“The revolution will be Twittered!” declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran in June 2009. Yet for all the talk about the democratizing power of the Internet, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. In fact, authoritarian governments are effectively using the Internet to suppress free speech, hone their surveillance techniques, disseminate cutting-edge propaganda, and pacify their populations with digital entertainment. Could the recent Western obsession with promoting democracy by digital means backfire?
In this spirited book, journalist and social commentator Evgeny Morozov shows that by falling for the supposedly democratizing nature of the Internet, Western do-gooders may have missed how it also entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and makes it harder—not easier—to promote democracy. Buzzwords like “21st-century statecraft” sound good in PowerPoint presentations, but the reality is that “digital diplomacy” requires just as much oversight and consideration as any other kind of diplomacy.
Marshaling compelling evidence, Morozov shows why we must stop thinking of the Internet and social media as inherently liberating and why ambitious and seemingly noble initiatives like the promotion of “Internet freedom” might have disastrous implications for the future of democracy as a whole.
A multidisciplinary view of Information Technology as it is used by governments and criminal organizations alike.
Why buy a multi-billion-dollar satellite and go to extreme lengths to try to avoid governmental detection when you can just buy a bit of airtime and send one of several million messages going out at any given time?—from Bombs and Bandwidth
Information Technology (IT) has become central to the way governments, businesses, social movements and even terrorist and criminal organizations pursue their increasingly globalized objectives. With the emergence of the Internet and new digital technologies, traditional boundaries are increasingly irrelevant, and traditional concepts—from privacy to surveillance, vulnerability, and above all, security—need to be reconsidered. In the post-9/11 era of “homeland security,” the relationship between IT and security has acquired a new and pressing relevance. Bombs and Bandwidth, a project of the Social Science Research Council, assembles leading scholars in a range of disciplines to explore the new nature of IT-related threats, the new power structures emerging around IT, and the ethical and political implications arising from this complex and important field.
Internet filtering, censorship of Web content, and online surveillance are increasing in scale, scope, and sophistication around the world, in democratic countries as well as in authoritarian states. The first generation of Internet controls consisted largely of building firewalls at key Internet gateways; China's famous Great Firewall of China is one of the first national Internet filtering systems. Today the new tools for Internet controls that are emerging go beyond mere denial of information. These new techniques, which aim to normalize (or even legalize) Internet control, include targeted viruses and the strategically timed deployment of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, surveillance at key points of the Internet's infrastructure, take-down notices, stringent terms of usage policies, and national information shaping strategies. Access Controlled reports on this new normative terrain.
The book, a project from the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), a collaboration of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies, Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and the SecDev Group, offers six substantial chapters that analyze Internet control in both Western and Eastern Europe and a section of shorter regional reports and country profiles drawn from material gathered by the ONI around the world through a combination of technical interrogation and field research methods.
The global reliance on computers, networks and systems continues to grow. As our dependency grows so do the threats that target our military s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems as well as the operational components and electronic controls for our critical infrastructure. Over the past decade we have experienced a substantial rise in the complexity and sophistication of cyber attacks as well as a frightening increase in the impact of some of the attacks. Every computer is a potential cyber weapon waiting to be loaded and used by extremists, criminals, terrorists and rogue nation states. As the world becomes more and more dependent on computers and information technology, the greater the risk of cyber attacks. Government and military leaders now face this fact and our critical systems and infrastructure remain at great risk! This risk has made the ability to defend these critical systems and direct cyber attacks core capabilities required for the modern military. In the age of cyber conflict, leaders need to understand the weapons and strategies used to wage this rapidly evolving type of warfare. This handbook will provide the background needed to understand the new world of cyber warfare, define the tools and techniques for offensive and defensive action, and provide insight into the strategies behind building a dynamic and relevant cyber warfare capability.