The Human Factor in the Geopolitics of the Internet

The Human Factor in the Geopolitics of the Internet

RIPE Labs
5 April 2023

Our team from GEODE explores the complex relationships between the technical and political dimensions of the Internet, with a focus on Central Asia and Kyrgyzstan.

In this piece, Louis Pétiniaud, Kevin Limonier, Loqman Salamatian and Antonin Rosa-Martin show how qualitative data gathered “in the field” allows a better understanding of the geopolitics of the architecture of networks.

This article presents the result of a research project called “Mapping Connectivity in Central Asia: A View from Within” carried out by GEODE researchers and supported by RIPE NCC. Its main objective: to develop a cartography of the digital space.

Read the full article on RIPE Labs’ website 

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Pr. Frédérick Douzet awarded €2.5 million ERC grant for her research on Geopolitics of Internet data routes

Pr. Frédérick Douzet awarded €2.5 million ERC grant for her research on Geopolitics of Internet data routes

30 March 2023

Scientific Excellence at the University of Paris 8. 

Frédérick Douzet won a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Fellowship and its €2.5 million grant.

Frédérick Douzet, Professor at the French Institute of Geopolitics at the University of Paris 8 and Director of the GEODE Center (Geopolitics of the Datasphere) has just obtained an ERC grant in the Advanced category for her DATAROUTES project, which aims to map Internet routes and their manipulation for strategic purposes. This research funding program is one of the most prestigious and competitive in the European Union (EU). For the first time, the award recognizes the excellence of research in humanities and social sciences conducted at the University of Paris 8.

 

Frédérick Douzet was delighted at the announcement of the results: “I am very pleased to be awarded this grant. It will enable me to carry out an ambitious research project that is fully in line with the tradition of innovation and experimentation in social sciences at the University of Paris 8. This project tops nearly 10 years of investment in building a challenging interdisciplinary conversation at the French Institute of Geopolitics and the GEODE project, which I lead. I would like to warmly thank my entire team for their unwavering support, but also the many colleagues, friends and staff in the administration of Paris 8 who helped me prepare this great project and train for the interview.”

 

Annick Allaigre, President of the University of Paris 8, welcomes the performance of Frédérick Douzet, who wins the first ERC grant of the University Paris 8 with this project particularly relevant given the international context. This success is the result of her tireless work and ability to lead a first class team. It also reflects the quality of the support provided by the research services for very high-level projects and rewards a resolute policy of support for research.

 

Arnaud Regnauld, Vice-President of Research at the University of Paris 8 adds: “The DATAROUTES project is the continuation of an ambitious scientific dynamic at “Geopolitics of the Datasphere” (GEODE), a project developed by the IFGLab. This ERC grant is a recognition of the work undertaken by Frédérick Douzet and her team and a testament to the excellence and influence of this laboratory in exploratory research at an international scale.” 

 

Understanding how states and non-state actors shape cyberspace by seeking to control the routes taken by digital data 

The Internet has been able to develop very rapidly in most countries thanks to its highly decentralized nature. Its resilience is based on a multiplicity of different routes that allow data to always bypass a blocking or partial destruction of the network by alternative paths. This model is now being challenged by two major developing dynamics. On the one hand, some states, in the name of national security, seek to re-establish control over borders of what they regard as their national cyberspace, creating fragmentation along state borders. On the other hand, at a higher level of abstraction, another dynamic can be observed. Driven by market forces, this dynamic consists in the concentration of data traffic around a few major data transport players and a few large platforms, such as GAFAMs. Largely invisible, this concentration also leads to a form of fragmentation along commercial lines.

These developments raise major questions in terms of the stability and resilience of the Internet, the free movement of data and human rights. The DATAROUTES project aims to map the paths taken by digital data to understand how and with what consequences the control strategies of actors shape cyberspace, and analyze the major issues in terms of security and public policies for the European Union. 

 

Acknowledging the scientific excellence of the research carried out at the University Paris 8. 

The ERC Advanced Scholarship program is part of the Horizon Europe program. These scholarships reward researchers who are experienced and recognized in their field at the national and international levels. They make it possible to carry out ambitious and innovative high-risk projects that can lead to notable scientific advances. The funded projects each benefit from a maximum budget of 2.5 million euros over five years. Out of 1,650 applications received, the ERC picked 218 winners in the Advanced category this year, i.e., a success rate of 13.2%. With 32 winning projects, France ranks third among the 20 European countries represented, behind Germany and the United Kingdom. 

The DATAROUTES project will allow the recruitment of several doctoral and post-doctoral students and research engineers who will be hosted at the Condorcet Campus, of which Paris 8 University is a member.  

Frédérick Douzet’s work has been recognized by the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) and is part of the innovative research carried out within the GEODE project, which was labeled in 2020 “Center of Excellence International Relations and Strategy” by the Ministry of the Armed Forces and has received funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This scholarship also rewards the teams of the French Institute of Geopolitics at the University of Paris 8 to which the GEODE center is attached. Finally, it testifies to the vitality and the need for interdisciplinary research in humanities and social sciences undertaken within the University of Paris 8 to advance knowledge.

 

> Download the press release <<

 

 

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Introducing the Humanitarian Cybersecurity Center!

Introducing the Humanitarian Cybersecurity Center!

CyberPeace Institute, GEODE's partner
27 February 2023

 

We are proud to be a partner of the CyberPeace Institute in creating the Humanitarian Cybersecurity Center! This center aims to provide cybersecurity services to NGOs, ensuring that their data and systems are secure and protected from cyber threats.

“Humanitarian and development NGOs are targeted by cyberattacks and information operations. They do not have the capacity to both be on the frontline of aid delivery and respond to cyber threats. Cyberattacks imperil lives and erode the trust in organizations that is essential for their work.

(…) The Center provides expert support and practical assistance to NGOs in the humanitarian and development sectors, tailored to their needs, and available anywhere in the world. The Center builds upon the CyberPeace Institutes key capabilities and develops programs of activities and associated projects to support communities vulnerable to threats in cyberspace.”

— Excerpt from the press release

 

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The Russia Program, the new university-based analytical center created by the George Washington University in partnership with GEODE

The Russia Program, the new university-based analytical center created by the George Washington University in partnership with GEODE

27 January 2023

We are very pleased to announce the launch of The Russia Program, a university-based analytical center created by the George Washington University in partnership with GEODE in order to provide new ways of studying Russia after February 24, 2022. 

Hosted at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at George Washington University, The Russia Program founds a novel research ecosystem that renews our methodological toolkit and creates new knowledge commons designed not only for the scientific community, but also for a broader audience. 

Within this framework, the “New Methodological School” offers seminars and academic courses designed to explore contemporary Russia through innovative methods of data collection and aggregation such as open source intelligence research.



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The Legal Protection of International Organisations’ Data – Report by Aude Géry and Anne-Thida Norodom

The Legal Protection of International Organisations’ Data – Report by Aude Géry and Anne-Thida Norodom

Leiden Asia Center
18 January 2023

Aude Géry and Anne-Thida Norodom, GEODE researchers, wrote a report that was published via Leiden University’s LeidenAsiaCentre as part of the Chinese Knowledge Network project.

This study deals with the legal protection of international organisations’ data that may be stored in China, as part of the United Nations Global Platform that aims at developing the use of big data for statistics in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the context of this study, the chosen perspective confronts three normative corpuses applicable to the data examined in this study: that of the European Union, that of China and that of international organisations. It also makes recommendations in regard to a better protection of UN data. 


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GEODE is hiring a post-doctoral fellow!

GEODE is hiring a post-doctoral fellow!

January 11, 2023

Post doctoral contract at GEODE Project

Assignment

Attached structure: University of Paris 8 – Laboratory IFGLab, GEODE project (Geopolitics of the datasphere)

Address: 2 rue de la Liberté – 93200 Saint-Denis / 14 cours des Humanité 93330 Aubervilliers

Category: A – Research Engineer Equivalent

Nature of contract: Post-doctoral

Quota: 100%.

Expected duration of the assignments : 1 year

Salary: Between 27 000 and 30 000 euros brut per year depending of the experience

Job description
Description of the employer and of the affiliation structure

The University of Paris 8 is an institution of higher education with 22,500 students, 1,200 research professors and approximately 650 administrative staff. The university carries out training and research missions. Its activities are mainly focused on human and social sciences, arts and digital technology. As far as research is concerned, it has 26 research units and 7 mixed research units.

Geopolitics of the Datasphere (GEODE) is a multidisciplinary research and education project at the University Paris 8 dedicated to the strategic challenges of the digital revolution. It gathers researchers in geopolitics, geography, law, mathematics, computer science, history, sociology and philosophy from the University Paris 8, INRIA, The Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS), the University of Paris Cité, the University of Bretagne Occidentale, the University of Savoie, the Saint-Cyr French Army Academy. Its goals are to enhance the understanding of the Datasphere as a new strategic environment, build capacity by training the next generation of academics and professionals, conduct critical applied research to inform the strategies and policies elaborated by governments, companies and institutions, and promote the norms building process to reduce conflicts, mitigate risks, and facilitate international cooperation to preserve the security and stability of the digital space.

www.geode.science

Tasks of the post

Research activities, tasks and expected results

  • Name of the project : GEODE project (Geopolitics of the datasphere)
  • Research activities / Content of the research project :

The post-doctoral fellow must be involved in at least one of the three research themes of the GEODE project:

  • Cyber Policy and Digital Affairs
  • Cartography of the Datasphere
  • Cyber Warfare and Digital Operations
  • Tasks to be performed

Research, collection and analysis of data

Participation in conferences and scientific events in France and abroad

Publication of scientific articles and publications for the general public

Participation in the organisation of events to promote the research of all GEODE teams (seminars, colloquium, conference, team travel)

  • Expected results

To be determined according to the research project with the laboratory director at the beginning of the contract.

  • Provisional timetable

To be determined according to the research project with the laboratory director at the beginning of the contract.

Internal and external links

www.geode.science

Conditions of service and, where appropriate, particular hardship attached to the post

All travels related to the job will be paid by the laboratory.

Expected knowledge and skills
Expected training and experience
  • PhD (or end of PhD) in Geopolitics, Law or Political Science on the strategic issues of the digital revolution

NB: the PhD must have been obtained less than 2 years ago in a different research lab

  • The post-doctoral fellow must be involved in at least one of the three research themes of the GEODE project:
    • Cyber Policy and Digital Affairs
    • Cartography of the Datasphere
    • Cyber Warfare and Digital Operations
Expected skills
  • Good team-work abilities and interest in collaborating in an international/multidisciplinary environment
  • Analytical and synthesis skills
  • Excellent knowledge of cyberspace issues
  • Excellent speaking and writing skills in English
  • Reactivity
  • Commitment
  • Spirit of initiative
  • Autonomy
  • Good organizational skills
Contact person and affiliation form

To apply, please send, before February 15, 2023 :

  • a CV
  • a letter of motivation
  • a written proposition of a post-doctoral thesis (3 to 5 pages)
  • the list of the GEODE researchers that could be relevant for the desired topic of research

Contacts :

Administrative contact: Appoline Roy (appoline.roy@geode.science)

Research contact: Frédérick Douzet, Director of GEODE (fdouzet@gmail.com)

 

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REPORT – The discreet action of Russian channels in Western conspiracy circles

REPORT – The discreet action of Russian channels in Western conspiracy circles

GEODE Report
November 16, 2022

This research note extends the analysis of content sharing between Telegram channels presented in our previous study. We show that by increasing the depth of a query generated by the Telegram analysis tool developed by GEODE, we can better understand the integration of pro-Russian channels into Western conspiracy sphere. We can also refine our understanding of the content and internal structures of different conspiracy communities.

Download the report

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PPF22- Non-proliferation of malicious software and practices intended to cause harms

PPF22- Non-proliferation of malicious software and practices intended to cause harms

Paris Peace Forum
November 11, 2022

Author

On November 11, Aude Géry, a GEODE researcher specializing in international legal issues in cybersecurity, participated in a roundtable discussion at the 5th edition of the Paris Peace Forum, which brought together representatives of states, international organizations, businesses, development banks, foundations, and NGOs from all regions of the world.

The roundtable focused on the non-proliferation of malicious software and practices intended to cause harm, as part of the Paris Appeal for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.

Watch Aude Géry’s speech in replay


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