Law of Armed Conflict

Cyber Strategy and the Law of Armed Conflict

ABSTRACT

At its Lisbon Summit (November 2010), NATO has adopted its Strategic Concept.  In the U.S., Cyberstrategy is laid out in the President's International Strategy for Cyberspace (POTUS 2011) and the Department of Defense's Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace (U.S. DoD 2011).  These strategy documents will contribute to a growing policy consensus regarding cyber security and defence as well as provide better policy insights regarding cyber offence.  In doing so, they will contribute to a better understanding of how NATO and the U.S. want to prepare for, and conduct cyber warfare in a manner congruent with the law of armed conflict.  In addition, they will determine to what extent this branch of the law needs to be better understood, developed, or reformed.  Accordingly, this paper indicates how the existing legal and policy frameworks intersect with practical aspects of cyber warfare and associated intelligence activities, analyses how the new strategy documents develop and change the existing policy framework, and what repercussions this may have for the interpretation and application of the law of armed conflict.  It also demonstrates how the new strategy documents inform the policy and legal discourse and hence help confirm that NATO and U.S. as well as other NATO Nations' cyber activities are, and will continue to be, lawful and legitimate.

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

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The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

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