War of Lies: Protecting Civilians from Disinformation during Armed Conflict
21 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 5, 2021
Disinformation in armed conflict may pose several distinctive forms of harm to civilians: exposure to retaliatory violence, distortion of information vital to securing human needs, and severe mental suffering. The gravity of these harms, along with the modern nature of wartime disinformation, is out of keeping with its traditional classification in international humanitarian law (IHL) as a permissible ruse of war. Instead, a patchwork set of protections drawn from IHL, international human rights law (IHRL), and international criminal law (ICL) may limit disinformation operations during armed conflict. However, numerous gaps and ambiguities undermine the force of this legal framework, calling for further scholarly attention and clarification.
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