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The laws of war and cyberspace: on the need for a treaty concerning cyber conflict

Mueller, Benjamin (2014) The laws of war and cyberspace: on the need for a treaty concerning cyber conflict. Strategic Update (14.2). LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This report examines the militarization of cyberspace and considers ways to prevent the Internet from turning into a battlefield. Cyberspace is a domain of warfare unlike all others: it is primarily informational in nature, accessible electronically without the need for spatial proximity, and acts as a global data and communication highway. These properties have given rise to highly unusual patterns of continuous, low-intensity clandestine cyber conflict. The existing Laws of War, which apply to cyberspace as a matter of doctrine, are ill-equipped to deal with this. The community of states must negotiate a treaty on cyberwar, institutionalise cross-border law enforcement cooperation of cybercriminals, and place statesponsored digital espionage within the World Trade Organisation’s remit to arbitrate anti-competition disputes. Absent these steps, the Internet will become increasingly militarised, international cybercrime will continue to elude serious prosecution efforts, and the web’s utility for commercial and civilian purposes will degrade over time.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Author
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2014 11:21
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:51

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