Shawn Powers

Affiliated Fellow
Communication Studies
Georgia State University, US
Project Title: 
The Real Cyber War: A Political Economy of Internet Freedom
Project Abstract: 

This project will contribute the final chapter to a book manuscript analyzing the political economy of internet freedom ("The Real Cyber War: A Political Economy ofInternet Freedom," under contract with the University of Illinois Press). The book's working hypothesis suggests efforts to create a singular, universal internet built upon Western legal, political and social preferences alongside the promulgation of a universal human right to internet connectivity are driven primarily by economic and geopolitical motivations rather than the humanitarian and democratic ideals that typically accompany related policy discourse. This freedom to connect movement, led by the U.S. government and its private sector, has rich historical roots and is deeply intertwined with broader efforts to structure global civil society in ways that favor American and Western cultures, economies, and governments. The final chapter of the manuscript will focus on European reactions to the Snowden revelations, analyzing state and civil society strategies for securing a different type of internet freedom—the right to privacy online.

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