Ownership of Telecommunications Companies and Internet Control Ownership of the internet infrastructure, in particular internet service providers (ISP) is critical to understanding a state’s capacity to control the internet since most direct forms of control require ISP to comply with government requests. We study the relationship between ISP ownership and intentional disruption of the provision of internet services in sub-Sahara and North Africa. Our project makes at least two scientific contributions. First, it produces a more realistic understanding of the internet as tool of repression or liberation, taking into account the role of telecommunication companies. Second, it produces new datasets that allow to analyse more accurately the political and economic determinants as well as effects of internet diffusion. The findings have important practical implications for the assessment of the political effects of internet use, including the corporate responsibility of telecommunication companies. Team: Prof. Tina Freyburg (PI), Lisa Garbe, Véronique Wavre Dissertation projects Lisa Garbe: “Authoritarian survival and control of internet access in Africa” (To be defended beginning in April, with graduation in September; she will be a PostDoc after successful graduation and stay with us while being on the job market.) Michael Asiedu: “Court rulings on internet shutdowns in authoritarian contexts” (He started in September 2020; we applied for a Swiss government excellence scholarship, Michael is from Ghana originally but he can stay with us in any case.) Selected publication Freyburg, T., and L. Garbe (2018) Blocking the Bottleneck: Internet Shutdowns and Ownership at Election Times in Sub-Saharan Africa, International Journal of Communication 12: 3896-3916. Freyburg, T., L. Garbe, and V. Wavre (2021) Telecommunications Ownership and Control (TOSCO). A new dataset to explore the political power of internet business in Africa, 2000-2019, Comparative Political Studies.