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Lecture 6

POL112H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Authoritarianism, White Nationalism, Edward Snowden

Political Science
Course Code
Justin Bumgardner

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Week 4: Deibert
1. Announcements
a. There will be a bonus mark opportunity. An email will be sent out with a survey
which will be worth a 1% bonus mark and can be applied to one of the
participating classes.
2. Authoritarian States
a. Constraints on political participation
b. Rule by emotion and far
c. Repression of civil society
d. Concentration of executive power in hands of an unaccountable elite
i. Include political figures or top business leaders
e. Includes weak states “competitive authoritarian” (hybrid) states and closed
authoritarian states
f. Authoritarian states are increasingly using the internet to help maintain power
3. Cyberspace Authoritarianism
a. Evolved over time, with at least 3 generations of information controls
i. When the internet emerged, governments didn’t really know how to
approach it
ii. Authoritarian states felt uneasy about the internet as it gave people the
access to all information
1. Weren’t initially sure how to control for this
b. First generation controls are defensive
c. Second generation controls use laws and regulations
d. Third generation controls are offensive
e. More assertive authoritarianism at the international level could represent a “4th
4. First Generation controls
a. Are defensive and use national cyber borders that limit citizens access to
information from abroad (Great Firewall of China)
b. A system that filters keywords to control what users can see on the internet
i. If you type a word that the government doesn’t want you to type in, you
won’t be able to see what you have searched
c. Used by China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Vietnam, etc.
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5. Second Generation Controls
a. Deepen and extend controls into society through laws, regulations or
i. Not just limiting keywords, but making it a criminal act to use the internet
in a way the government doesn’t approve
b. Force private sector to do states bidding by policing privately owned and
operated networks
i. Self-censorship
c. A woman in India was arrested for hitting “like” button on a friends Facebook
d. Bans software that permits users to bypass first-generation blocks
i. Ex. In China, they wanted Google to also self-censor themselves, but
Google refused
e. Registration and identity requirements that tie people to specific accounts and
i. Must use biological name in accounts and devices
6. Third Generation Controls
a. Offensive and involve surveillance and targeted espionage
b. Chinas “Great Cannon” can redirect website requests into denial of service
attacks or malware
i. Before, if you typed something the government didn’t want you to know
the page would just not come up. With these, it can actually infect your
ii. Uses “electronic armies” to discredit those who dare criticize the state
iii. Chinas “Fifty-cent brigade” pays workers that amount for each pro-
government comment
1. Often rebottle comments made that are anti-government
2. Can also post abroad
7. Fourth Generation Controls
a. More assertive authoritarianism at the international level
b. North America, Europe and Asian democracies support openness in cyber space
c. China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and many other authoritarian states oppose
d. Brazil, India, Indonesia and others are in the middle
8. Driving Factors of Authoritarianism in Cyberspace
a. Desire worldwide to adopt cybersecurity and anti-terror policies
b. Regional security cooperation, where states cooperate on cybersecurity
c. Rapid growth of digital connectivity in the global south has expanded spyware
and the need for cybersecurity
d. Disclosures of state secrets (the Edward Snowden case)
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