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A Proposal for an International Convention to Regulate the Use of Information Systems in Armed Conflict

Examines the tension between the needs of military forces in information warfare and the need to safeguard non-participants in information warfare. Includes Revolutions in Military Affairs (RMAs) and Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) applied to information warfare. Memorializing international rules of cyber warfare is important within itself. Participating countries that will be governed by the laws themselves should generate rules as a separate instrument when conventional laws of war are difficult to apply. Memorializing the rules would help military leaders make decisions to use information warfare while knowing what is and what is not a violation of the rules. An information warfare attack should be committed by a lawful combatant that does not harm civilians but only legitimate military or government targets. This Principle of Distinction should be applied to physical damage, economic damage, and malicious code that has the potential to also harm civilians. Attacks targeting military systems that advance a military strategy should be legitimized, as opposed to attacks that purely strike civilian systems.
Davis Brown
George Washington University Law School
Industry Focus: 
Information & Telecommunication
Internet & Cyberspace
Bibliographies & Reports