Difference between revisions of "Why States Need an International Law for Information Operations"

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Duncan B. Hollis, ''Why States Need an International Law for Information Operations,'' 11 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1023 (2007).  
 
Duncan B. Hollis, ''Why States Need an International Law for Information Operations,'' 11 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1023 (2007).  
[http://legacy.lclark.edu/org/lclr/objects/LCB_11_4_Art7_Hollis.pdf  ''Web'']]  [[http://ssrn.com/abstract=1083889  ''SSRN'']  
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[http://legacy.lclark.edu/org/lclr/objects/LCB_11_4_Art7_Hollis.pdf  ''Web'']  
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[http://ssrn.com/abstract=1083889  ''SSRN'']  
  
[http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cybersecurity/?title=Special:Bibliography&view=detailed&startkey=Hollis_DB:2007&f=wikibiblio.bib BibTeX]
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[http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cybersecurity/Special:Bibliography?f=wikibiblio.bib&title=Special%3ABibliography&view=detailed&action=&keyword=Hollis_DB%3A2007 BibTeX]
  
==Categorization==
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==Topics==
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* Threats and Actors: [[States]]; [[Terrorists]]
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* Issues: [[Cyberwar]]; [[Government to Government]]
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* Approaches: [[International Law (including Laws of War)]]
  
* Issues: [[Cyberwar]]
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==Key Words==
 
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[[Keyword_Index_and_Glossary_of_Core_Ideas#Cyber_Crime | Cyber Crime]],
==Key Words==  
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[[Keyword_Index_and_Glossary_of_Core_Ideas#Civilian_Participation | Civilian Participation]],  
 
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[[Keyword_Index_and_Glossary_of_Core_Ideas#Combatant_Status | Combatant Status]],  
cyberwar, cyberterror, information operations, IO, information warfare, jus ad bellum, jus in bello, international humanitarian law, use of force, civilian distinction, perfidy, complexity, regulatory design, international law, estonia, denial of service attack, hactivists, computer network attack
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[[Keyword_Index_and_Glossary_of_Core_Ideas#Cyber_Warfare | Cyber Warfare]],  
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[[Keyword_Index_and_Glossary_of_Core_Ideas#Geneva_Conventions | Geneva Conventions]],
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[[Keyword_Index_and_Glossary_of_Core_Ideas#Information Operations| Information Operations]],
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[[Keyword_Index_and_Glossary_of_Core_Ideas#Kinetic_Attack | Kinetic Attack]],
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[[Keyword_Index_and_Glossary_of_Core_Ideas#Laws_of_War | Laws of War]],
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[[Keyword_Index_and_Glossary_of_Core_Ideas#National_Security | National Security]]
  
 
==Synopsis==
 
==Synopsis==
  
This Article assesses the ways in which international law, specifically the rules regulating the use of force and the law of war, currently applies to Information Operations ("IO"). Conventional wisdom suggests existing rules can cover IO by analogy. The conventional wisdom is only half-right. This Article explains why the existing rules govern IO, but challenges the unstated assumption that they do so appropriately. Translating existing rules into the IO context produces extensive uncertainty, risking unintentional escalations of conflict where forces have differing interpretations of what is permissible. Alternatively, such uncertainty may discourage the use of IO even if it might produce less harm than traditional means of warfare. Beyond uncertainty, the existing legal framework is insufficient and overly complex. Existing rules have little to say about the non-state actors that will be at the center of future conflicts. And where the laws of war do not apply, even by analogy, an overwhelmingly complex set of other international and foreign law rules purport to govern IO.  
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===Definition and Applicability of Existing International Law===
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This article starts by exploring the meaning of the Information Operation (IO) concept both in terms of its goals and the methods it employs. It goes on to argue that, notwithstanding any novelty of IO’s goals or methods, the law of war does apply, albeit by analogy, and surveys the conventional wisdom favoring that status quo.
  
To remedy such deficiencies, this Article proposes a new legal framework, an international law for information operations (ILIO). By adopting an ILIO, states could alleviate the uncertainty and complexity of the status quo, reduce transaction costs for states fighting global terror, and lessen the collateral costs of armed conflict itself. This Article concludes with a review of some of the regulatory design questions facing an ILIO, but does not offer any specific rules. Rather, its ultimate aim is to convince states and scholars about the need for an ILIO in the first place.
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===The Flaws of Existing International Law With Regards to Information Operations===
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It then challenges this conventional wisdom by analyzing the uncertainty created in analogizing existing rules to IO—such as those prohibiting the use of force, requiring civilian distinction, or banning perfidy. It questions the sufficiency of these rules to address the threats posed by non-state actors, particularly global terrorists. In addition, this part demonstrates the complexity of the status quo, given the multiple, overlapping legal regimes applicable to IO.
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===The Need for New International Laws to Regulate Information Operations===
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Part V explains how a new set of rules, an ILIO, could remedy these problems while also serving a facilitative function that would allow the use of IO in appropriate circumstances in lieu of more traditional forms of force. The Article concludes by calling on states to draft an ILIO and explores some of the regulatory design questions that will undoubtedly accompany that exercise. In the end, this Article does not aim to offer any specific content for an ILIO, but rather seeks to address the threshold question of why states need an ILIO in the first place.
  
 
==Additional Notes and Highlights==
 
==Additional Notes and Highlights==
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Expertise Required: Law - Moderate
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 +
  I. INTRODUCTION
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  II. UNDERSTANDING INFORMATION OPERATIONS
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  III. THE EXISTING IO REGIME—INTERNATIONAL LAW BY ANALOGY
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  IV. THE NEED FOR AN INTERNATIONAL LAW FOR INFORMATION OPERATIONS (ILIO)
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    A. Translation Problems
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        1. The Prohibition on the Use of Force
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        2. The Requirement of Civilian Distinction
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        3. The Ban on Perfidy
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    B. Insufficiency & Complexity
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  V. ILIO’S BENEFITS
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  VI. CONCLUSION

Latest revision as of 15:35, 10 August 2010

Why States Need an International Law for Information Operations

Full Citation

Duncan B. Hollis, Why States Need an International Law for Information Operations, 11 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1023 (2007). Web SSRN

BibTeX

Topics

Key Words

Cyber Crime, Civilian Participation, Combatant Status, Cyber Warfare, Geneva Conventions, Information Operations, Kinetic Attack, Laws of War, National Security

Synopsis

Definition and Applicability of Existing International Law

This article starts by exploring the meaning of the Information Operation (IO) concept both in terms of its goals and the methods it employs. It goes on to argue that, notwithstanding any novelty of IO’s goals or methods, the law of war does apply, albeit by analogy, and surveys the conventional wisdom favoring that status quo.

The Flaws of Existing International Law With Regards to Information Operations

It then challenges this conventional wisdom by analyzing the uncertainty created in analogizing existing rules to IO—such as those prohibiting the use of force, requiring civilian distinction, or banning perfidy. It questions the sufficiency of these rules to address the threats posed by non-state actors, particularly global terrorists. In addition, this part demonstrates the complexity of the status quo, given the multiple, overlapping legal regimes applicable to IO.

The Need for New International Laws to Regulate Information Operations

Part V explains how a new set of rules, an ILIO, could remedy these problems while also serving a facilitative function that would allow the use of IO in appropriate circumstances in lieu of more traditional forms of force. The Article concludes by calling on states to draft an ILIO and explores some of the regulatory design questions that will undoubtedly accompany that exercise. In the end, this Article does not aim to offer any specific content for an ILIO, but rather seeks to address the threshold question of why states need an ILIO in the first place.

Additional Notes and Highlights

Expertise Required: Law - Moderate

 I. INTRODUCTION
 II. UNDERSTANDING INFORMATION OPERATIONS
 III. THE EXISTING IO REGIME—INTERNATIONAL LAW BY ANALOGY 
 IV. THE NEED FOR AN INTERNATIONAL LAW FOR INFORMATION OPERATIONS (ILIO)
    A. Translation Problems
       1. The Prohibition on the Use of Force
       2. The Requirement of Civilian Distinction
       3. The Ban on Perfidy
    B. Insufficiency & Complexity
 V. ILIO’S BENEFITS
 VI. CONCLUSION