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Are Internet Sanctions a Good Idea?

Editors Opinions

Shortly after the Russian Federation launched its invasion of Ukraine, the government of Ukraine made several public calls for support, including pleas for the global internet governance bodies – ICANN and the RIPE NCC – to restrict Russia’s access to and use of the Domain Names System (DNS) and de-register the Internet Protocol (IP) address resources of Russian network operators. …

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Satellite Internet Access in Times of Cyber Conflict

Berna Akcali Gur Commentary

On 26 February 2022, two days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and CEO, responded to a request from the Ukrainian deputy prime minister, confirming on Twitter that Starlink satellite internet service is active in Ukraine. A technology that had thus far been considered an experimental alternative to undersea and on-the-ground telecommunication services suddenly became the …

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Ukraine: Cyber Operations and Digital Technologies

Camino Kavanagh Commentary

Towards the end of 2021, Russia began a military build-up around Ukraine. Then, after several months unsuccessfully pressuring the Ukrainian government to accede to its demands, Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. This post collects and synthesises information and perspectives on the cyber and information technology-related aspects of the conflict thus far, including the cyber operations and tactics of …

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Is War in Ukraine the End of Cyber Diplomacy?

Editors Opinions

The war in Ukraine has so far seen very little engagement from the cyber diplomatic community. While the international community focuses on stopping Russia’s invasion and ending the conflict, the contribution of cyber diplomacy to these efforts has been limited to the usual offers of assistance to deal with cyber incidents. This is surprising, given the number of cyber diplomacy-related …

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The EU and Responsible Active Cyber Defence

Andreas Kuehn Opinions

A growing number of states are looking into active cyber defence operations to diversify their available responses to cyber incidents. In order to not only create guidelines for its member states but also to serve as a norm setter for this controversial policy issue, the EU must act now. Starting by defining active cyber defence for itself, the EU should …

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Personal Data and International Organisations: Hacks Off!

Eneken Tikk Opinions

Harmful, malicious and hostile cyber activities against international institutions, entire populations and vulnerable groups are appalling, regardless of whether they are committed by state or non-state actors. It is time to talk restraint when it comes to cyberattacks and information operations targeting international organisations and personal data. The compromise of personal data and confidential information on the servers of the …

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Charting of National Attribution Policies

Mika Kerttunen Opinions

States’ drafting of explicit national attribution policies is anchored in the law of state responsibility in cyberspace. Such policies do not necessarily promote frequent (or any) attribution. Rather, they draw attention to the multifaceted aspects of attribution and the need for careful political consideration in making affirmative, deferring or negative attribution decisions. While actual content direction remains the prerogative of …

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Ritual Reverence to Deterrence in Cyberspace

Maria Mälksoo Commentary

The efficacy of deterrence as a method of conflict management is highly disputed. Yet, deterrence persists as a go-to security strategy and is flourishing in the spheres of cyber and information warfare. The EU is now embracing deterrence and its political appeal to advance its cybersecurity posture. But the prudence of this move remains unproven, and it is counterintuitive to …

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The ‘Invisible’ International Law in Cyberspace

Joanna Kulesza Opinions

Recent state contributions to the discussion of how international law applies in cyberspace suggest that the cybersecurity dialect of international law is losing sight of the mainstream – that is, how international law is applied outside of the cyber bubble. The fact that states contest certain rules and standards of international conduct when it suits their current interests and ambitions …

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Cyber Arms Control and Risk Reduction

Caitriona Heinl Commentary

Discussions at the UN have revealed that “implementation is currently one of our biggest challenges”. Specifically, states are conscious of the need to translate non-military cyber confidence-building measures (CBMs) into concrete actions that are implementable by all states, thus moving beyond awareness-raising. This is especially the case where CBMs are viewed by bodies such as the EU as a practical …