption can have a catastrophic impact to citizens. It is all about dependency management – what are the providers’ true capabilities during extraordinary circumstances.

With roots in the military radar technologies, BaseN has always integrated fault tolerance, resilince and dependency discovery and management on all levels of BaseN Platform and its spime container architectures. Some may view it as overengineering, but our steadfast view is that business and especially vital services need to continue during crises, too. In other words, BaseN will not leave your business behind.

//Pasi

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