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Legality in the Cyberverse


Ferrous

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Every once in a while, some individual will propose some solution to the problems of the Cyberverse with enforcing laws, codes, rules on an international scale, and every single time they are shot down with the same line of reasoning: to enforce rules on a truly international scale requires a sovereign body that has power over all other alliances that agree to this idea, and enforced on a scale that can maintain this level of power. Obviously, such a sovereign body cannot exist - no single alliance would be willing to give up so much power for a law that may not be relevant, or worse, not wanted by that alliance. Furthermore, maintaining such an organization would take more manpower than would necessarily be doable (being somewhat dependent on the nature of the organization and its purpose).

Historically, there are two important instances of alliances trying to extend their control beyond that of their own alliance (and not through treaties) in such a way as to maintain some form of "international law." The first alliance in question is the NPO - by maintaining nearly complete sovereignty over the red sphere, as well as a reputation as the most militarily and diplomatically powerful alliance in CN history, any attempts to tech raid a free nation in the red sphere is answerable to the army of the NPO, regardless of whichever alliance the offending party was a part of. This particular policy, known as the "Revenge Doctrine" has been maintained primarily because other alliances do not wish to challenge it - it is a body that has maintained hegemony over a sphere with unquestioned military dominance.

On the other hand, we have the famous example of CNARF, originally founded by GATO, as a protection force of anti-tech raiders, but to work on a global scale. GATO, compared to NPO, was weaker both in diplomacy and military, and more importantly, attempted to impose its will on a global scale. If GATO attempted such a policy only on the Brown sphere (in which they were the most dominant force at the time), they may have been met with more success. However, they overextended their reach, and were met with ridicule, especially from the opposing forces at be.

That said, there is some sense of informal legalities that are present in the Cybernations community. Although these legalities are not codified in any way, nor enforced (except, perhaps, by the strongest alliances that have won recent battles), there is some general acceptance of certain philosophies in the Cyberverse. The clearest example is espionage - any case of espionage can easily be met with a casus belli. Without exception, every case of espionage has resulted in war, most often in the offender's misfortune. Other forms of informal legalities can be present in the form of insults - a bad word in a public forum can lead to an acceptable casus belli. Reparations are generally seen as acceptable, at least to a point. The list goes on about what is acceptable. Obviously, this list changes over time as the game develops into more complexity, but it is still there, underneath the layers of treaties and announcements.

So what can the reader take in all of this analysis? Well, we have slowly been seeing forms of unification on color spheres - aside from the red sphere, unification started with sphere-wide NAP's, and later economic/ODP treaty blocs. With blue, they started to become MDP blocs, which, although BLEU disbanded, Chestnut has now formed and it's only a matter of time before we start to see unity on other spheres. Although I'm not suggesting sphere-wide mergers, these sphere-wide blocs could possibly claim dominance over their sphere in the same manner that NPO claimed dominance over their own. Should, for an example, Chestnut claim that no one can tech raid Maroon nations, regardless of whether or not the nation was affiliated, it would be rather difficult to challenge all of the alliances plus their allies for a simple tech raid. Although more difficult to maintain with many alliances on the sphere, it is a future that we may yet see.

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