Cyber Attacks: Proportionality and Precautions in Attack   [open pdf - 393KB]

"[… W]ith the discovery of Stuxnet in 2010, many scholars and practitioners had speculated on whether the use of the Stuxnet malware, if State sponsored, amounted to a 'use of force' or even an 'armed attack' under the UN Charter paradigm. Even prior to the discovery of Stuxnet, a group of legal and technical experts were gathered by the Estonian Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence to draft a manual, known as the 'Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare'. The Manual explores the international law governing the use of force--in both its 'jus ad bellum' and 'jus in bello' aspects--as applied to cyber operations conducted by States and non-State actors. Several key principles arose during the 'Manual' discussions in relation to the principles of proportionality and precautions in and against at-tack, including a number of challenging aspects in applying these principles to cyber warfare. This article will discuss some of those interesting challenges. Part II of the article will focus on the constant-care standard and how it applies to all cyber operations. Part III will look at the principle of proportionality with specific focus on the idea of indirect effects. Part IV analyzes the issue of feasibility with the precautionary standards. Part V analyzes State responsibilities under the obligation to take precautions against the effects of attacks. The article will conclude in Part VI."

2013 Eric Talbot Jensen
Retrieved From:
U.S. Naval War College: http://www.usnwc.edu/
Media Type:
Naval War College International Law Studies (2013), v. 89, p. 198-217
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