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Blockchain Empowers Social Resistance and Terrorism Through Decentralized Autonomous Organizations
Armin Krishnan, PhD is an Associate Professor and Director of Security Studies at East Carolina University. He is the author of five books on new developments in warfare and conflict, including Killer Robots: The Legality and Ethicality of Autonomous Weapons published by Ashgate and Military Neuroscience and the Coming Age of Neurowarfare published by Routledge. His most recent book is Why Paramilitary Operations Fail published by Palgrave Macmillan. Dr. Krishnan has earned his doctorate from University of Salford, UK and he holds other graduate degrees in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Munich and the University of Salford. He has previously taught Intelligence Studies as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Subject Area Keywords
Cybersecurity, Nonstate actors, Security studies, Social media
The invention of the Internet has changed the way social resistance, revolutionary movements and terror groups are organized with new features such as loose network organization, netwars, social media campaigns, and lone wolf attacks. This article argues that blockchain technology will lead to more far-reaching changes in the organization of resistance to authority. Blockchain is a distributed ledger that records transactions using a consensus protocol, and when it meets objective conditions, it also enables smart contracts that execute transactions. Blockchain technology is not only a system for transferring value, but also it is a trustless system in which strangers can cooperate without the need for having to trust each other, as computer code governs their interactions. Blockchain will not only allow resistance/ terror organizations to easily receive donations globally, to have assets that a government can easily confiscate, and to disseminate censorship-resistant propaganda, but more importantly, to operate and cooperate across the world in a truly leaderless, coordinated, and highly decentralized fashion. Governments will need to be more proactive in the area of blockchain technology to mitigate some of the dangers to political stability that may emerge from it.
I want to thank the anonymous reviewers of the article for their encouragement, insights, and constructive criticism that has helped to improve the quality of the article.
Krishnan, Armin. "Blockchain Empowers Social Resistance and Terrorism Through Decentralized Autonomous Organizations." Journal of Strategic Security 13, no. 1 (2020)
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol13/iss1/3