Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/vqrv2c

2. Panopticon 2.0? AI Enabled Surveillance Practices in Authoritarian Regimes

18 November 2020


The opinions contained in this Report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, ISPI, and The Brookings Institution. [...] The ongoing global decoupling of the ICT supply chain, the current fragmentation of the Internet and the degree of investment underway in the area of AI, in particular in the United States, China and Russia, are all unequivocal signs that an arms race for technological supremacy in the cyber domain is indeed ongoing, and is in fact one of the most prominent features of today’s Great Power Competit. [...] In this domain, it is troublesome to understand and anticipate the motivation and the scope of a cyber campaign without considering the strategic, political and operational context in which it occurs.  The difficulty in attributing cyber attacks, together with the widespread recourse to false flag computer network operations, make it difficult to know “what is really going on” in the cyber domain,. [...] The ongoing conflict in cyberspace and the need to mobilize to maintain cyber superiority are at the origin of the ongoing global decoupling of the hardware and software ICT supply chains, and they are also provoking the gradual building of barriers to technology transfer and the proliferation of national safeguards against the foreign acquisition of technological products, services and companies,. [...] The example of the original development of the Internet, and the governance structure currently sustaining its everyday functioning, are both good examples of how, in abstract, states are not necessary to create and sustain cyberspace – they are in fact, to a certain extent, “special guests” of cyberspace.27 Instead, the cyber domain has become one of the 26 “This strategy is guided by principled.