Empire and Power: The Forgotten History of the Internet as a Weapon

From the Vietnam War to Donald Trump.

Yasha Levine

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The “weaponization of the internet” — it’s suddenly a hot topic these days. News of this weaponization dominates the news. Many believe that this is a new development: that the Internet, once a force of democracy and egalitarianism, has been hijacked malign forces.

But the internet hasn’t just now become weaponized — it has always been a weapon, going back to its emergence out of the Pentagon in the 1960s as the ARPANET

This talk will look at forgotten history of the Internet as a weapon, focusing on episodes that have been lost,
forgotten, or culturally repressed — from Vietnam War Era counterinsurgency influences on data networks, to early opposition to the ARPANET as tool of military control, to Google and Silicon Valley, to Internet Freedom and privacy tools.