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The unexpected norm-setters: Intelligence agencies in cyberspace

Ilina Georgieva published an article in the journal Contemporary Security Policy on the norm-setting role of intelligence agencies.

Ilina Georgieva
11 October 2019
Article available under Open Access at Contemporary Security Policy


By implementing novel intelligence techniques in cyberspace, security and intelligence agencies have become major actors in the cybersecurity landscape. As they no longer just passively gather information for their governments but conduct both defense and offense operations in cyberspace, they signal international actors that their conduct is at least tolerable, even if not officially acceptable. Thereby, the intelligence agencies generate norms for the rest of the international community. Yet, they remain under the international regulation radar for being sub-state entities. Consequently, the main argument of this article is the following: To prevent the hollowing-out of cyber regulation efforts, the norm-setting role of intelligence actors should be taken into account when designing cyber norms.

Read the entire article online at Contemporary Security Journal.

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