EU—Internet of the Future

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EU—Internet of the Future

This week the European Union released information on its aggressive strategy to place Europe in the lead in the development of innovations for the Internet of the future.

Announcing the strategy, the European Commission stated that it will partner public authorities in EU member nations, together with Europe’s information and communication technologies (ict) industry’s major corporate entities, with an initial budget of €300 million for the period 2011-2013. This amount will be added to the €200 million annual ict support contributed by the Commission which already assists ongoing IT research.

The contribution from EU coffers is to be matched by those IT industry entities contributing to the scheme. This means a prospective inflow approaching €1.5 billion over the stated period. The overall aim is to make Europe into the world leader in IT research.

Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for information, society and media, stated that The Internet can help face the challenges of the future and holds the key to lifting Europe’s economy out of the crisis. Online applications and technologies can improve transport in cities …. They can, and must, improve the systems that manage our energy …. And with an ageing EU population, the Internet can make our health-care systems more efficient and treat patients from afar. It is Europe and its businesses that should seize the opportunity and develop these technologies and applications which can tremendously increase the economic and social efficiency of day-to-day processes” (EU press release, October 28).

Calling for proposals to be submitted in 2010, the EU is moving into the fast lane to power ahead in the development of smart technologies at a time when the IT industry in the United States is faltering due to America’s ongoing economic woes.

But there is one real concern in all of this that the EU announcement did not cover, and that relates to the EU defense establishment.

The EU’s IT information portal observes that “As the Internet connects to billions of sensors and online mobile devices to deliver ever more sophisticated information, these infrastructures need to be ‘smart’ enough to use such huge amounts of data in real time. For example, through Internet technology like sensors, smart tags and, one day, the Galileo navigation satellite system, traffic jams, which cost Europe €135 billion a year, could be reduced by 20 percent and emissions by another 15 percent” (ibid.).

With the prospect of the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in the very near future, the EU will be moving ahead aggressively to develop and consolidate the defense industries of its member nations into a single cohesive unit. This will provide the background to the development in turn of the long-awaited EU military force. The Galileo project, designed to develop a superior replacement to America’s gps system, is integral to the EU’s defense goals.

The EU military force will be of a high-tech nature, demanding the very latest in smart IT technologies. Thus, under the cloak of research for domestic purposes, much of the benefit of the stepped-up research will flow toward the defense establishment—both its industries and its military forces. Given the extreme efficiency and zeal of German elites for this defense project, one can foresee the day when, soon, the EU will feature a military combine far superior in smart technology to that of the U.S., which is already suffering from huge cracks in its massive budget to maintain its ageing defense structure, let alone develop replacement systems geared to the latest in smart technology.

This brings to mind a visionary statement made by our editor in chief some years ago:

I believe one key end-time Bible prophecy could well be fulfilled through … cyberterrorism …: “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof” (Ezekiel 7:14). … It seems everybody is expecting our people to go into battle, but the greatest tragedy imaginable occurs! Nobody goes to battle—even though the trumpet is blown! Will it be because of computer terrorism?

Watch for the EU to aggressively overtake the U.S. in the battle for superiority in the Internet of the future.