The Open (Internet) Society and Its Enemies: Can Multistakeholderism Survive “Information Dominance”?

MTN Zambia

Information Dominance

For General Keith Alexander, the head of the US‘s major surveillance agency, the NSA’s fundamental ambition appears to be what he and the US military call “Information Dominance”.

“Information Dominance is the ability to seize and control the information domain “high ground” when, where and however required for decisive competitive advantage… Information Dominance means freedom of action to maneuver and act — conduct offensive and defensive actions, kinetically and non-kinetically — at the intersection of maritime, information and cyberspace domains”

John Arguilla, a leading US cyberwar strategist defines “Information Dominance” as:

“knowing everything about an adversary without allowing the adversary to know very much about oneself.”

We know from the Snowden revelations that the NSA has been attempting to subvert the multistakeholder Internet standards setting processes of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to allow for internal weaknesses and backdoors to facilitate the insertion of surveillance and presumably other software functionalities. We can, given General Alexander’s apparent fondness for the doctrine assume that this was being done within the overall context of Information Dominance as noted above. Adapted from

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