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24 Brown J. World Aff. 139 (2017-2018)
Defending Democracies in a Cybered World

handle is hein.journals/brownjwa24 and id is 139 raw text is: 








         Defending Democracies

               in a Cybered World




                           CHRIS DEMCHAK


AT  ITS INCEPTION, CYBERSPACE  WAS  viewed as a miracle maker. Its ability to
connect  everyone's information needs was widely promoted  for years, said to
inexorably expand prosperity and the democratic civil society model of gover-
nance on  a global scale.' This vision dominated technical, business, and social
literature-as well as policy discussions about the internet from the early 1990s
until the late 2000s.2 In 2009, however, President Barack Obama declared that
the internet posed national security threats and directed the creation of a dedi-
cated defensive cyber command. Still, the language of domestic and international
policy statements from Western nations reiterated the increasingly unrealizable   1
dream  of a universally democratizing, borderless, and safe global cyberspace.3
This utopian vision of the internet was so powerful that China was expected
to compliantly fold into this future, despite being a long-time adversary and a
rising, deeply authoritarian global competitor.'
     The promised  digital, ubiquitously democratic global nirvana was derailed
throughout  the first generation of cyberspace's creation. First, the underlying
cyberspace substrate was poorly built for commercial reasons and spread naively
into modern  societies with so little protection that a new form of cybered con-
flict now threatens the societies that originated cyberspace. Second, though its
demographic  scale made China's rise inevitable, the cyber insecurity of digitized
economic  and  societal resources hastened China's acquisition of wealth and
its rise as an economic and cyber power. The emerging, largely authoritarian,
post-Western, conflictual, and deeply cybered world favors China's preferences,


CHRIS DEMCHAK is the RDML Grace M. Hopper Professor of Cyber Security and Director, Center for
Cyber Conflict Studies (C3S), U.S. Naval War College. In her research on cyberspace as a globally shared
insecure complex substrate, she takes a systemic approach to emergent structures, comparative institu-
tional evolution, and other areas of cyber security. These are solely the author's ideas, and not the position
of any element of the U.S. government.
Copyright © 2017 by the Brown journal ofWorldAffairs


FALL/WINTER   2017 * VOLUME  XXIV, ISSUE I

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