The Promise and Limits of Cyber Power in International Law

The Society's 114th Annual Meeting—and first Virtual Annual Meeting—took place June 25–26, 2020. The 2020 Annual Meeting theme, "The Promise of International Law," was an opportunity to reflect on the successes and failures of international law, while reaffirming our commitment to achieving its promise of a more just and peaceful world.
This session will explore the international legal framework governing cyber power, and its limits. With the 2020 U.S. elections on the horizon and increasing reports of cyber effects operations ongoing worldwide, understanding the legal frameworks within which States must work as they contemplate deploying tools in cyberspace is imperative to maintaining international peace and security. To date, only a handful of nations have publicly shared their views on the application of international law to cyberspace [this may need to be updated come next April]. In this session, intelligence, defense, and foreign affairs officials from three such nations — the United Kingdom, United States, and [France / Estonia / other?] — will engage with cyber experts to discuss three core questions related to the applicability of international law in the cyber sphere: What cyber activities constitute unlawful interventions into the domestic affairs of another country? What activities in cyberspace constitute an armed attack against another country? And what activities are permissible for States to respond to either of these types of events?

Charles Allen, Office of General Counsel
Monica Hakimi, University of Michigan Law School (Moderator)
Zhixiong Huang, Wuhan University School of Law
Sue Robertson, Office of the Attorney General of Australia
Ann Väljataga, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence

(Speaker organizations are shown as of June 2020)