IW™?: 'Building Global Community', Facebook, and Cyber Security in the post-Westphalian Age
I made a joke about a future featuring 'facebook.gov" in a piece for VICE Magazine years ago and then Zuckerberg writes a 6000-word manifesto pretty much pitching it. - Warren Ellis On February 16, 2017, Mark Zuckerberg posted 'Building Global Community' on his Facebook page, setting out a vision of the ways in which cooperation through social media can build a better world. On one level, this text is simply a manifestation of the utopian belief in technology as a tool of social improvement; from a cyber security perspective, however, it crystallizes a number of vital issues which will shape the domain in the foreseeable future. Any government seeking to implement and manage a successful cyber security strategy is automatically hamstrung by the fact that the Westphalian model of autonomous nation states cannot successfully control an information network which is by its very nature transnational; more than that, the tendency in recent decades to outsource elements of national security to firms in the private sector (G4S and Serco in the UK, Blackwater/Academi in the USA) means that effective control of the organs of defence is already partially out of the hands of government, however robust the oversight regime may appear to be. This paper will examine Zuckerberg's text, and argue that it can and perhaps should be read as an opening shot in a new terrain of information warfare, in which a multinational corporation effectively sets itself up as a major power in cyber space. In effect, it is a call to recognize Facebook as seeking to become a post-national information state, and its role as a platform for the active manipulation of global opinion (through which nation states themselves are required to operate) must be examined, questioned, and challenged at an individual, state, and global level.
Citation : Scott, K. (2018) IW™?: Building Global Community, Facebook, and Cyber Security in the post-Westphalian Age. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security (ICCWS2018), National Defense University, Washington DC. March 2018,
ISBN : 9781911218739
Research Institute : Media and Communication Research Centre (MCRC)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities