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PostSubject: When is cyberretaliation legal?   Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:30 am



Back in 2011, University of Virginia Law Professor Ashley Deeks wrote an article defining the circumnstances under which it is legal for a "victim state" to retaliate against a non-state actor -- such as a terrorist cell -- located in another country's territory. (My colleague David Bosco discussed it here.) In Deeks' view, such action is justified when the "territorial state" gives consent to the attack, or when the victim state believes the territorial state is "unwilling or unable" to deal with the target group itself. (Think Abbottabad.)

In a new paper for International Law Studies, Deeks argues that the "unwilling or unable" standard also applies to cyberattacks by nonstate actors, a very pertinent topic at a time when we're learning that the U.S. miltiary is deploying offensive cyber teams.

She describes one hypothetical situation where this could come into play:

Quote :

Imagine now that the IDF learns that its air force's command and control center is being severely compromised electronically and has begun to send faulty coordinates to all of the IDF's military aircraft, including those currently airborne. As a result of the cyber attack, the IDF loses communications with two of its jets, which crash into the Mediterranean Sea. Israel has a high level of confidence that several servers in Turkey are the source of the ongoing attack; additionally, the offending code behind the attack has Hezbollah's digital fingerprints on it and Israel has intelligence that Hezbollah has been trying for several years to conduct just such an attack.

Assuming that Israel has the technological capacity to disable the Turkish servers currently routing the attack and believes that such an action is the only way to stop this attack, may Israel disable those Turkish servers (using cyber or kinetic tools)?

more here -- http://ideas.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/03/19/when_is_cyberretaliation_legal
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