The Internet as a Slippery Object of State Security: The Problem of Physical Border Insensitivity, Anonymity and Global Interconnectedness

By Memphis Krickeberg
Interstate - Journal of International Affairs
2016, Vol. 2015/2016 No. 2 | pg. 2/2 |

Conclusion

Cybersecurity narratives rest on a potentially deterritorialized and undetermined threat figure which equally menaces a wide array of referentobjects. It therefore appears to destabilize deep-rooted knowledge on what state security should be about in the realm of international relations. Moreover, it undermines the state's capacity of providing credible threat figures emanating from a "menacing outside" to its own populations. At the same time as cybersecurity discourses struggle to emphasize particular threat figures, incarnated by enemy states or terrorists, in a credible manner, the focus of security increasingly shifts to technical vulnerabilities which compromise flux circulation and associated risk calculations.

However, while cybersecurity discourses tend to present the reconceptualizing of state security studied above as an outcome of increased computer-interconnectedness, we would like to point out that these discourses are inscribed in a semantic field which has rendered a traditional, realist-type notion of state-security heavily ignored over, at least, the past thirty years. Further critical research should demonstrate how cybersecurity practices and discourses do not generate but merely amplify the dedifferentiation of security domains and the reference to a "continuum of threats" narrative which has characterized the development of international security since the 1980s.28 Stressing the historical continuity between these securitarian evolutions and cybersecurity would be a welcome step towards countering national and transnational discourses which use the so-called "novelty" of cyber-threats to further (in) securitize the Internet and dismantle/restructure its open character.


References

Achiary, A. Auverlot, D. Hamelin, J. ‘Cybersécurité, l'urgence d'agir', Centre d'Analyse Stratégique, Analysis note 324 (2013).

Aron, R. Paix et guerre entre les nations (Paris, Calman-Lévy, 2004).

Arquilla, J. ‘Cyberwar is already among us. But can it be controlled?', Foreign Affairs, 91:2 (2012).

Bockel, J, M. ‘Jean-Marie Bockel salue les dispositions du nouveau Livre Blanc en matière de cyberdéfense', Jean-Marie Bockel [Blog] 30 April 2013, Available at: http://jeanmariebockel.fr/jean-marie-bockel-salue-lesdispositionsdu-nouveau-livre-blanc-en-matiere-de-cyberdefense

Campbell, D. Writing Security: United Sates Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1998).

Carr, M. The Irony of the Information Age: US Power and the Internet in International Relations, Doctoral Thesis (Canberra, Australian National University, 2011).

C.A.S.E. Collective, ‘Critical Approaches to Security in Europe: A Networked Manifesto', Security Dialogue, 37:4 (2006) pp. 443-487.

Chabaud, F. Recherche et développement en sécurité des systèmes d'information : orientations et enjeux, (Paris, Direction centrale de la sécurité des systèmes d'informations, 2008).

Deibert, R. 'Risking Security: Policies and Paradoxes of Cyberspace Security', International Political Sociology, 4 (2010) pp.15-32.

Denning, D. ‘Cyber Security as an Emergent Infrastructure', in Security Education and Critical Infrastructures, edited by Armstrong, H. Irvine, Cynthia (New York, Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003) pp.1-2

Department of Homeland Security, Cyberspace Policy Review. Assuring a Trusted and Resilient Information and Communications Infrastructure (Washington, Office of the United States Department of Homeland Security, 2009).

Foucault, M. Sécurité, Territoire, Population: Cours au Collège de France, 1977-1978, (Paris, Seuil, 2004).

Foucault, M. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, (Hampshire, Palgrave MacMillan, 2009).

Hansen, L & Nissenbaum H. ‘Digital Disaster, Cyber Security, and the Copenhagen School', International Studies Quarterly, 53 (2009) pp. 1155– 1175.

Huysmans, J. ‘Security! What Do You Mean? From Concept to Thick Signifier', European Journal of International Relations, 4:2 (1998) pp. 226–255.

Labrie, M. La sécurisation du cyberterrorisme aux Etats-Unis Thèse de maîtrise (Montreal, Université du Québec à Montréal, 2011).

Libicki, M. Cyberdeterrence and cyberwar, (Santa Monica, Rand Corporation, 2009).

Ministry of Defence. French White Paper. Defense and National Security, (Paris, Office of the Ministry of Defence of the French Republic, 2013).

Nye, J. The future of power, (Philadelphia, Public Affairs, 2011).

Paganini, P. ‘The business of censorship. Golden Shield Project, but not only ...' Security Affairs, [Blog] 19 November 2011, Available at: http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/204/cyber-crime/business-ofcensorshipgolden-shield-project-but-not-only.html

Ryan, J. A history of the Internet and the digital future, (London, Reaktion Books, 2010).

Wamala, F. ITU National Cybersecurity Strategy Guide (Geneva, International Telecommunications Union, 2011).


Endnotes

  1. See: Denning, D. ‘Cyber Security as an Emergent Infrastructure', in Security Education and Critical Infrastructures, edited by Armstrong, H. Irvine, Cynthia (New York, Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003) pp.1-2; Libicki, M. Cyberdeterrence and cyberwar, (Santa Monica, Rand Corporation, 2009); Department of Homeland Security, Cyberspace Policy Review. Assuring a Trusted and Resilient Information and Communications Infrastructure (Washington, Office of the United States Department of Homeland Security, 2009); Achiary, A. Auverlot, D. Hamelin, J. ‘Cybersécurité, l'urgence d'agir', Centre d'Analyse Stratégique, Analysis note 324 (2013).
  2. Foucault, M. Sécurité, Territoire, Population: Cours au Collège de France, 1977-1978, (Paris, Seuil, 2004).
  3. Chabaud, F. Recherche et développement en sécurité des systèmes d'information : orientations et enjeux, (Paris, Direction centrale de la sécurité des systèmes d'informations, 2008) p.4.
  4. Chabaud, F. Recherche et développement. p.4
  5. Chabaud, F. Recherche et développement. p.7
  6. See: Libicki, M. Cyberdeterrence and cyberwar, (Santa Monica, Rand Corporation, 2009); Deibert, R. 'Risking Security: Policies and Paradoxes of Cyberspace Security', International Political Sociology, 4 (2010) pp.15-32; Chapter 5 "Diffusion and Cyberpower" Nye, J. The future of power, (Philadelphia, Public Affairs, 2011).
  7. Campbell, D. Writing Security: United Sates Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1998).
  8. Huysmans, J. ‘Security! What Do You Mean? From Concept to Thick Signifier', European Journal of International Relations, 4:2 (1998) pp. 226–255.
  9. Huysmans, J. Security!
  10. Huysmans, J. Security!
  11. Huysmans, J. Security!
  12. See: Hansen, L & Nissenbaum H. ‘Digital Disaster, Cyber Security, and the Copenhagen School', International Studies Quarterly, 53 (2009) pp. 1155–1175; Labrie, M. La sécurisation du cyberterrorisme aux Etats-Unis Thèse de maîtrise (Montreal, Université du Québec à Montréal, 2011).
  13. Carr, M. The Irony of the Information Age: US Power and the Internet in International Relations, Doctoral Thesis (Canberra, Australian National University, 2011). p.64
  14. Hansen, L & Nissenbaum H. Digital Disaster. p.1161
  15. Hansen, L & Nissenbaum H. Digital Disaster. p.1162
  16. Hansen, L & Nissenbaum H. Digital Disaster. p.1162
  17. Wamala, F. ITU National Cybersecurity Strategy Guide (Geneva, International Telecommunications Union, 2011). pp.48-49
  18. Ministry of Defence. French White Paper. Defense and National Security, (Paris, Office of the Ministry of Defence of the French Republic, 2013). p.100
  19. Hansen, L & Nissenbaum H. Digital Disaster. p.1162
  20. Aron, R. Paix et guerre entre les nations (Paris, Calman-Lévy, 2004).
  21. Deibert, R. 'Risking Security: Policies and Paradoxes of Cyberspace Security', International Political Sociology, 4 (2010) p.15.
  22. Deibert, R. Risking Security. p.15 Wamala, F. ITU Cybersecurity
  23. Paganini, P. ‘The business of censorship. Golden Shield Project, but not only ...' Security Affairs, [Blog] 19 November 2011, Available at: http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/204/cybercrime/ business-of-censorship-golden-shield-project-but-not-only.html
  24. Bockel, J, M. ‘Jean-Marie Bockel salue les dispositions du nouveau Livre Blanc en matière de cyberdéfense', Jean-Marie Bockel [Blog] 30 April 2013, Available at: http://jeanmariebockel.fr/jean-marie-bockel-salue-les-dispositions-du-nouveau-livre-blanc-enmatierede-cyberdefense
  25. This sovereignist view of security traditionally formulated by state elites and realists has of course never adequately reflected the effectivity of modern security logics. Indeed, Foucault has shown that security cannot be reduced to territorial defense but is to be envisaged as the counterpart and condition of possibility of modern governmentality i.e. the particular logic of power that emerged in the 18th century and which "has the population as its target, political economy as its major form of knowledge, and apparatuses of security as its essential technical instrument". Foucault, M. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, (Hampshire, Palgrave MacMillan, 2009). p.144
  26. Ryan, J. A history of the Internet and the digital future, (London, Reaktion Books, 2010).
  27. Wamala, F. ITU Cybersecurity.
  28. C.A.S.E. Collective, ‘Critical Approaches to Security in Europe: A Networked Manifesto', Security Dialogue, 37:4 (2006) pp. 443-487.

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