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Cyber WarLaw and Ethics for Virtual Conflicts$
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Jens David Ohlin, Kevin Govern, and Claire Finkelstein

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717492

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717492.001.0001

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The Rise of Non-State Actors in Cyberwarfare

The Rise of Non-State Actors in Cyberwarfare

(p.102) 6 The Rise of Non-State Actors in Cyberwarfare
Cyber War

Nicolò Bussolati

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the rise of non-state actors in cyberwarfare and its impact on international law. The first part considers how digital technologies stimulated an increasing role for non-state actors in the international system, accelerating the demise of the state as primary actor of international law. Moreover, through a taxonomical analysis of non-state actors operating in cyberspace, it examines their present and future role in cyberwarfare, their relationship with the states, and their peculiar structures and modi operandi. The second part evaluates the challenges to international law posed by the non-state actors’ involvement in this new paradigm of warfare. It considers how their participation in cyberwar may be covered by the traditional corpus of norms regulating armed conflicts. Furthermore, it addresses issues related to the attribution of the act and the ability of the state to respond to cyber threats deriving from non-state actors under the law of self-defense.

Keywords:   cyberwarfare, cyber attacks, cyberweapons, non-state actors, hackers, international law, law of self-defense, state responsibility, cyberspace

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