Russia committed a grave violation of international law when it invaded Ukraine one year ago. Russia and Ukraine are at war, but are they also at cyber war? We have seamlessly passed the much-debated Article 51 UNC threshold and moved into a cyber warzone, where shelling of Ukrainian towns and villages is accompanied by cyberattacks on its allies’ critical infrastructure. …
Satellite Internet Access in Times of Cyber Conflict
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 …
Russia’s Vision for a Cybercrime Treaty
In January 2022, the UN will hold the first meeting to negotiate a treaty on cybercrime. While most states are in the process of developing their positions around the scope and the principles of this new treaty, Russia has already submitted a draft proposal to the UN suggesting it to be used as the basis of the negotiations. This draft …
Cyber Norms: Specialisation from Fragmentation?
What are the ‘rules of the road’ for cyberspace, and who sets them? The question has risen in prominence and priority as cyber threats have grown more severe. A lack of clarity about acceptable behaviour enables destabilising cyber activity, such as the recent Microsoft Exchange hack by suspected state-sponsored actors and the persistent ransomware attacks targeting hospitals around the world. …
The ‘Invisible’ International Law in Cyberspace
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 …
Navigating a Finnish Take on International Law
If you’re talking about international law and cyberspace, it’s hard to find a better person to talk to than Ambassador Marja Lehto, who wrote the recent Finnish position paper on the issue. A renowned international lawyer, Dr Lehto served as the Finnish expert in the tense 2016-2017 UN GGE. In 2016, she was elected to the International Law Commission of the UN (ILC) for the term of 2017-2021 with 175 votes, the highest vote total of the entire election.
Elaborating International Law for Cyberspace
The European Union has called for all states to publicise their views on how international law applies to cyberspace. To date, primarily European states have shared their national views. The OAS’s Improving Transparency project aims to add more American voices to the conversation. Early results of the initiative highlight the need for greater legal capacity building among states that have …
COVID-19 and International Cyber Law
States and non-state actors are turning to cyberspace to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of their operations violate such international law rules as the requirement to the respect the sovereignty of other states, the prohibitions on intervention and the use of force, and international human rights law obligations and prohibitions.
Fighting Disinformation with Imagination
Disinformation and foreign influence operations are no longer just threatening the political, economic and social foundations of our societies. As the spread of COVID-19-related disinformation has shown, they can now also cause direct harm and cost human lives. As global efforts to counter disinformation grow, it’s time to seriously discuss possible consequences for those behind it.
Relaunching Transatlantic Cyber Diplomacy
The United States Cyberspace Solarium Commission outlines recommendations for better US-EU collaboration.
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