Why Canada must confront the rise of digital authoritarianism

George Tsagaroulis

Youth fellow, Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

George Tsagaroulis is a youth fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. He is currently enrolled in the Master’s in Public Policy and Public Administration at Concordia University. Prior to enrolling at Concordia, George served as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces’ Primary Reserve. His experience in the military fostered interest for the field of international relations as it pertains to intergovernmental efforts in addressing threats to global security. As well, his policy work interests include the study of human rights violations during periods of armed conflict. Upon graduation, George aspires to work as a policy analyst for a government agency or an intergovernmental organization in the international relations sector. He hopes that working with the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies will allow him to develop a deeper understanding of international actors’ role surrounding the protection of human rights and the provision of global security.

Most Recent Posts

Five ways to fight ISIS online

Five ways to fight ISIS online

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February 24, 2015

Combating extremism requires more than military might. A digital strategy is key, but needs government, the private sector and NGOs to get onboard.

Matthews: What role will sanctions by Canada, the United States, and the European Union play in the development of the political crisis in Ukraine?

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March 17, 2014

The sanctions imposed by Western countries will send an important message to Vladimir Putin and his inner circle that “business as usual” will not continue. Russia’s military interference in Ukraine and the subsequent staging of an “independence referendum” that will see Crimea join the Russian Federation is a dangerous precedent that has put all of […]

Matthews: Should the Canadian government spy on economic targets abroad and share that intelligence with Canadian corporations?

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October 11, 2013

In a perfect world I would argue no. However, in the real world economic espionage takes place everyday and it is not limited to only a handful of powerful countries. Canadian companies have been the target of foreign governments seeking to steal technology and intellectual property. The fact that Nortel’s demise has been linked to […]

Matthews: What can the West hope to achieve with a military strike on Syria?

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August 28, 2013

The best scenario is that surgical strikes avoid causing any collateral damage, does not create a new wave of forced displacement, and weakens Assad’s ability to wage war against his people. Worst case scenario is the bombing draws in other countries into a larger regional war, the rebel faction become even more reluctant to negotiate […]

Matthews: Should Western governments cut off aid to Egypt?

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August 16, 2013

Nope, not yet. As we have seen after the ouster of Morsi in early July, numerous countries in the region (Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) have poured massive amounts of money into Egypt, dwarfing what the West contributes. We are kidding ourselves if we think withdrawing our aid will alter the situation […]

Matthews: Should President Morsi Resign?

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July 3, 2013

Yes, Morsi should resign given that he has brought Egypt to a point of chaos. In less than one year he has demonstrated that the Muslim Brotherhood has no idea how to restart the country’s collapsing economy, has made a series of partisan appointments that has angered many towns and cities across the land and […]

The End of Atrocity

The End of Atrocity

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February 12, 2013

With no end to the conflict in Syria in sight, do the promises of “never again” after Rwanda ring hollow? Yes and no says Kyle Matthews.

Matthews: Is Islamist extremism a bigger problem now than it was before 9/11?

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January 22, 2013

I would argue that it has gotten worse. Pakistan is now battling extremism and even senior level cabinet ministers are no longer safe. Yemen is fighting Al-Qaeda, as is Mali. A good portion of Somalia is now ruled by Al-Shabaab, which has triggered a Kenyan intervention into the country. Nigeria is confronted with the extremist […]

Matthews: Should Canada’s military support the intervention in Mali?

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January 16, 2013

Yes. Mali and the African Union are begging for help. Canada’s former ambassador to the UN, Robert Fowler, spent some time in the northern part of Mali as a “forced” guest of Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb, and has gathered some deep insight into the ambitions of this outfit. Their ultimate objective, along with the […]

Matthews: Should U.S. diplomats meet with Hamas leaders when conducting ‘shuttle diplomacy’ in the Middle East?

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November 23, 2012

While I would like to say “no”, reality dictates the answer should be “yes”. Unfortunately Hamas has liquidated all political opposition in Gaza, meaning it will be in firm political command of that piece of real estate for quite sometime. Furthermore, with Egypt now firmly under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas now has […]

Matthews: Are the Quebec riots a manifestation of the global Occupy movement?

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June 4, 2012

Partly. While the student protestors only account for 30 per cent of Quebec’s entire post-secondary student body, they have been supported by three distinct groups: the Parti Quebecois, labour unions and the anti-globalization crowd. Each has their own distinct political agenda. Montreal has always had a large group of anti-globalization and pro-anarchy activists, who united […]

Matthews: Should Canada view cyberspace as a threat or opportunity?

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May 25, 2012

Canada should view cyberspace as an opportunity first and as a threat second. Economics and technological advances mean we are not going back to a non-digital age. Our government, universities, companies and individual citizens have embraced cyberspace, making Canada one of the most internet savvy countries in the world. It is precisely because of this, […]

Matthews: Which current or former international leader should be prosecuted by the ICC and why?

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May 7, 2012

The Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kin Jong-Un, deserves special attention given that he oversees his country’s Orwellian security state which has built over the years many large-scale detention camps holding hundreds of thousands of political prisoners in inhumane conditions. Next down the list would be another “Supreme Leader”, Ali Khamenei of Iran who continues […]

Matthews: Was the first decade of the ICC a more just one?

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April 17, 2012

Although the ICC has only been around for a decade, I do feel that it has made a positive contribution to international justice and ending impunity. True, it has no enforcement capacity and relies on the good will of the international community to apprehend those individuals it has issued indictments against. This is exemplified by […]

Matthews: How should Canada respond to the rising violence in Syria?

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February 27, 2012

With presidential elections looming in the United States and France, it should be painfully clear to all observers that Western military intervention to protect Syrians from their government is not on the table, regardless of China and Russia’s recent double veto at the UN Security Council.  Unlike Libya, Syria represents a hornet’s nest that no country […]

Matthews: Could the spread of information via digital media reduce mass atrocities?

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November 2, 2011

Digital media is revolutionizing how private citizens and advocacy groups communicate and share information with the news media and influential political actors. Now, in a matter of seconds, a person halfway across the globe can upload a picture documenting a mass atrocity crime and send it like a missile through cyberspace via Twitter directly to […]