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June 15, 2010


Elliott Ng

Powerful post on so many levels.

I think the concept "networked authoritarianism" works. It connotes "franchise authoritarianism" where private actors (with licenses) are asked to assist and implement policies. It also connotes "IT network authoritarianism" and the actual network nature of where this authoritarianism takes place: the social, give-and-take nature of the internet. I think another aspect is "decentralized authoritarianism" -- just as the internet itself is decentralized, the CCP and Chinese government is highly decentralized, more so than most would think based on Western conceptions of the Chinese government. Finally, the word "networked" also connotes "resilience" to me -- systems designed to be redundant and not prone to single points of failure -- maybe also "adaptable".

Bottom line is I feel like this is a winning concept. It did not immediately grab my attention (it is less glitzy and probably needs a slightly sexed-up formulation) but after having been brought to my attention by Bill Bishop (@niubi) I totally got it and thought about how much better it is than cybertarianism.

Looking forward to more on this. Thanks again for blogging this.

Tony Rutkowski

The referenced China White Paper was actually a well considered equivalent of similar documents on cybersecurity released by the US EOP last Fall and the UK government a few weeks laer. It places China appropriately within the cybersecurity community globally. Your analysis is way off base.


But as long as all of China's Internet companies and the few foreign Internet companies with a local presence in China

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