Regulating a ‘Cyber Militia’ – Lessons from Ukraine, and Thoughts About the Future
16 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2022
This Essay focuses on how international law regulates what we may term a ‘cyber militia’; that is, a group of volunteers who undertake defense-related activities in cyberspace on behalf of a State, with that State’s formal recognition, and with some degree of coordination or guidance by that State but that does so outside the ambit of that State’s regular armed forces or national security structure. The Essay considers both the position of a State utilizing a cyber militia, and the position of a State from which citizens seek to volunteer for a foreign cyber militia. Further, to understand how international law may impact the type of cyber militia envisaged above, account is taken both of relevant law applying outside armed conflict and the international humanitarian law that applies in situations of armed conflict. The Essay draws upon the experiences of the Ukrainian ‘IT army’ that was quickly assembled to assist the defense of Ukraine and points to the benefits of States adopting a formally recognized cyber militia.
Keywords: Cyber militia, Cyber war, Cyber conflict, International law
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