Few countries can claim as distinctive a legacy as Switzerland’s long adherence to a doctrine of absolute neutrality. Since the fall of Napoleon, the Swiss have managed to stay out of the international conflicts, including World Wars I and II and, to a certain extent, the Cold War, by agreeing to treat all sides equally. As a result, the landlocked nation developed strict privacy laws, perfect for discreet international banking and, now some are saying, running the internet.
“Long known for its neutral status among nations, Switzerland has a golden opportunity to put the same concept to work in virtual space,” Bryan Ford, a professor at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) who “specializes in decentralized systems, internet security and anonymity” told the attendees of the EPFL’s cybersecurity conference today.
“Switzerland can and should develop a neutral virtual space,” he said.
Russia, the United States, and China have converted the broader internet into an all-consuming battleground of Cold War proportions, Ford argues, and there is no place for people who want to stay out of the whole mess to connect.
“Efforts by some countries, including the USA, to have backdoors installed in programs automatically raises suspicions among other nations,” said Ford.