Citizen Lab Senior Security Researcher Morgan Marquis-Boire joined the Ars Technica Live interview series to discuss the rise of what he calls “digital authoritarianism,” an extension of the activities of authoritarian governments into cyberspace. Morgan noted that in this respect, there was no meaningful distinction between the digital world and the ‘real world,’ because the political atmosphere in both spilled over onto each other.
He recommended a series of steps citizen could take to protect themselves, in particular when expressing dissent. If going to a protest, for example, Morgan said that he recommend people “think about turning [phones] off.” Most importantly, he stressed the need for “data” contraception, the practice of restraining the amount of data we share. He recommended avoiding taking pictures, for example, that would implicate friends or other individuals in subversive activities.
The interview also touched on topics like the recent hack of the Democratic National Convention as part of the 2016 United States Presidential elections, and the various ways to think about cybersecurity challenges in different contexts.