International Review Series- Rewired Warfare: Rethinking the Law of Cyber Attack

Michael N. Schmitt, Director of the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law and Professor at the United States Naval War College

Michael N. Schmitt, Director of the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law and Professor at the United States Naval War College

In October, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a new edition of the International Review of the Red Cross titled Scope of the Law in Armed Conflict. 

This week we are highlighting an article from this issue titled Rewired Warfare: Rethinking the Law of Cyber Attack, by Michael Schmitt.  The article discusses the applicability of international humanitarian law on cyber, particularly the interpretation of the rules governing cyber 'attacks'.  "For over a decade, the debate has been a binary one between advocates of the 'permissive approach' developed by the author and a 'restrictive approach' championed by those who saw the permissive approach as insufficiently protective of the civilian population and other protected persons and objects. In this article, the author analyses that debate, and explains a third approach developed during the Tallinn Manual project. He concludes by suggesting that the Tallinn Manual approach best approximates the contemporary law given the increasing value which societies are attributing to cyber activities. "

About the International Review: Established in 1869, the Review is a quarterly journal published by the ICRC and Cambridge University Press. It is a forum for debate on international humanitarian law and humanitarian action and policy related to armed conflict and other situations of violence. It is dedicated to governments, international governmental and non-governmental organisations, universities, the media and all those interested in humanitarian issues at large. 

Click here to read or download the full article.