5G and the Future Internet: Implications for Developing Democracies and Human Rights

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

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5G adoption is happening around the world, even in places with low internet penetration. As of February 2021, 131 countries had announced plans to invest in 5G and more than 60 of the 98 countries NDI works in were engaging corporations that have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in their 5G plans. Existing research on 5G has focused almost exclusively on its impacts for international security and economic growth. Little is understood in the democracy donor community about the paths to 5G for developing democracies, how players in the 5G rollout process interact with democratic actors in a given country, or where there are strategic points of intervention to defend democracies from illiberal influences and technology standards. NDI set out to address this gap of comprehensive research into the impacts, positive or negative, of 5G on human rights and democracy through NDI's new white paper, 5G and the Future Internet: Implications for Developing Democracies and Human Rights.

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