Electoral Cyber Interference, Self-Determination and the Principle of Non-Intervention in Cyberspace
28 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2019 Last revised: 3 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 17, 2019
This chapter examines the application of the principle of non-intervention to electoral cyber interference. In the first place it discusses how the traditional definition of intervention can apply to such interference and identifies the normative and regulatory gaps that arise. For this reason, it proceeds to contextualise and reconceptualise the meaning of intervention in cyberspace and then applies this new definition to electoral cyber interference such as the interference into the 2016 US elections. Its main argument is that the baseline of intervention is control over choices whereas the function of the principle of non-intervention is to protect the principle of self-determination interpreted as the free construction of a state’s authority and will. Thus, external cyber interference amounting to control over the cognitive environment within which such authority and will are formed violates the principle of non-intervention.
Keywords: intervention, elections, interference, self-determination, coercion, control
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