In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish two separate groups to study international law and norms in relation to cyberspace. Resolution 73/27—proposed by a number of countries, including Russia—created an open-ended working group (OEWG) on the subject.
Nele Achten is affiliated with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter, where she focuses on the debate around cyber-specific due diligence obligations and assesses key normative questions relevant for the development of a normative framework that protects cyberspace as a safe and secure environment. Last year, Nele was visiting researcher at Harvard Law School and affiliated with the Cybersecurity Project at Harvard Kennedy School. She holds a LL.M. from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and is qualified to practice law in Germany.
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Over the past year, lawmakers from Brussels to Washington have discussed whether and how to regulate social media platforms. In Germany, a central question has been whether such platforms—which Germans call social network providers (SNPs)—should be held liable if they fail to delete or remove illegal content.
In February 2018, the German government’s network was attacked. Germany did not specify what kind of information was accessed by the foreign hackers, but it is publicly known that the hackers successfully attacked the IT system of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.