Cyber-Attacks and Freedom of Expression:Coercion, Intimidation and Virtual Occupation

Burton, J. (2019) Cyber-Attacks and Freedom of Expression:Coercion, Intimidation and Virtual Occupation. Baltic Journal of European Studies, 9 (3). ISSN 2228-0588

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This article explores how cyber-attacks affect freedom of expression.It begins by outlining the literature on cyber coercion and exploringother conceptions of how offensive cyber operations have been usedto shape adversary behaviour, including efforts to intimidate throughcyberspace, and the concept of ‘cyber swaggering’. The articlemoves on to explore how cyber-attacks have been used to undermineelectoral process, to erode free and fair media reporting, and howmanipulation of social media can constitute a ‘virtual infiltration’and ‘virtual occupation’ of the information domain. The articlethen explores how cyber-attacks conducted during the conflict inUkraine have limited or otherwise affected freedom of expression.I argue that the wider effects of cyber operations on political, civiland human rights have been underexplored in the cyber securityliterature; that cyber-attacks have adversely affected freedom ofexpression in the conflict in Ukraine and in other political disputes;and that the coercion concept is ill-suited to accounting for the socio-psychological impact of modern cyber operations.

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Journal Article
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Baltic Journal of European Studies
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03 Aug 2023 13:45
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 02:02