Repression in the Digital Age: Surveillance, Censorship, and the Dynamics of State Violence
Global adoption of the Internet has exploded, yet we are only beginning to understand the Internet's profound political consequences. Authoritarian states are digitally catching up with their democratic counterparts, and both are showing a growing interest in the use of cyber controls--online censorship and surveillance technologies--that allow governments to exercise control over the Internet. Under what conditions does a digitally connected society actually help states target their enemies? Why do repressive governments sometimes shut down the Internet when faced with uprisings? And how have cyber controls become a dependable tool in the weapons arsenal that states use in civil conflict? In Repression in the Digital Age, Anita R. Gohdes addresses these questions, and provides an original and in-depth look into the relationship between digital technologies and state violence. Drawing on large-scale analyses of fine-grained data on the Syrian conflict, qualitative case evidence from Iran, and the first global comparative analysis on Internet outages and state repression, Gohdes makes the case that digital infrastructure supports security forces in their use of violent state repression. More specifically, she argues that mass access to the Internet presents governments who fear for their political survival with a set of response options. When faced with a political threat, they can either temporarily restrict or block online public access or they can expand mass access to online information and monitor it to their own advantage. Surveillance allows security forces to target opponents of the state more selectively, while extreme forms of censorship or shutdowns of the Internet occur in conjunction with larger and more indiscriminate repression. As digital communication has become a bedrock of modern opposition and protest movements, Repression in the Digital Age breaks new ground in examining state repression in the information age.
- Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
- Publish Date: Dec 15th, 2023
- Pages: 200
- Language: English
- Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
- EAN: 9780197743577
- Categories: • Security (National & International)• Censorship• Political Process - Media & Internet
About the Author
Anita R. Gohdes is Professor of International and Cyber Security at the Hertie School in Berlin. Her research focuses on the intersection of technology and security.
Praise for this book
"In this masterful work, Anita R. Gohdes provides a sweeping review of the various tools of repression available to states through cyber technology-and shows that those tools have varying impacts on patterns of state violence toward dissidents. In Repression in the Digital Age, Gohdes provides an elegant and important argument: that the use of cyber tools for surveillance and monitoring is associated with government authorities deploying targeted violence against oppositionists, whereas censorship and internet closures are more associated with indiscriminate state violence. Meticulously researched, compellingly argued, and brilliantly written, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in technology, public policy, contentious politics, and international politics." -- Erica Chenoweth, Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment, Harvard University"What strategies do governments employ to manage the challenges of digital technologies, like social media, mobile devices, and the internet? Under what circumstances are internet shutdowns employed, and what are their impacts on state violence? Repression in the Digital Age is a thorough analysis of information controls in the digital age. Combining careful case studies with the latest theories on online censorship and surveillance, Gohdes has written a highly readable overview of the issues, and an essential contribution to the field." -- Ron Deibert, Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto