ABSTRACT

This chapter aims to set out some ideas and pointers for a further development of a research agenda on the role of law in the militarization of cyber space. Critical international relation and security studies scholars have given attention to the commercial and national security interests underpinning the academic and political framing of cyber war, on the basis that the cyber war discourse contributes to creating greater government and military control over civilian networks, leading to potential infringements of civil liberties (Dunn Cavelty 2008a, 2008b, 2012a, 2012b; Schneier 2010a, 2010b; Brito and Watkins 2011; Deibert and Rohozinski 2011; Lawson 2012a, 2012b). At the same time, critical legal thinking on cyber war remains an underdeveloped and fragmented endeavor (but see Henriksen this volume): international law scholars usually take the existence of cyber war at face value (see Boothby this volume), both with respect to the possibility that cyber attacks may cross threshold for armed attacks set out in the law of armed conflict and thus be labelled “cyber war” (though not war), and the appropriateness of applying this legal framework to the field of cyber security.