Contesting Sovereignty in Cyberspace
The present article critically assesses the investigations regarding the use of the legal concept of sovereignty in cyberspace. It is intended to consider the practical dilemma of legality of cyber-attacks through the prism of the principle of territorial sovereignty. The methodology employed in the investigation is based on an evaluation of the inter-state and academic debate on whether sovereignty is a concrete rule that can be violated by cyber-attacks or a general principle that is not operational. Then it attempts to develop a theoretical framework to define cyberspace in terms of territorial sovereignty, drawing lines between the debating sides on the normative nature of sovereignty and the theories on territorial sovereignty used in their argumentation. To conclude, the article recognizes the ambiguous nature of sovereign representations in cyberspace. However, it suggests that only a functional approach to state sovereignty would allow for a balanced resolution of the normative practical problems.