After the Israel Defense Forces announced it launched an airstrike on a Hamas facility used for cyber operations, some observers warned that a dangerous line had been crossed and others questioned the legality of the strike itself. Both are wrong.
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An American military unit used offensive weapons against a target inside Russia. And nobody is noticing.
Perspectives on cyber operations outside of the context of armed conflict and the applicability of international law.
In the wake of a recent failure to reach international consensus on the application of international law to cyber activities, the United States should seek to shape norms unilaterally by continuing to assertively investigate and indict individuals—including state actors—who engage in cyber activities that the U.S. Government ultimately would like to see the international community characterize as wrongful.
A recent New York Times story on U.S. cyber-operations against the North Korean ballistic missile program prompts questions over whether the United States has crossed the threshold into "acts of war" in cyberspace.
In an effort to help untangle the dense and complex field of international law in cyberspace, we’ve assembled a curated list of over 150 publications covering cyber security in the context of international relations for the Oxford University Press, available here.
Today, the Texas Law Review is hosting a symposium on the Tallinn Manual 2.0 at the University of Texas at Austin, featuring panels on "sovereignty in cyberspace, jurisdiction over cyber activities, international human rights law in cyberspace," and more. A livestream of the event is available here.
The United States' seemingly insufficient reaction may have been informed by international law; the United States might have responded to the DNC hack as it did because international law did not permit it to do more. Limited state recourse to escalatory self-help measures is a feature of the modern international legal order—but, as the DNC hack, Sony hack, and growing number of similar cyber-enabled interferences demonstrate, in cyberspace this feature may have become a bug.
Despite the benefits of the Tallinn Manual, the manual presents two dangers that we should hope Tallinn 2.0 avoids.