Authoritarianism Goes Global: Cyberspace Under Siege

Issue Date July 2015
Volume 26
Issue 3
Page Numbers 64-78
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Far from being made obsolete by the Internet, authoritarian regimes are now actively shaping cyberspace to their own strategic advantage. This article argues that cyberspace authoritarianism has evolved over at least three generations of information controls. Moreover, authoritarians have developed an arsenal that extends from technical measures, laws, policies, and regulations, to more covert and offensive techniques, such as targeted malware attacks and campaigns to coopt social media. The article outlines the driving forces behind resurgent authoritarianism in cyberspace and questions what can be done to counter the tightening grip of authoritarians on cyberspace.

About the Author

Ronald J. Deibert is director of the Citizen Lab and professor of political science in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. His books include Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society (2020).

View all work by Ronald J. Deibert