digital medusa logo


Geopolitical conflicts and wars have been affecting access to the Internet since the Internet became more formalized and in a way, industrialized. This project focuses on “economic sanctions”, their effect on access to the Internet and the value of interconnectedness without discrimination.

Because of its history, the Internet and access to it were always affected by geopolitical conflicts and wars. Once it became widely accessible to consumers, however, the Internet became subject to trade sanction regimes in the US and Europe and possibly elsewhere.  There are debates about whether sanctions are effective for changing States’ behavior and what can be effectively sanctioned. As the Internet is a relatively new industrial area, this project proposes to adopt a systemic approach and document how sanctions are currently applied to the Internet, why there have been previous attempts not to apply sanctions to the Internet, whether contemporary problems necessitate application of sanctions to the Internet, and what a desirable outcome might be for sanctions and Internet access in the future.

We will use interviews, desk research and analytical narratives to provide a background on how sanctions have directly or indirectly affected access to the Internet. 

- Policy solutions: considering past sanction exemptions, what are the potential pathways to arguing for policies that can diminish the impact of sanction on access to the Internet but at the same time help governments achieve their sanction goals. 

- Strategies for compliance with sanctions while keeping the Internet global: the research discovers why businesses over comply with sanctions and how the risk strategies can change to maintain provision of services while still being in compliance with sanction rules. 

- Institutional changes: the research will also look into whether we need institutional and governance changes in Internet governance organizations in order to maintain interconnectedness.

Related meetings


Progress reports


  • Farzaneh Badiei, Digital Medusa 
  • Zhenye (Ryan) Pan, Columbia University 


This project is being funded by RIPE NCC 


Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
%d bloggers like this: