The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace

The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace

by Alexander Klimburg


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“A prescient and important book. . . . Fascinating.”—The New York Review of Books

No single invention of the last half century has changed the way we live now as much as the Internet. Alexander Klimburg was a member of the generation for whom it was a utopian ideal turned reality: a place where ideas, information, and knowledge could be shared and new freedoms found and enjoyed. Two decades later, the future isn’t so bright any more: increasingly, the Internet is used as a weapon and a means of domination by states eager to exploit or curtail global connectivity in order to further their national interests.
Klimburg is a leading voice in the conversation on the implications of this dangerous shift, and in The Darkening Web, he explains why we underestimate the consequences of states’ ambitions to project power in cyberspace at our peril: Not only have hacking and cyber operations fundamentally changed the nature of political conflict—ensnaring states in a struggle to maintain a precarious peace that could rapidly collapse into all-out war—but the rise of covert influencing and information warfare has enabled these same global powers to create and disseminate their own distorted versions of reality in which anything is possible. At stake are not only our personal data or the electrical grid, but the Internet as we know it today—and with it the very existence of open and democratic societies.
Blending anecdote with argument, Klimburg brings us face-to-face with the range of threats the struggle for cyberspace presents, from an apocalyptic scenario of debilitated civilian infrastructure to a 1984-like erosion of privacy and freedom of expression. Focusing on different approaches to cyber-conflict in the US, Russia and China, he reveals the extent to which the battle for control of the Internet is as complex and perilous as the one surrounding nuclear weapons during the Cold War—and quite possibly as dangerous for humanity as a whole.

Authoritative, thought-provoking, and compellingly argued, The Darkening Web makes clear that the debate about the different aspirations for cyberspace is nothing short of a war over our global values.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735222830
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/10/2018
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 1,186,136
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alexander Klimburg is a program director at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and an associate and former fellow at the Belfer Center of the Harvard Kennedy School. He has acted as an advisor to a number of governments and international organizations on cybersecurity strategy and internet governance, and has participated in various national, international, NATO and EU policy groups. He splits his time between Boston, Vienna and The Hague.

Table of Contents

Note on Terms xi

Introduction 1

Part I

1 The Body of Cyber 23

2 Mind over Matter 53

Part II

3 Everyone Can Be a God 69

4 Ruling the Domain 87

5 Pin-Striped Cyber… 117

Part III

6 No One but US 133

7 Attack to Excess 159

8 Strategic Innuendo 185

Part IV

9 Russia's Invisible War 205

10 Of Siloviki and Cyber Crime 225

11 Pwnage Diplomacy 243

Part V

12 The Chinese Cyber Dream 253

13 Manning the Great Firewall 265

14 Handling the Barbarians 275

Part VI

15 Parsing Cyber Power 301

16 The Great Cyber Game 315

17 An End-to-End World 347

Conclusion 357

Epilogue 367

Afterword 371

Acknowledgments 385

Notes 387

Index 425

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