Computer Network Operations Below the Level of Armed Force

19 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2011 Last revised: 5 Apr 2015

See all articles by Johann-Christoph Woltag

Johann-Christoph Woltag

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Date Written: May 26, 2011

Abstract

This paper concentrates on the legal analysis of computer network operations which do not cross the threshold of armed force in the sense of Art. 2 (4) UN Charter. Examining the alleged computer network operations against Estonia, Georgia and Iran (stuxnet) as case studies, the paper shows that sovereignty and territorial integrity are not alien to cyberspace, but are frequently used in relation to Internet activities. These fundamental principles of international law pose a limitation on state acts in cyberspace in the same way they do as to traditional conduct. The paper concludes with the finding that the Internet is territorially fragmented. The result is that crossborder computer network operations by states, under certain circumstances, can be qualified as an intervention in the internal affairs of the target State.

Keywords: Cyber Warfare, Non-intervention Principle, Internet, Stuxnet, Computer Network Attack, Cyberspace

Suggested Citation

Woltag, Johann-Christoph, Computer Network Operations Below the Level of Armed Force (May 26, 2011). ESIL 2011 4th Research Forum. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1967593

Johann-Christoph Woltag (Contact Author)

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law ( email )

Im Neuenheimer Feld 535
69120 Heidelberg, 69120
Germany

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