Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


William Akoto, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Christopher Toulouse, Ph.D.


This project investigates the use of cyber technology as a political tool through the investigation of the following case studies: (1) The Sony Pictures Hack in the United States in 2014, (2) The Qatari News Hack in 2017, and (3) China’s enactment of the Hong Kong National Security Law in 2020. These three case studies depict that rapid technological advancement has led to greater cyber warfare between state powers. The Sony Hack examines political coercion, the Qatari Hack examines disinformation, and the Hong Kong National Security Law examines surveillance and suppression of opposition. As a result of an increasingly complicated cyberspace, cyberwarfare and physical warfare are becoming more enmeshed. Solving cybersecurity challenges requires a diverse pool of experts who can draw from multiple different disciplines, such as sociology, political science, and public culture. The means for protecting one’s data is no longer limited to code. Upon demonstrating how states use cyber technology to gain political influence, this project concludes with speculations and suggestions as to how the cybersecurity field must be addressed in the future.