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Governments and the Net : Defense, Control, and Trust in the Fifth Domain

Governments and the Net : Defense, Control, and Trust in the Fifth Domain

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KAWERAU, Lukas, 2021. Governments and the Net : Defense, Control, and Trust in the Fifth Domain [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz

@phdthesis{Kawerau2021Gover-55972, title={Governments and the Net : Defense, Control, and Trust in the Fifth Domain}, year={2021}, author={Kawerau, Lukas}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

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This development has also affected governments. In my dissertation I investigate three aspects of how governments use the Internet and additionally contribute to the methodological development in political science. Previous research on the impact of the Internet on politics has focused primarily on analyzing political discourse and interaction between citizens and governments. How- ever, the technical reality of the Internet also presents new challenges and opportunities to governments that go beyond this. In my dissertation, I therefore examine issues of cy- bersecurity, censorship, and information control, as well as how governments deal with the inherently international technical structure of the Internet. Methodologically, I expand the repertoire of political science in this course with techniques of Internet measurement from computer science, which make empirical analyses of these questions possible in the first place. In the first paper, I introduce these techniques and their relevance to political science, and then apply them to a cross-country comparison of defensive cybersecurity. Using Internet measurement data of security vulnerabilities found on servers that host gov- ernment websites, I construct a new, observational indicator for defensive cybersecurity capability and compare it to an indicator based on expert interviews. My analysis shows that the observational indicator plausibly measures the same concept as the indicator based on expert surveys and that expert surveys might be biased by media coverage of security breaches in a way observational indicators are not. In the second paper, co-authored with Nils B. Weidmann and Alberto Dainotti, we ex- amine whether and how autocracies choose between online censorship tactics. We analyze two censorship tactics, website blocking and denial-of-service attacks. For our empirical analysis, we rely on Internet measurement data to contribute a new measurement to bet- ter map Denial-of-Service attacks to possible targets. The results of our analysis provide first evidence that autocrats select tactics from their censorship repertoire depending on the current situation. In weeks with protest, observing the presence of website blocking is associated with fewer DoS attacks against opposition websites, while in weeks without protest it is correlated with more DoS attacks. This confirms our theoretical expecta- tion that autocrats choose between tactical reinforcement and tactical substitution when deciding how to employ the tactics in their repertoire of techniques. In the third paper, I investigate the observation that many governments bring their official websites and digital services online through companies that are based abroad and are thus outside the control of governments. This observation contradicts assumptions from the theoretical accounts of the importance of supply chain security and national data sovereignty. Given the decision to bring official government websites online through foreign companies, I ask what factors might influence the choice in which country a gov- ernment hosts its own websites. I investigate this question empirically by using Internet measurement data on government website hosting providers and modeling inter-state trust through common alliance membership and relative democratic status. The results of this analysis show that governments are more likely to locate their official websites in countries they trust. In summary, this dissertation underscores the need to analyze the use of the Internet by governments not only in terms of political content, but also to shed light on the deeper technical aspects of this use. Furthermore, I show how political scientists can extend their methodological repertoire with Internet measurement techniques to conduct such analyses.</dcterms:abstract> <dc:date rdf:datatype="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#dateTime">2021-12-22T06:29:55Z</dc:date> <dcterms:issued>2021</dcterms:issued> <dspace:hasBitstream rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/bitstream/123456789/55972/5/Kawerau_2-176y1g4fs6pvh0.pdf"/> <bibo:uri rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/handle/123456789/55972"/> <dcterms:isPartOf rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/rdf/resource/123456789/42"/> <dspace:isPartOfCollection rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/rdf/resource/123456789/42"/> <dcterms:hasPart rdf:resource="https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/bitstream/123456789/55972/5/Kawerau_2-176y1g4fs6pvh0.pdf"/> <foaf:homepage rdf:resource="http://localhost:8080/jspui"/> <dc:language>eng</dc:language> <void:sparqlEndpoint rdf:resource="http://localhost/fuseki/dspace/sparql"/> <dc:rights>terms-of-use</dc:rights> <dcterms:rights rdf:resource="https://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/"/> </rdf:Description> </rdf:RDF>

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