The Politics of Cybersecurity in the Middle East, with James Shires
On Thursday 20 January 2022, James Shires will kick off our new monthly seminar series. In his talk, James Shires draws on his recent book to explore the politics of cybersecurity in the Middle East, especially in Egypt and the GCC states. Maartje Peters, Head of International Cyber Policy of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be the discussant.
In these countries, cybersecurity policies and practices are entangled with those of long-standing allies in the US and Europe, and are built on reciprocal flows of data, capital, technology and expertise. At the same time, these states have authoritarian systems of governance more reminiscent of Russia or China, including approaches to digital technologies centred on sovereignty and surveillance. Shires shows how the label of cybersecurity is repurposed by states, companies and other organisations to encompass a variety of concepts, including state conflict, targeted spyware, domestic information controls, and foreign interference through leaks and disinformation. These shifting meanings shape key technological systems as well as the social relations underpinning digital development. But however the term is interpreted, it is clear that cybersecurity is an integral aspect of the region’s contemporary politics.
This seminar will be held online on Zoom. You can register here.