Shadowboxing: The Data Shadows of Cold War International Law
Forthcoming, Matthew Craven, Sundhya Pahuja, Gerry Simpson and Anna Saunders (eds), Cold War International Law
28 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 4, 2017
That states have come to be represented in “data shadows” for international legal purposes – that is, that state populations’ condition may be gleaned from remotely sensed data to overcome deficiencies in official government statistics – is today identified with digital innovation. “Data shadows” were, however, crucial features of Cold War international law. Cold War decision-makers were captivated by the prognostications and intimations of “sigint” (signals intelligence). International legal order came to be marked, during the Cold War, by the latent or virtual agency of states’ sigint data shadows in ways that leave an enduring legacy today.
Keywords: International law, technology, Cold War, signals intelligence
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