Lawyers, Law and Cyber-war

Lawyers, Law and Cyber-war

Lawyers across the U.S. government have raised so many show-stopping legal questions about cyberwar that they´ve left the military unable to fight or even plan for a war in cyberspace. But the only thing they´re likely to accomplish is to make Americans less safe, according to an article of Stewart Baker on Foreign Policy.

Military lawyers are trying to articulate when a cyberattack can be classed as an armed attack that permits the use of force in response. State Department and National Security Council lawyers are implementing an international cyberwar strategy that relies on international law "norms" to restrict cyberwar. CIA lawyers are invoking the strict laws that govern covert action to prevent the Pentagon from launching cyberattacks.
Justice Department lawyers are apparently questioning whether the military violates the law of war if it does what every cybercriminal has learned to do cover its tracks by routing attacks through computers located in other countries. And the Air Force recently surrendered to its own lawyers, allowing them to order that all cyberweapons be reviewed for "legality under the law of armed conflict, domestic law and international law" before cyberwar capabilities are even acquired.

The result is predic, and depressing. Top Defense Department officials recently adopted a cyberwar strategy that simply omitted any plan for conducting offensive operations.

giovedì 6 ottobre 2011

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