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Too Close for Comfort: Cyber Terrorism and Information Security across National Policies and International Diplomacy

In this article for Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, the authors analyse the evolution and interplay of national policies and international diplomacy on cyber terrorism within and across the UNSC’s permanent five members and the UN process on cyber norms (GGE and OEWG).

Dennis Broeders, Fabio Cristiano, and Daan Weggemans
03 June 2021
Link to article (available open access)

First, it reveals how – through the extension of preemptive measures to low-impact cyber activities and online content – national policies progressively articulate cyber terrorism as an issue of information security. Second, it problematizes how – through the adoption of comprehensive and imprecise definitions – the diplomatic language on cyber terrorism might lend international support to those authoritarian regimes keen on leveraging counter-terrorism to persecute domestic oppositions and vulnerable groups. Third, it concludes that – with UN diplomatic efforts increasingly discussing countering (dis)information operations – combining normative debates on cyber terrorism with those on information security requires precision of language to safeguard human rights globally.

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