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Cybersecurity and Jus contra Bellum

In this article, Etienne Henry addresses the following question: Is the prohibition of use of force under Article 2(4) of the UN Charter applicable to cyberattacks, also known as computer-networks attacks (CNAs)? This question provides an entry point to other important issues, including distinguishing between CNAs that qualify as “use of force under Article 2(4)” or an “armed attack under Article 51” and less harmful incidents and whether an incident would trigger “the right of self-defence of the victim.” Henry begins by framing the political/institutional context of international discussions regarding the hostile use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the potential applicability of jus contra bellum. The article states there are few available criteria for defining “force” in the cyber domain not – as some might argue – due to a lack of consensus, but due to major disagreements among states regarding the right of self-defense and a desire to prevent conflict escalation.
Etienne Henry
Domains-Issue Area: 
Industry Focus: 
Information & Telecommunication
Internet & Cyberspace