The Dictator's Digital Toolkit: Explaining Variation in Internet Filtering in Authoritarian Regimes

  title={The Dictator's Digital Toolkit: Explaining Variation in Internet Filtering in Authoritarian Regimes},
  author={Sebastian Hellmeier},
  journal={Politics and Policy},
  • S. Hellmeier
  • Published 1 December 2016
  • Political Science
  • Politics and Policy
Following its global diffusion during the last decade, the Internet was expected to become a liberation technology and a threat for autocratic regimes by facilitating collective action. Recently, however, autocratic regimes took control of the Internet and filter online content. Building on the literature concerning the political economy of repression, this article argues that regime characteristics, economic conditions, and conflict in bordering states account for variation in Internet… 

Learning democracy digitally? The internet and knowledge of democracy in nondemocracies

ABSTRACT The study of public opinion in nondemocratic states has found that people often say they support democracy, yet they show little demand for democratization or regime change. Given this

Internet Fragmentation, Political Structuring, and Organizational Concentration in Transnational Engineering Networks

Is the internet at risk of fragmentation? Whereas the literature has examined this question with a focus on domestic policies, communication standards, and internet governance institutions, we

Online Repression and Self-Censorship: Evidence from Southeast Asia

  • Elvin Ong
  • Sociology
    Government and Opposition
  • 2019
Abstract Governments around the world have crafted new laws to threaten, arrest, prosecute and incarcerate online political activists. While the primary effect of online repression is to silence

Governments and the Net: Defense, Control, and Trust in the Fifth Domain

This dissertation underscores the need to analyze the use of the Internet by governments not only in terms of political content, but also to shed light on the deeper issues of cybersecurity, censorship, and information control.

The political power of internet business: A comprehensive dataset of Telecommunications Ownership and Control (TOSCO)

The ‘internet’—familiar shorthand for information and communication technologies (ICT)—is built on a physical infrastructure owned by a variety of state and private actors, foreign and domestic, with

Online repression and tactical evasion: evidence from the 2020 Day of Anger protests in Egypt

ABSTRACT Following the 2011 Arab Spring, autocrats have sought to limit citizens’ ability to publicize offline protests over social media. In this article, we explore how users adjust to these

How African countries respond to fake news and hate speech

ABSTRACT While scholars have already identified and discussed some of the most urgent problems in content moderation in the Global North, fewer scholars have paid attention to content regulation in

Fresh News, innovative news: popularizing Cambodia’s authoritarian turn

ABSTRACT This article seeks to advance understanding of how the new logics of an expanding digital media system can be mobilized in the service of authoritarianism, by tracing how an online news

The authoritarian practice of issuing internet shutdowns in India: the Bharatiya Janata Party’s direct and indirect responsibility

ABSTRACT This article examines India’s troubling rise in internet shutdowns. Focusing on internet shutdowns issued outside of the conflict-prone region of Jammu and Kashmir, the article asks two

Cyber Futures and the Justice Motive: Avoiding Pyrrhic Victory

  • M. Raymond
  • Political Science
    Military Cyber Affairs
  • 2018
Evaluating, and choosing between, possible cyber futures requires making collective decisions about values. Tradeoffs exist in the design of any governance arrangement for information and



Empowering activists or autocrats? The Internet in authoritarian regimes

The reported role of social media in recent popular uprisings against Arab autocrats has fueled the notion of ‘liberation technology’, namely that information and communication technology (ICT)

Information Technology Adoption and Political Regimes

What explains the different rates of internet use across nations, otherwise known as the worldwide digital divide? Essentially, this is a question about the determinants of technology adoption, a

Transgressiveness, civil society and Internet control in Southeast Asia

Abstract Over the past decade there is a growing concern about how state governments could exert political control upon the Internet system. Most explanations on Internet control point to the

The Internet and Democracy: Global Catalyst or Democratic Dud?

In this study we explore the global effect of the Internet on democracy over the period of 1992 to 2002 by observing the relationships between measures related to democracy and Internet prevalence.

When Do States Disconnect Their Digital Networks? Regime Responses to the Political Uses of Social Media

Although there have been many studies of the different ways regimes censor the use of social media by their citizens, shutting off social media altogether is something that rarely happens. However,

On digitally networked technologies, hegemony and regime durability in authoritarian regimes: a Zimbabwean case study

This study seeks to comprehend how the mobile phone and the Internet change power relations between citizens and the state, by assessing the possibilities they allow for in terms of Gramsci's theory

The Digital Divide

What factors have promoted and retarded the spread of the Internet globally? The Internet is one example of the diffusion of technology. Much as other technologies, the Internet has diffused unevenly


It is argued that a sharper understanding of the linkages between technology and governance will enable the growing numbers of researchers interested in electronic democracy to employ the massive social experiment the Internet represents to clarify and further democratic theory itself.

Information Manipulation, Coordination and Regime Change

This paper presents a model of information and political regime change. If enough citizens act against a regime, it is overthrown. Citizens are imperfectly informed about how hard this will be and

Media Disruption and Revolutionary Unrest: Evidence From Mubarak's Quasi-Experiment

Conventional wisdom suggests that universal lapses in media connectivity—for example, disruption of Internet and cell phone access—have a negative effect on political mobilization. On the contrary, I