The civilian cyber battlefield : non-state cyber operators' status under the law of armed conflict
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North Carolina journal of international law and commercial regulation, Vol. 39, issue 4, summer 2014, p. 1091-1121
Using two scenarios, one involving a hacker, the other a contractor, the article analyzes the status of both in an article 2 interstate conflict. Part II examines the current structure the LOAC employs to determine an individual’s status and the preferences expressed by the law. Part III explores cyber warfare’s physical and systematic nature. Part IV applies the framework of the LOAC to the two scenarios and identifies problems with such an application. Part V proposes a shift in interpretation of the LOAC in instances of cyber operations by non-State affiliated individuals to guarantee that non-State cyber operators do not exploit the gray area of unlawful combatancy. This Article concludes that States should either incorporate non-State cyber operators into their armed forces, or States should interpret “direct participation in hostilities” broadly enough to subject non-State cyber operators to the costs of taking up electronic arms.
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