Legal Implications of the Privatization of Cyber Warfare
Title: Legal Implications of the Privatization of Cyber Warfare
Author: LIXINSKI, Lucas
Series/Report no.: EUI AEL; 2010/02; PRIV-WAR project
The paper deals with the combination of two emerging topics in militarization and the conduct of war: cyber warfare and the use of private military and security companies and personnel. As technological capacity grows, populations and governments alike become more and more dependent on reliable internet connections and information placed only on the cyberspace. The fact that computers are so depended upon makes these sectors of human activity particularly vulnerable if their computers or networks were to be shut down. One equally important topic is that of the privatization of war. This is an increasingly strong tendency among governments, who look at privatization as the answer to their needs for not having to maintain a large permanent military and seek more efficiency in methods and operation. But what happens when cyber warfare is privatized, when a contractor working simultaneously for the U.S., French and Saudi Arabian governments can, from his office in a commercial neighbourhood in London, set off an attack that disrupts the entire telecommunications grid of say, China? The topic of the privatization of cyber warfare seems to float in a “double legal vacuum”, as there are no clear rules for either cyber warfare in general or for the privatization of military services. However, I suggest that rules can be drawn analogically from established rules and principles of international humanitarian law and human rights to fill both of these vacuums.
Type of Access: openAccess