August 11, 2017

Less Freedom in Reality and in Cyberspace?

Robert Mijic/HaloPix/PIXSELL

We are witnessing a rise in authoritarianism in the European Union and elsewhere in the world, which, naturally, obliges us to find different ways of understanding political life. Increased cyber security does not mean less freedom on the internet. These are among the topics discussed in the August issue of Diplomaatia.

Märt Trasberg, a political scientist currently studying in the US, writes about the rise of authoritarianism in the EU using the examples of Poland and Hungary. He thinks that “restricting the activity of independent media and civil society organisations is especially important for guaranteeing the viability of such regimes. Controlling the media permits the production of ideological propaganda needed by the rulers and significantly limits the opportunities of political competitors.”
Mart Nutt, Viljar Veebel and Ahto Lobjakas comment on Trasberg’s article.
Diplomaatia publishes a speech by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former president of Estonia, which he made at the Reinhard Mohn Prize ceremony of the Bertelsmann Foundation. Ilves discusses internet freedom and safety. He says we cannot deal with the brave new digital world using digital means alone. Solutions require analogue methods, too: policies, laws and regulation. None of them is digital. Such documents are drawn up by people – and only people can create them.
Angel Losada, EU Special Representative for the Sahel, writes about the EU’s and Estonia’s potential contribution to making that region safe again.
Andreas Kasekamp, Professor at Munk School of Global Affairs and the Elmar Tampõld Chair of Estonian Studies at the University of Toronto, discusses Canada’s security policy in the context of security in the Baltic Sea region. “The fact that Canada does not spend 2% of GDP as prescribed by NATO most probably played an important part in the government’s decision to deploy forces to the Baltic States, allowing it to show its serious contribution to NATO,” writes Kasekamp.
Jaak Madison, Member of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu), visited Belarus and is convinced that the West, including Estonia, should warm up relations with the country to draw it away from Russia’s sphere of influence. “The more economic ties Belarus has with Estonia and other EU states, the less Russia is involved in its economy,” he writes.
Monica M. Ruiz, who was a US fellowship scholar at the International Centre for Defence Studies, looks at changes in Russia’s military doctrines. “While neither Moscow’s overall goals nor the threats and dangers it faces have drastically changed, it seems the Kremlin has grown more nervous of others seeking ways to harm it, militarily and otherwise, and hence is preparing to grow its capabilities and rally its resources,” she writes.

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