No State Is an Island in Cyberspace
5 Journal of Law and Cyber Warfare 4, (2016)
39 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2016 Last revised: 21 Aug 2016
Date Written: August 12, 2016
Economic espionage against one state is an affront to the economic stability of all; for no state is an island in cyberspace. But does a state’s difficulty in attributing a hostile cyber act to its true provenance challenge the enforcement of international law in cyberspace? For if a cyber actor can remain anonymous, or impervious to sanctions, do international accords prohibiting the cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property hold any measurable deterrent effect? Given the distinct cultural norms embedded in distinguishing between permissible and impermissible intelligence collection, a dispute resolution framework that accounts for both cultural disparities and the complexities of attribution, is needed. This Article therefore provides a legal theory – a Cyber Espionage Predominant Purpose Test – for equitably resolving international disputes concerning cyber espionage operations that involve mixed elements of national security espionage and commercial espionage.
Keywords: Economic Espionage, Attribution, Cyber Espionage, China, International Law, Cyberspace, Security
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