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In Cyberwar, There are no rules: Why the world desperately needs digital Geneva Conventions.

This article was written by Tarah Wheeler in Foreign Policy’s Fall 2018 edition. The article brings attention to the fact that there are no internationally accepted rules regarding what constitutes a truly hostile act of one state against another in the cyber realm. The article posits that “cyber war is the continuation of kinetic war by plausibly deniable means,” meaning that nations can attack each other’s infrastructure just as effectively with cyber weapons as they could with conventional weapons but without necessarily revealing their actions. This is troubling, because the legal infrastructure in the US and in other countries is not equipped to respond quickly enough to respond to these types of attacks. Not only does the US government lack many of the technical skills needed to secure itself and respond to attacks, the article says, but its legislative and administrative bodies would struggle to come to an agreement on who was responsible and what the appropriate response should be in the event of an attack. The article suggests that we need an internationally-accepted framework that outlines acceptable behavior and tiered consequences for unacceptable behavior. This could help avoid dangerous escalations of conflict and deter bad behavior from happening in the first place.
Tarah Wheeler
Foreign Policy
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Information & Telecommunication
Internet & Cyberspace
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