Uusien uhkakuvien luominen: tapaus 'kiinalaiset kybersoturit' : lingvistinen uhka-analyysi kyberdiskurssista
Jantunen, Saara (2010)
Johtamisen ja sotilaspedagogiikan laitos
Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulun Johtamisen ja sotilaspedagogiikan laitos
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Since his inauguration, President Barack Obama has emphasized the need for a new cybersecurity policy, pledging to make it a "national security priority". This is a significant change in security discourse after an eight-year war on terror – a term Obama announced to be no longer in use. After several white papers, reports and the release of the so-called 60-day Cybersecurity Review, Obama announced the creation of a "cyber czar" position and a new military cyber command to coordinate American cyber defence and warfare. China, as an alleged cyber rival, has played an important role in the discourse that introduced the need for the new office and the proposals for changes in legislation. Research conducted before this study suggest the dominance of state-centric enemy descriptions paused briefly after 9/11, but returned soon into threat discourse. The focus on China's cyber activities fits this trend. The aim of this study is to analyze the type of modern threat scenarios through a linguistic case study on the reporting on Chinese hackers. The methodology of this threat analysis is based on the systemic functional language theory, and realizes as an analysis of action and being descriptions (verbs) used by the American authorities. The main sources of data include the Cybersecurity Act 2009, Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency, and 2008 Report to Congress of the U.S. - China Economic and Security Review Commission. Contrary to the prevailing and popularized terrorism discourse, the results show the comeback of Cold War rhetoric as well as the establishment of a state-centric threat perception in cyber discourse. Cyber adversaries are referred to with descriptions of capacity, technological superiority and untrustworthiness, whereas the ‘self’ is described as vulnerable and weak. The threat of cyber attacks is compared to physical attacks on critical military and civilian infrastructure. The authorities and the media form a cycle, in which both sides quote each other and foster each other’s distrust and rhetoric. The white papers present China's cyber army as an existential threat. This leads to cyber discourse turning into a school-book example of a securitization process. The need for security demands action descriptions, which makes new rules and regulations acceptable. Cyber discourse has motives and agendas that are separate from real security discourse: the arms race of the 21st century is about unmanned war.
- Julkaisut