Cyber Espionage or Cyberwar?: International Law, Domestic Law, and Self-Protective Measures

Cyberwar: Law and Ethics for Virtual Conflicts (Jens David Ohlin, Kevin Govern, Claire Finkelstein, eds., 2015)

U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 15-3

33 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2015 Last revised: 29 Mar 2016

See all articles by Christopher S. Yoo

Christopher S. Yoo

University of Pennsylvania Law School; University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication; University of Pennsylvania - School of Engineering and Applied Science

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Scholars have spent considerable effort determining how the law of war (particularly jus ad bellum and jus in bello) applies to cyber conflicts, epitomized by the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. Many prominent cyber operations fall outside the law of war, including the surveillance programs that Edward Snowden has alleged were conducted by the National Security Agency, the distributed denial of service attacks launched against Estonia and Georgia in 2007 and 2008, the 2008 Stuxnet virus designed to hinder the Iranian nuclear program, and the unrestricted cyber warfare described in the 1999 book by two Chinese army colonels. Such conduct is instead relegated to the law of espionage and is thus governed almost entirely by domestic law. The absence of an overarching international law solution to this problem heightens the importance of technological self-protective measures.

Keywords: Cyberwar, law of war, law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, jus ad bellum, jus in bello, cybersecurity, digital warfare, cyberattack, Geneva Convention, Independent Group of Experts (IGE), Unrestricted Warfare, attribution, air gaps, kill switches, critical infrastructure

Suggested Citation

Yoo, Christopher S., Cyber Espionage or Cyberwar?: International Law, Domestic Law, and Self-Protective Measures (2015). Cyberwar: Law and Ethics for Virtual Conflicts (Jens David Ohlin, Kevin Govern, Claire Finkelstein, eds., 2015); U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 15-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2596634

Christopher S. Yoo (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6204
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.upenn.edu/faculty/csyoo/

University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication ( email )

3620 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6220
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)

University of Pennsylvania - School of Engineering and Applied Science ( email )

3330 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6309
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
416
Abstract Views
1,825
rank
68,161
PlumX Metrics