Cyber - Need to spare civilians is greater than ever

Cyber - Need to spare civilians is greater than ever - US Air Force Space Command, Colorado Springs, CO - Photo courtesy of Reuters/Rick Wilking

Cyber - Need to spare civilians is greater than ever - US Air Force Space Command, Colorado Springs, CO - Photo courtesy of Reuters/Rick Wilking

US and world policy makers are increasingly considering the implications of cyber warfare even if few discuss its humanitarian implications.

While the means and methods of cyber warfare are not yet well understood, the ICRC has for several years focused on related humanitarian concerns and on the applicability of international humanitarian law to cyber operations. 

Last November, ICRC Washington and UC Berkeley co-sponsored a seminar of the subject, resulting in this summary report.

Cordula Droege, a Geneva-based ICRC legal expert, followed up by taking part in an ASIL panel on IHL and New Technologies last month. Here, she explains why the need to remind those involved in cyber debates that in the world of interconnectivity, the need to spare civilians is probably greater than ever.