Cyber warfare and the law of armed conflict


This paper discusses cyber warfare and its intersection with the law of armed conflict. Cyberspace creates a unique battlefield with many challenges. This paper tackles four of these challenges: distinguishing warfare acts from criminal activities; what amounts to an armed attack in cyberspace that justifies a State’s right to selfdefence; target distinction; and direct participation in cyber hostilities. It is the author’s determination that the law of armed conflict does apply in cyberspace however two additional changes are needed for the traditional laws to have any practical effect. These two variations include the extension of the traditional criteria of armed attack to include severe data loss as tangible property damage; and reexamining the framework of direct participation

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