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The unexpected norm-setters: Intelligence agencies in cyberspace

Journal article by Ilina Georgieva for the journal Contemporary Security Policy.

Ilina Georgieva contributed an article for a special issue on cyber security politics, edited by Myriam Dunn Cavelty. The article is available here under open access. You can find an abstract below.

ABSTRACT: 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.

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The unexpected norm-setters: Intelligence agencies in cyberspace