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[liberationtech] The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom

David Golumbia dgolumbia at
Wed Mar 11 12:08:24 PDT 2015

wow. thanks for sharing this. from where I sit, that looks like hitting a
nail on the head that has needed such a direct hit for quite a while. as
the publisher's site tags it: "How the freedom-to-connect movement aids
Western hegemony." Can't wait to read it.


On Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 2:55 PM, Shawn Mathew Powers <smp at> wrote:

>  We are pleased to announce the release of The Real Cyber War: The
> Political Economy of Internet Freedom (University of Illinois Press, 2015,
> by Shawn Powers ( and Michael Jablonski (
> The book is on sale now (
> for $25 (paperback). The Kindle edition (
> is just $11.75.
> About the book: Discussions surrounding the role of the internet in
> society are dominated by terms such as internet freedom, surveillance,
> cybersecurity, and, most prolifically, cyber war. But behind the rhetoric
> of cyber war is an ongoing state-centered battle for control of information
> resources. Powers and Jablonski conceptualize this real cyber war as the
> utilization of digital networks for geopolitical purposes, including covert
> attacks against another state’s electronic systems, but also, and more
> importantly, the variety of ways the internet is used to further a state’s
> economic and military agendas.
> Moving beyond debates on the democratic value of new and emerging
> information technologies, The Real Cyber War focuses on political,
> economic, and geopolitical factors driving internet freedom policies, in
> particular the U.S. State Department's emerging doctrine in support of a
> universal freedom to connect. They argue that efforts to create a universal
> internet built upon Western legal, political, and social preferences is
> driven by economic and geopolitical motivations rather than the
> humanitarian and democratic ideals that typically accompany related policy
> discourse. In fact, the freedom-to-connect movement is intertwined with
> broader efforts to structure global society in ways that favor American and
> Western cultures, economies, and governments.
> Table of Contents:
> Introduction: Geopolitics & the Internet
> 1. Information Freedom & US Foreign Policy: A History
> 2. The Information Industrial Complex
> 3. Google, Information & Power
> 4. The Economics of Internet Connectivity
> 5. The Myth of Multistakeholder Governance
> 6. Towards Information Sovereignty
> 7. Internet Freedom in a Surveillance Society
> Conclusion: Taming Geopolitics
> Reviews:
> "A knowing, wide-ranging, perceptive, important, and original book. Powers
> and Jablonski connect disparate and significant dots; weave history,
> technology, and law together; and explain interrelated complex concepts
> imaginatively. They tell a compelling story key for any student of
> transnational information flows."--Monroe Price, author of Media and
> Sovereignty: The Global Information Revolution and its Challenge to State
> Power
> "As governments, companies, civil society, and other stakeholders struggle
> towards a new global information and communication order in the
> post-Snowden world, this equally provocative and important book cuts
> through the Western rhetoric of 'Internet freedom' and draws a sobering
> picture of how policy-making in this space is ultimately a fight for
> control over information, which is largely driven by economic and
> geopolitical interests rather than democratic ideals and human
> rights."--Urs Gasser, Executive Director, Berkman Center for Internet &
> Society, Harvard University
> Where to learn more?
> University of Illinois Press (
> Amazon (
> )
>  Feedback and questions are welcome. Also, if you are working on a
> similar or related project, please get in touch! All the best,
>   —————————————————
>  Shawn Powers, PhD
> Assistant Professor, Communication
> Associate Director, CIME
> Georgia State University
>  smp at
> --
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David Golumbia
dgolumbia at
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