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August 21, 2009


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Sean Watts

I've just finished an article on Law of War Combatant Status and Computer Network Attacks. While I focused on a narrow aspect of IHL, I tried to showcase, and respond to, a broad survey of existing scholarship on IHL and Computer Network Warfare/Terrorism/Crime.


Kelly Gable

I have an article forthcoming (location TBD) regarding cyberterrorism and universal jurisdiction. Although it does not specifically address international humanitarian law, it does discuss infrastructure attacks such as those mentioned and how to prevent/deter them. See

Jacqueline Lipton

Thanks, Sean and Kelly, for sharing your research. I have brought it to the attention of the colleague who asked me the query.

Eric Jensen

Along with Sean Watt's excellent piece, Sean Condron also wrote a good article at 20 Harv. J. Law & Tec 404. I have also written two articles on the topic at dealing with the laws of war and their applicabiilty to the use of computer network operations and dealing with protecting critical national infrasturcture from attack, whether by state or non-state actors.

Jacqueline Lipton

Thanks for that also, Eric. Sounds like interesting work.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

See too:

Computer Network Attack and International Law (Naval War College International Law Studies, vol. 76), Michael N. Schmitt & Brian T. O’Donnell, eds., 2002 (568 pp.)

Michael N. Schmitt, with Heather A. Harrison Dinniss & Thomas C. Winfield, Computers and War: The Legal Battlespace, Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative Briefing Paper (June 2004), reprinted in 3 Journal of the Xi'an (China) Politics Institute (2007)

Michael N. Schmitt, CNA and the Jus in Bello: An Introduction, in Computer Network Attacks and the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law (Stockholm: Swedish NDC, Karin Bystrom, ed., 2004): 101-125.

[The Brian T. O'Donnell above is no relation, although I do have a brother named Brian S. O'Donnell]

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A sensible approach to terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction
No security measures can not completely eliminate the activities of Arab terrorists. This is evident in Israel: a tiny country whose population is very concerned about security, can not prevent every terrorist attack. Enhanced security measures at airports, only transferred the attention of Arab terrorists on the other weaknesses, such as night clubs and bus. When was closed border with Gaza, Arab terrorists penetrated the West Bank. Arab terrorists, as tax evaders, always find ways to deceive the society. The attack is always one step ahead of protection, which only reacts. The only good protection - proactive, preventive: Attack of the Arab terrorists before they attack you.

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