Berkeley Conference: The Internet in Bello: Cyber War Law, Ethics, and Policy

by Duncan Hollis

Next Friday (November 18), Berkeley (along with the ICRC and ASIL’s Lieber Society) is hosting what looks like a fantastic conference on the issue of ‘cyber war’ and the relevant questions of law, ethics and policy. Here’s how they’re describing it:

The seminar will examine legal, ethical and policy issues posed by cyber warfare.  While much attention has been paid to jus ad bellum issues – examining when and under what circumstances a cyber attack constitutes an armed attack for the purposes of self defense – relatively little discussion has focused on how cyber warfare might require new rules, or new interpretations of rules, regarding the conduct of hostilities, or the jus in bello, once armed conflict has begun.

The Internet in Bello seminar will provide an opportunity for scholars and practitioners to explore issues such as intelligence-gathering and other means of ‘preparing the battlefield’; neutrality before and during cyber war, starting with how to interpret in the Internet era the traditional requirement that neutral States not participating in a given armed conflict not allow the movements of troops or weapons across their territories; as well as questions relating to how cyber operations intersect with the established rule that an attack is an act of violence, and the fundamental humanitarian principle of distinction, which holds that civilians should be protected against dangers arising from military operations.

The Deputy Head of US Cyber Command, Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, Jr, USMC, is the key note speaker, joined by an impressive array of US and British Legal Scholars, including, among others, Sir Daniel Bethlehem, former legal adviser to the UK foreign office, current ASIL President and Berkeley’s own David Caron as well as Professors Beth van Schaak (Santa Clara), Sean Watts (Creighton), and Eric Talbot Jensen (BYU). You can see the full line-up and the program here.

My one dig with this conference (and ones like that now seem to be popping up with regularity) is that registration is open to those who want to attend physically. It would be nice if these discussions of law and cyberspace could actually take place in cyberspace.  Be that as it may, for those of you lucky enough to be in the area, you can register to attend here.

http://opiniojuris.org/2011/11/08/berkeley-conference-the-internet-in-bello-cyber-war-law-ethics-and-policy/

One Response

  1. Duncan,
    Dig duly noted, and hard to argue with.  Audio of The Internet in Bello will be available online after the conference, and we will post a summary of the discussions on Berkeley Law’s website as well as Intercross, ICRC’s blog – we very much hope to contribute to, and continue, the discussion.
    Thanks for the post!

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