Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cyberwarfare In International Law


"If the CIA is right to attribute recent blackouts to cyberwarfare, cyberwarfare is no longer science fiction but reality. In a recent op-ed piece and a detailed scholarly paper, legal scholar Duncan Hollis raises the question of whether existing international law is adequate for regulating cyberwarfare. He concludes that it is not: 'Translating existing rules into the IO context produces extensive uncertainty, risking unintentional escalations of conflict where forces have differing interpretations of what is permissible.

Alternatively, such uncertainty may discourage the use of IO even if it might produce less harm than traditional means of warfare. Beyond uncertainty, the existing legal framework is insufficient and overly complex. Existing rules have little to say about the non-state actors that will be at the center of future conflicts. And where the laws of war do not apply, even by analogy, an overwhelmingly complex set of other international and foreign law rules purport to govern IO.'"

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