In his notorious book Leviathan, the XVII century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes stated that: we should give our obedience to an unaccountable sovereign otherwise what awaits us is a state of nature that closely resembles civil war—a situation of universal insecurity. It looks like a lot of current political leaders have red and found the teachings of Hobbes applicable to modern day online life.
We witness the rise of the Digital Leviathan. The same apps and applications that people use to connect, express opinions and dissatisfaction are used by governments (even democratic ones) to perform surveillance and censorship.
This talk will focus on evidence of Nation-State spying, performing surveillance, and censorship. The aim is to present a systematical approach of data regarding cyber attacks against political targets (NGO/political groups/media outlets/opposition), acquisition and/or use of spywares from private vendors, requested content/metadata from social media/content providers, and blocking of websites/censorship reported by multiple sources.
The findings of the research imply that:
- 25 nations that have already used cyber offensive capabilities against political targets.
- 60 nations acquired/developed spyware.
- 117 nations requested content/metadata from social media/content providers.
- 21 countries perform some level of censorship to online content.