Government regulation of the Internet as instrument of digital protectionism in case of developing countries

The research is devoted to the study of digital protectionism technologies, in particular, Internet censorship as a non-tariff barrier to digital trade and the determination of the strategic motives of states to use them. The reports ‘Freedom on the Net’ and ‘The network readiness index 2020’ acted as a basic data source for the study of modern instruments of government regulation of interactions in the digital environment. Internet censorship technologies have been considered in six countries with varying levels of Internet freedom: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia and Estonia. The key instruments of digital protectionism as a non-tariff barrier of the digital economy have been identified, such as: localisation requirements; restrictions on cross-border data flow; system of national protection of intellectual property rights; discriminatory, unique standards or burdensome testing; filtering or blocking; restrictions on electronic payment systems or the use of encryption; cybersecurity threats and forced technology transfer. Internet censorship technologies have been demonstrated and their influence on the strategic development of trade relations between economies in cyberspace has been determined. The scientific value of the article lies in substantiating the understanding of Internet censorship as a natural tool for regulating the development of a digital society and international trade relations. Each state at one time goes through a technological stage of development, which leads to the emergence of different levels of digital isolation and integration; and Internet censorship is a natural element in the system of building a national platform economy and consolidating the country’s internal technological and innovative advantages in digital realities. © The Author(s) 2021.

Topornin N.1 , Pyatkina D. 2 , Bokov Y.3
  • 1 Department of European Law, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), Russian Federation
  • 2 Department of Applied Informatics and Probability Theory, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Russian Federation
  • 3 Department of Constitutional and Municipal Law, Volgograd State University, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Digital protectionism; government policy; Internet censorship; non-tariff barriers to digital trade
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