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The Impact of Emerging Technologies on the Law of Armed Conflict$
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Ronald T.P. Alcala and Eric Talbot Jensen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190915322

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190915322.001.0001

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The Law of Armed Conflict Implications of Covered or Concealed Cyber Operations

The Law of Armed Conflict Implications of Covered or Concealed Cyber Operations

Perfidy, Ruses, and the Principle of Passive Distinction

Chapter:
(p.273) 10 The Law of Armed Conflict Implications of Covered or Concealed Cyber Operations
Source:
The Impact of Emerging Technologies on the Law of Armed Conflict
Author(s):

Gary P. Corn

Peter P. Pascucci

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190915322.003.0010

This chapter addresses the complex Law of War issues of distinction as applied to cyber operations. Cyberspace is now widely recognized as an operational domain of conflict and states are adopting cyber capabilities and operational constructs as means and methods of warfare at an increasing rate. Owing to the nature of this new and unique domain, operations security is at a premium. The use of cover and concealment and, at some level, the deception inherent thereto directly implicates in novel ways the traditional LOAC rules designed to ensure respect for the principle of honor in the conduct of hostilities and to protect civilians and civilian objects from the dangers of war. These rules must be interpreted in light of the unique aspects of cyberspace and the distinctive challenges it poses. A better understanding of how the cardinal principle of distinction and the LOAC rules meant to implement it awaits elucidation through state practice and opinion. In the meantime, thoughtful discussion and detailed analysis of the issues of perfidy, ruses, and the passive precautions rule are necessary to ensure that the spirit and intent of the LOAC are properly balanced against military necessity.

Keywords:   Armed conflict, Conduct of hostilities, International humanitarian law, Use of force, war, peace and neutrality

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