Abstract - The Informtion Society 6(3)

Telecommunications and Information Networks: Growing International Tensions and Their Underlying Causes

R. Brian Woodrow

An examination is conducted of the growing international tensions over information networks and the conflict related to the underlying telecommunications networks, which is at the heart of the matter. Tensions and conflicts are taking place on 4 levels: 1. conflict over underlying values, 2. conflict between and among different industry groups, 3. political conflict among nations, and 4. an emerging trade politics related to the application of services trade principles and rules to telecommunications and information services. These levels of tension and conflict should be treated as overlapping and interactive, emphasizing the complex and increasingly serious nature of this important issue. The very specific services trade politics that is emerging within the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations represents a new and potentially most important dimension of future conflict over telecommunications and information networks.

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