Prepping for Long-Term Competition? U.S. Leadership in Cyberspace from Trump to Biden

Prepping for Long-Term Competition? U.S. Leadership in Cyberspace from Trump to Biden

U.S. Leadership in a World of Uncertainties
5 October 2022

What has become of American leadership in cyberspace under the administration of Joe Biden?

Frédérick Douzet (Director of GEODE and University Professor at the French Institute of Geopolitics, University of Paris 8) and Stéphane Taillat (lecturer at the University of Paris 8 and seconded to the Écoles de St Cyr Coëtquidan) answer this question in a chapter entitled “Prepping for Long-Term Competition? U.S. Leadership in Cyberspace from Trump to Biden”. Published by Palgrave MacMillan, the book deals with “U.S. Leadership in a World of Uncertainty”.

More information here

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The war in Ukraine, open source investigation and the potential for “digital fieldwork” in geopolitics

The war in Ukraine, open source investigation and the potential for “digital fieldwork” in geopolitics

Political Geography
31 August 2022

Kevin Limonier, a professor at the French Institute of Geopolitics and researcher at GEODE, recently published a new article on open source investigation and the potential for “digital fieldwork” in the context of the war in Ukraine. Read the article here.

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Contributions – Franco-Russian Observatory 2021

Contributions – Franco-Russian Observatory 2021

Franco-Russian CCI
3 February 2022

Several GEODE researchers contributed to the latest edition of the annual report of the Franco-Russian Observatory 2021 (Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry): 

Hugo Estecahandy, on The cryptocurrency mining industries in Russia 

Julien Nocetti, associate researcher at the Geode centre, as well as Marie-Gabrielle Bertran and Colin Gérards, PhD students, also contributed to this book.

For this 2021 edition, 69 French and Russian experts participated in this project.

Find the latest articles published regularly here 

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So much for a ‘world without borders’? Countries are marking their territory in cyberspace

So much for a ‘world without borders’? Countries are marking their territory in cyberspace

Atlantic Council
3 February 2022

Alix Desforges and Aude Gery published an article on the website of the American think tank Atlantic Council, entitled “So much for a ‘world without borders’? Countries are marking their territory in cyberspace”.
You can find it here 

It is based on their joint article in French “Cyberespace: d’un village global à un espace aux multiples frontières” published in the May-June 2021 issue of the journal Diplomatie. Find it here 

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Special issue on “Cyberstudies”

Special issue on “Cyberstudies”

Études Internationales (Laval University)
3 February 2022

Several GEODE researchers contributed to the journal Études internationales (scientific journal of the École supérieure d’études internationales de l’Université Laval) for a special issue on “Cyberstudies” edited by Sébastien-Yves Laurent.

Frederick douzet, Aude Géry and François Delerue with “International law and norms for cyberspace: ambiguities and geopolitical instrumentalisation”

Julien Nocetti with “An arranged “cyber-marriage”? Realities and implications of cyber cooperation between Russia and China“.

More information on this special issue here 

 

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Cloud defence: an operational challenge, a strategic imperative and a sovereignty issue

Cloud defence: an operational challenge, a strategic imperative and a sovereignty issue

Études de l'IFRI - Focus stratégique
3 February 2022

photo : Credits : SergeyBitos/Shutterstock.com

The French Ministry of Defence has decided to make cloud computing one of the pillars of its digital transformation.

However, resorting to the cloud implies outsourcing part of the management of IT resources, which poses many challenges of a technical and cultural nature, but also political and industrial. In addition to the imperative of technological control, there are major strategic issues relating to autonomy and influence. Cloud Defence therefore depends as much on the ability of the armed forces to adapt the technology to their security and operational requirements, as on the industrial partnerships set up by the Ministry, and on national policies on the subject.

Find the whole publication by Clotilde Bomont here (in French).

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Loqman Salamatian, Frédérick Douzet, Kavé Salamatian & Kevin Limonier “The geopolitics behind the routes data travel: a case study of Iran”

Loqman Salamatian, Frédérick Douzet, Kavé Salamatian & Kevin Limonier “The geopolitics behind the routes data travel: a case study of Iran”

Journal of Cybersecurity
17 September 2021

Read the article co-authored by Loqman Salamatian, Frédérick Douzet, Kavé Salamatian et Kevin Limonier “The geopolitics behind the routes data travel: a case study of Iran” in the Journal of Cybersecurity.

Abstract: “In November 2019, in the wake of political demonstrations against the regime, Iran managed to selectively cut off most traffic from the global Internet while fully operating its own domestic network. It seemingly confirmed the main hypothesis our research had led us to, based on prior observation of data routing: Iran’s architecture of connectivity enables selective censorship of international traffic. This paper examines, through the case of Iran, how states can leverage the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) as a tool of geopolitical control and what are the trade-offs they face. This question raises a methodological question that we also address: how the analysis of BGP can infer and document these strategies of territorialization of cyberspace. The Internet is a network of networks where each network is an autonomous system. Autonomous systems (ASes) are independent administrative entities controlled by a variety of actors such as governments, companies and universities. Their administrators have to agree and communicate on the path followed by packets travelling across the Internet, which is made possible by BGP. Agreements between ASes are often confidential but BGP requires neighbouring ASes to interact with each other in order to coordinate routing through the constant release of connectivity update messages. These messages announce the availability (or withdrawal) of a sequence of ASes that can be followed to reach an IP address prefix. In our study, we inferred the structure of Iran’s connectivity through the capture and analysis of these BGP announcements. We show how the particularities of Iran’s BGP and connectivity structure can enable active measures, such as censorship, both internally and externally throughout the network. We argue that Iran has found a way to reconcile a priori conflicting strategic goals: developing a self-sustaining and resilient domestic Internet, but with tight control at its borders. It thus enables the regime to leverage connectivity as a tool of censorship in the face of social instability and as a tool of regional influence in the context of strategic competition.”

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Kevin Limonier & Marlène Laruelle “Beyond “hybrid warfare”: a digital exploration of Russia’s entrepreneurs of influence”

Kevin Limonier & Marlène Laruelle “Beyond “hybrid warfare”: a digital exploration of Russia’s entrepreneurs of influence”

POST-SOVIET AFFAIRS
19 August 2021

Read the article co-authored by Marlène Laruelle and Kévin Limonier “Beyond “hybrid warfare”: a digital exploration of Russia’s entrepreneurs of influence” for Post-Soviet Affairs, Volume 37, Issue 4.

Abstract : “This article argues that to capture Russia’s influence abroad, one needs to comprehend the country’s “gray diplomacy” as a neoliberal realm open to individual initiatives. We define “entrepreneurs of influence” as people who invest their own money or social capital to build influence abroad in hopes of being rewarded by the Kremlin . We test this notion by looking at both famous and unknown entrepreneurs of influence and their digital activities. We divide them into three broad categories based on their degree of proximity to the authorities: the tycoons (Yevgeny Prigozhin and Konstantin Malofeev), the timeservers (Alexander Yonov and Alexander Malkevich), and the frontline pioneers (the Belgian Luc Michel). An analysis of the technical data documenting their online activities shows that some of these initiatives, while inscribed into Moscow’s broad aspirations to great powerness, are based on the specific agendas of their promoters, and thus outlines the inherent limits of Moscow’s endeavors.”

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