Attacked by our own government : does the War Powers Resolution or the law of armed conflict limit cyber strikes against social media companies ?
Harry P. Koulos
Host item entries:
The Georgetown journal of law and public policy, Vol. 11, 2013, p. 705-736
The use of email and social media to support terrorist acts poses a threat to the United States. Terrorists are known to communicate using a common email account's "drafts folder," which makes their activity much more difficult to track because no emails need be sent. And, potentially innocent use of social media could jeopardize American operations. This note confronts the potential situation where the US Government uses cyber strikes to shut down a social media site's private messange service in order to protect national security. Using a hypothetical situation, it asks the following questions: "Does the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) authorize such an attack ? Assuming the AUMF does not apply, would the cyber strike against the social media company's server in the Middle East trigger the War Powers Resolution ? Assuming the US was in an armed conflict with the hypothetical terrorist group, would such a cyber strike comply with the law of armed conflict ?