Information Warfare as International Coercion: Elements of a Legal Framework
Source: European Journal of International Law, Volume 12, Number 5, 1 December 2001 , pp. 825-865(41)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Worldwide interconnectivity through massive computer networks now makes states vulnerable to new threats. Foreign governments can launch computer-based assaults, or acts of information warfare, on another state's domestic systems such as energy grids, telecommunications, and financial facilities that <?Pub Caret>could severely damage or disrupt national defence or vital social services. Even realizing the new forms of computer-generated weapons and changing concepts of sovereignty and territory brought about by global interdependence, international law is likely to rely on UN Charter principles to define the legal boundaries of cyberspace. While perhaps not armed force literally, resort to cyberforce may be viewed as a form of intervention that can produce harmful or coercive effects, and put at risk the national security of another state. There is need for modern international law to define more precisely the criteria used to distinguish which state actions are permissible as normal computer-generated transborder data flow from those cyberactivities that might qualify as an armed attack against a state. Clearer rules are also needed for what responses are permissible as self-defence by a state targeted in an information warfare situation and how international institutions might facilitate the attainment of these objectives.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2001-12-01
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