In its earliest days, the Internet seemed to all of us to be an unqualified good: It was a way to share information, increase productivity, and experience new freedoms and diversions. Alexander Klimburg was a member of the idealistic generation that came of age with the Internet. Two decades later, he—and all of us—have been forced to confront the reality that an invention that was once a utopian symbol of connection has evolved into an unprecedented weapon and means of domination.
Cyberspace, Klimburg contends, is already the main stage for global confrontation for this century. In this new arena of conflict, brilliant individuals and informal networks have the capacity to bring ostensibly stable societies to their knees—but also save them from destruction—and nations are reconceiving information as the ultimate weapon and configuring their defenses accordingly. The debate about how individual nations and the global community alike will define this new domain of human interaction is more pressing and divisive than ever.
Klimburg is a leading voice in the international dialogue on the implications of this new foreign policy sphere, and in The Dark Web, he presents the urgent reality that we are vastly underestimating the far-reaching consequences of states’ aspirations to project power in cyberspace. Indeed, competition for cyber power is a development as complex and troubling as the advent of nuclear weapons during the Cold War—and quite possibly as dangerous for humanity as a whole. With a skillful blend of anecdote and argument, Klimburg brings us face to face with the range of threats the struggle for cyberspace presents, from an apocalyptic scenario of debilitated civilian infrastructure to a 1984-like authoritarian erosion of privacy and freedom of expression. With a specific focus on the United States on one side and Russia and China on the other, The Dark Web makes clear that the debate about our different aspirations for cyberspace is nothing short of a war over our global values.
Authoritative, thought-provoking, and compellingly argued, The Dark Web reveals the menacing possibilities of a twenty-first century dominated by information warfare—and explains how the original promise of the Internet as a means for advancing freedoms can be regained.
From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!