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PLA Daily: U.S. to Build Free Global Coverage of “Extranet.” Will It Be a Blessing or a Curse?

PLA Daily published a commentary article discussing the future of the “Extranet,” with special concerns about U.S. control of the technology. The article was also republished in a number of other state-run media in China. Below is an excerpt from the article: 

“Recently, a U.S. technology company intended to launch a small satellite system built by ‘extranet’ to enable people in every corner of the world access the Internet. What is more, everyone can enjoy the ‘free meal.’ Immediately, users around the world sought after this news, as if a huge ‘pie’ was coming down from heaven. Nowadays, there are indeed an increasing number of large technology companies beginning to implement their own ‘extranet’ program. [The question is:] Is this ‘Network’ a blessing or a curse?” 
“This plan is not just a simple ‘charity.’ One must keep a sober mind and have a clear understanding.” 

“Concerns and worries are justifiable. In 2011, foreign media revealed that the U.S. invested US$70 million to develop something called a ‘portable Internet access device,’ which was to build a new ‘shadow Internet‘ to help the opposition in some countries to use wireless access to avoid network monitoring and blocking. The birth of the ‘extranet’ concept enables this ‘shadow Internet’ to go from dark to daylight, but even more so. With its considerable political overtones, it may eventually become a political tool with ulterior motives.” 
"At the same time, construction of the ‘extranet’ is based on the air and space, covering the whole globe. This unique feature allows it to be transformed easily into an efficient global communications network with strong anti-strike capability, a wide communication range, and a high transmission speed, providing strong technical support for the military. Information and intelligence have been the key factors in winning advantages in war, especially in the information war. If, in the future, this network indeed covers the entire world, then its owner will undoubtedly gain an overwhelming advantage in combat.” 
“According to one expert, if, in the future, the IoT (Internet of Things) is merged into this large ‘extranet’ network, then it will be the equivalent of the brain of the ‘wisdom Earth.’ It will be tightly controlled in the hands of a few people."  
Source: PLA Daily, April 23, 2015