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States and Private Actors Cooperating in Cyberspace

Chapter 9

Invites the student to think specifically about the new types of actors which we can identify in the cyber environment. 


Considers how states and corporations can cooperate in the provision of cybersecurity, through the phenomenon of public-private partnerships.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this chapter, students will be able to:

  • Define Public-Private Partnership (PPP)

  • List at least three ethical, political, economic and social issues associated with the provision of services by Public Private Partnerships

  • Define military industrial complex and cyber industrial complex and describe the political, legal and ethical issues raised by the existence of both

  • Compare and contrast the ways in which technological innovation is carried out in an authoritarian vs. a democratic regime

Questions for Discussion

  1. Alec Ross, a White House official, recently made the following statement: “I think the Internet is the single most disruptive force for the sovereign nation-state since the concept was founded with the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia.  I don’t think the Internet is going to take an eraser to state wars, but it is inherently anti-state.

  2. Do you agree with Alec Ross’ statement that the internet Is inherently anti-state?  If so, what specific features of the internet have combined to render it anti-state?

  3. If you disagree, explain how the internet can STRENGTHEN the power of the state.

  4. Quoted in Patrikarakos, D. (2017).  War in 140 Characters:

    How Social Media is reshaping conflict in the 21st century.  New York:  Basic Books. 

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