Terror from behind the keyboard: conceptualising faceless detractors and guarantors of security in cyberspace

Mott, G., 2016. Terror from behind the keyboard: conceptualising faceless detractors and guarantors of security in cyberspace. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 9 (1), pp. 33-53. ISSN 1753-9153

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Abstract

By reflecting on active public-domain government documents and statements, this article seeks to develop securitisation theory’s articulation of the dichotomy between legitimate and illegitimate violence as it is reflected in British government policy. This dichotomy has (re)developed through a process wherein GCHQ and MI5 are portrayed as ‘faceless guarantors’ of security, in Manichean juxtaposition to the discursively-created phantom cyberterrorists, who are presented as ‘faceless detractors’ of security. It has previously been stated that the terrorism discourse associated with the present ‘War on Terror’ is attributed, in part, to mechanics of fantasy. I argue that, within the securitised discourse of cyberterrorism, the limits of fantasy possesses a murky nuance, which in turn, allows for a deeper - or at least more entrenched - securitisation. The official discourse surrounding the intelligence services’ online surveillance apparatus operates with a similar opaque quality, but this is upheld by securitising actors as a strength to be maintained.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Critical Studies on Terrorism
Creators: Mott, G.
Publisher: Routledge
Date: 2016
Volume: 9
Number: 1
ISSN: 1753-9153
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/17539153.2016.1147773DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 25 Jan 2018 15:11
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 15:11
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32549

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