On the Virtual Borderline: Cyber Operations and their Impact on the Paradigms for Peace and War : Aspects of International and Swedish Domestic Law
Abstract: Contemporary disputes between states contain elements of psychological and information operations, intelligence operations and cyber operations as well as methods for physical use of force. Cyber operations may use, or contribute to, all of these different techniques and methods combined and can be focused on intelligence gathering, preparation of networks for future attacks, sabotage or on preventing access to information. States are also not alone as actors in cyberspace, non-state actors are continuously updating and reinforcing their abilities and capabilities and the dividing line between cyber operations that are a crime conducted by a non-state criminal and operations conducted by states have become increasingly blurred.International law, and Swedish domestic law, is built up around two foundational paradigms for peace and war. The paradigms are founded on the concepts of statehood, sovereignty and security. Situations, especially threats to states, are to be sorted into either the paradigm for peace or the paradigm for war and are through the division into paradigms also regulated by separate legal frameworks. There is in law no acknowledged state in between.This thesis explores the virtual borderlines of the paradigms for peace and war. It suggests that cyber operations is one development challenging the paradigms for peace and war. It further suggests that states are beginning to form their responses to cyber operations. States are defining cyberspace in terms of territory and sovereignty and they play on thresholds for breaches of sovereignty, interventions and use of force. They in essence structure and argue for a legal space in between the paradigms for peace and war.The thesis also takes the findings from research conducted on international law and views the findings from a Swedish domestic law perspective. Sweden adheres to a strict division of threats and situations into paradigms for peace and war. There is no state of emergency in Swedish constitutional law, the paradigm for peace is applied fully until a situation is defined as war or danger of war. The question for law is how to make this bipolar system function where threats cannot be sorted into either peace or war anymore.
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