Cyber-Apocalypse Now: Securing the Internet Against Cyberterrorism and Using Universal Jurisdiction as a Deterrent
57 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2009 Last revised: 5 Apr 2015
Date Written: August 14, 2009
Cyberterrorism has become one of the most significant threats to the national and international security of the modern state, and cyberattacks are occurring with increased frequency. Not only does the Internet make it easier for terrorists to communicate, organize terrorist cells, share information, plan attacks, and recruit others, but the Internet is increasingly being used to commit cyberterrorist acts. It is increasingly clear that the international community may only ignore cyberterrorism at its peril.
The primary security threat posed by the Internet is caused by an inherent weakness in the TCP/IP Protocol, which is the technology underlying the structure of the Internet and other similar networks. This underlying structure enables cyberterrorists to hack into one system and use that as a springboard for jumping onto any other network that is also based on the TCP/IP Protocol. Other threats to national and international security include direct attacks on the Internet and the use of the Internet as a free source of hacking tools. These threats will not be eradicated easily.
In the absence of feasible prevention, deterrence of cyberterrorism may be the best alternative. Without, at a minimum, a concerted effort at deterrence, cyberterrorism will continue to threaten national and international security. The most feasible way to accomplish deterrence is to prosecute cyberterrorists under the international law principle of universal jurisdiction.
Keywords: international law, cyberterrorism, national security, universal jurisdiction
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