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Vol. 10 No. 1 | 2023 Edition

Violet Geinger

Chinese and Russian Efforts
to Undermine the Global Internet

Justin Sherman

Beijing and Moscow’s prevailing term was (and is) cyber “sovereignty.” Underpinning this perspective in China is an emphasis on the importance of “sovereignty” broadly and the importance of multilateralism, where governments are the driver of decision-making, over multistakeholderism (the current global internet governance approach), where academics, members of civil society, companies, and others have a voice alongside governments. The Russian government’s perspective draws on the Russian concept of “information security,” its belief in the importance of “sovereignty” to security, and its officials’ paranoia about “color revolutions” in other countries like Ukraine; Putin believes these events are the result of foreign interference and could occur in Russia. Although there are many general similarities between the two, Chinese and Russian officials do not view the global internet in exactly the same way.


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Justin Sherman is the founder and CEO of Global Cyber Strategies, a Washington, DC-based research and advisory firm; a senior fellow at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy; and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council.

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