Valentin Weber tracks the global diffusion of repressive information controls and techniques in a report for the Open Technology Fund.
“Within the borders of China and Russia, the use of invasive information controls and techniques is well-known and widespread. Surveillance of citizens’ private communications is commonplace, while state-mandated censorship is pervasive. But the use of authoritarian technology systems by repressive state actors to suppress citizens’ fundamental human rights goes beyond what is happening inside any one country’s borders. Increasingly, authoritarian actors are exporting these tools and know-how to new countries, strengthening their surveillance use and censorship capabilities. Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP) fellow Valentin Weber set out to track this diffusion and conduct a systematic analysis of its drivers and outcomes; through his research, Valentin found that, to date, over 100 countries have purchased, imitated, or received training on information controls from China and Russia.”