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Internet freedom, human rights and power

Carr, M; (2013) Internet freedom, human rights and power. Australian Journal of International Affairs , 67 (5) pp. 621-637. 10.1080/10357718.2013.817525. Green open access

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Internet freedom is rapidly becoming understood as a normative framework for how the Internet should function and be used globally. Recently declared a human right by the United Nations, it also forms a central pillar of the USA's 21st Century Statecraft foreign policy doctrine. This article argues that although there is a clear human rights agenda present in this policy, there is also a power element which is much less discussed or acknowledged in the vast literature on Internet freedom. Through an exploration of both a short history and some important lessons learned about Internet freedom, this article demonstrates how the US Department of State has adapted to the information age in such a way as to harness individual agency (reconceptualised in policy terms as ‘civilian power’) for the promotion of state power. Although this is by no means as stable or reliable as some more conventional mechanisms, it is an expression of power that meets with few challenges to its legitimacy.

Type: Article
Title: Internet freedom, human rights and power
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/10357718.2013.817525
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10357718.2013.817525
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: 21st Century Statecraft; civilian power; Internet censorship; Internet freedom; miliblogs; social construction of technology; US power
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10054302
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