Cyber

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The Oxford Statement on International Law Protections in Cyberspace: The Regulation of Information Operations and Activities

The Internet has allowed the dissemination of content across the globe in a matter of seconds. Recommendation algorithms, found in social media platforms and search engines, have also dangerously amplified the reach of false, misleading, and violent content (see here, here, and here). Because they are geared towards engagement, the same algorithms have given rise to online ‘echo chambers’, whereby users are fed with the same types of viral content over and over, based on their previous clicks and assumed or stated preferences. The architecture of the Internet and the design of these algorithms have been exploited by States and non-State actors alike to sow division, spread hatred, and undermine public trust in governments and other institutions worldwide. Recent examples abound. Violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar was spurred in large part thanks to the unrestrained and amplified dissemination of hate speech on Facebook. Foreign and domestic electoral dis- and…

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Even ‘cyber wars’ have limits. But what if they didn’t?

In today’s digitalizing world, States and non-State armed groups increasingly employ cyber capabilities in their military operations, and their use is likely to grow. Still, there is a debate – most prominently in the framework of the two multilateral processes under the auspices of the United Nations – as to how the existing international legal frameworks apply to…

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Protecting Societies – Anchoring a new protection dimension in international law during armed conflict: An agenda for discussion

Adversarial military cyber operations carried out during armed conflict can affect the functioning of civilian societies in unprecedented ways, challenging the protective reach of international humanitarian law (IHL). In light of this, we argue for a recognition of new protection needs to shield critical societal processes from military cyber threats in situations of armed conflict. A…

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Old Habits Die Hard: Applying Existing International Law in Cyberspace and Beyond

In the past few years, a growing number of states have expressed their official positions on the applicability of international law in cyberspace. Most recently, New Zealand and Israel shared their own views on the topic to beef up the crowd. Initiatives of this kind are welcome and contribute to the gradual clarification of the extent…

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Israel’s Cautious Perspective on International Law in Cyberspace: Part II (jus ad bellum and jus in bello)

In Part I of this series, I assessed Israel’s approach to the identification and interpretation of international law in the cyber context, as set forth in an important virtual speech by Israel’s Deputy Attorney General for International Law, Dr. Roy Schöndorf, at the “Disruptive Technologies and International Law” conference hosted by the US Naval War College’s…

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