Does international law apply to cyberspace, preserving cybersecurity, ensuring the free flow of information, and protecting the rights of users? For many, a positive answer is self-evident. As the experts who produced the Tallinn Manuals 1.0 and 2.0 have explained, “Cyberspace” is located in cyber infrastructure located on states’ territory and is operated by individuals subject to state authority and responsibility. There are several examples of states that can and do control cyberspace when it suits them. But what may seem self-evident appears to have been challenged recently by key state actors who refuse to acknowledge this premise and instead promote the assertion that cyberspace is a dimension that is not governed by international law. The June 2017 meeting of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security exposed a fundamental disagreement on the question of international law’s applicability to states’ use of cyberspace.
This one day workshop seeks to reflect on the questions. In particular we wish to address the following questions:
• The applicability of international law to cyber activity;
• What amounts to infringements of sovereignty: from cyber theft to interference in elections and undermining social cohesion;
• What due diligence means in the context of preventing cyber security threats;
• State responsibility for cyber attacks and cyber-related infringements of human rights;
• Necessity and countermeasures in the context of cyber threats;
• The right to self-defence against cyber threats;
• The duty to share information about cyber vulnerabilities and threats;
• The protection of human rights in cyberspace;
• The applicability of international law obligations to private ICT companies;
• Alternatives to international law: Private regulation of cyber activities.
To register for this event please email Karen Fachechi (kjf35 [at] cam.ac.uk) or telephone: +44 (0)1223 3 35358