Defining Digital Boundaries: A Study on Israel’s Cyber Sovereignty Policy

Publication Date : 07/01/2024

Author(s) :

Tal Pavel.

Volume/Issue :
Volume 3
Issue 1
(01 - 2024)

Abstract :

Objectives – The research aims to shed light on Israel's official policy towards defining its cyber sovereignty and boundaries based on official Israeli documents published by the Government of Israel, the Israel National Cyber Directorate and the Israel Defense Forces. Prior Work – The terms "Cyber" and "Sovereignty" define two different domains, the artificial and the physical, which may have broad definitions. Therefore, the literature defines "Cyber Sovereignty" differently while reflecting the term's complexity. Over the years, researchers have analysed Israel's cyberspace from broad aspects. However, the literature lacks examination of the Israeli official stand towards cyberspace sovereignty and, therefore, the ability to draw its cyber boundaries based on official Israel publications. Approach – The study analysed 17 of Israel's official publications, looking for the terms "Sovereignty" and "Boundaries" and general references to cyber sovereignty. Results – None of the analysed publications referred directly to the terms "Sovereignty" and "Boundaries" relating to cyberspace—four defined Israeli cyberspace concerning civilian space, excluding the defense establishment but including elements outside national borders. Implications – The research suggests that a lack of clarity and a well-defined term for "cyber sovereignty" as part of Israeli official documents and a lack of dedicated publications drawing cyber boundaries may be due to (1) strategic ambiguity of Israel's government not referring and defining its cyber sovereignty publicly, (2) lack of cyber policy maturity of Israel's government regarding the definition of cyber-related terms, or a (3) combination of both. Therefore, the study emphasises the need for future research to analyse the definition of other cyber-related terms of Israeli cyberspace and compare with other states in the region and beyond to analyse the extent of the phenomenon and validate the current findings worldwide.

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