The Prohibition of Cyberterrorism as a Method of Warfare in International Law

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25159/2521-2583/7977

Keywords:

Acts of violence, armed conflict, cyberattacks, cyberterrorism, international humanitarian law

Abstract

There is no doubt that cyber operations can play a significant role in the conduct of warfare. In fact, an ongoing cyber arms race among states and non-state actors evokes fears among some of a looming ‘digital Pearl Harbour’ or a ‘digital 9/11’. Given these fears, there have been calls for the elaboration of a ‘Digital Geneva Convention’ to protect civilians from the harmful consequences of cyberattacks. In this context, this article focuses on one specific aspect of cyber operations during situations of armed conflict: cyberterrorism as a method of warfare. It examines the extent to which international humanitarian law (IHL), which was primarily designed to govern kinetic means and methods of warfare, applies to cyberterrorism. In so doing, it assesses whether the calls for a ‘Digital Geneva Convention’ are justified.

Author Biography

Brenda Mwale, University of Pretoria

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law

Published

2021-03-01

How to Cite

Casey-Maslen, Stuart, and Brenda Mwale. 2021. “The Prohibition of Cyberterrorism As a Method of Warfare in International Law”. South African Yearbook of International Law 44 (March):23 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2521-2583/7977.

Issue

Section

Articles
Received 2020-06-22
Accepted 2020-12-17
Published 2021-03-01