SOUL: The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism


Millions of people have mobilized against authoritarian governments in several parts of the world during the last decade, and in many cases, these movements have resulted in regime change. While technology has permitted more effective civil action and the emergence of powerful social movements, multiple governments have also used technology to consolidate power and strengthen their rule. Artificial intelligence, surveillance malware, and facial recognition, among other technologies, are being used to monitor citizens, spy on journalists and dissidents, and manipulate voters. Governments are increasingly breaching citizens’ rights to free expression and access to information by shutting down the internet and banning access to specific digital content. This course will examine the many kinds of digital repression that governments use to restrict their citizens’ rights and liberties, as well as the ways in which these activities undermine democracy. The course will feature activists, journalists, technologists among other actors who are working to advance democracy and internet freedom by countering the rise of digital authoritarianism. 

Please visit the Office of the Registrar for more information about this course.