Darknet and the Political

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The Darknet is becoming an increasingly visible structural unit in the political sphere and at the same time remains a little-studied area of cyberspace. Therefore, the article aims to determine the conceptual prism for its consideration and its actual significance in the measurement of the political. With the help of comparative historical analysis, the study reveals the causes and time of the political birth of the Darknet, characterizes its resources and political role through system and content analysis, systematizes and clarifies the concepts of power and politics in the Network based on the provisions of R. Gel, M. Castels, K. Schmitt, etc. The author names the expansion of states (especially autocracies) in the digital space as the main factor in the politicization and transformation of the Darknet. The pressure of power and dominance systems aimed at maintaining sovereignty and control in cyberspace caused “digital resistance” of programmers and users seeking free data exchange and confidentiality, as well as civil activists who strived to avoid prosecution for dissent, which led to the renewed architecture and functionality of the Darknet, its transformation into an alternative space of informational interaction and a database to build up the opposition potential. Criminals also took advantage of the opportunities of the new network for their own purposes. The main result of the research is the thesis that the Darknet is being transformed into a special socio-technical system that is outside the sphere of international and state law, where all interactions are carried out exclusively through private agreements between clients, with an alternative world payment system based on cryptocurrencies.

About the authors

Maksim V. Yakovlev

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: maxvuz@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0127-5642

Doctor of Political Science, Professor of the Department of Philosophy of Politics and Law

Moscow, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Yakovlev M.V.

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