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New publication on the silencing effect of digital transnational repression

  • March 2, 2020

[Publication] Marcus Michaelsen’s new report examines the online efforts of authoritarian regimes to intimidate activists outside their borders. Authoritarian regimes have long used a variety of repressive tools to control, silence, and punish dissidents living abroad. Yet the advent of the Internet – and its central role in activist communities – has changed the way these regimes intimidate those who dare speak out against them.

Today, subtle but pervasive forms of online transnational repression are increasingly common. Activists living outside their homeland now face digital surveillance, threats, and smear campaigns designed to stifle their opposition and induce self-censorship. What tools actually exist in these new digital “toolkits” of transnational repression? And how successful are they in disrupting cross-border information flows? Using the online efforts of Syria and Iran as examples, Marcus Michaelsen set out to find answers.



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