The targeting of non-state-affiliated civilians in cyberspace : lagging LOAC principles cause uncertainty on both sides
James Emory Tucker
Host item entries:
North Carolina journal of international law, Vol. 42, issue 4, summer 2017, p. 1013-1059
The Law of Armed Conflict ("LOAC") has evolved over the past century and a half to protect civilians from the harms caused by war as well as to put all parties on notice as to their expected conduct. Civilians, like any other group, are not prohibited from directly participating in hostilities, but they lose their protection from being directly targeted for such time as they chose to do so. This protection for civilians is easier understood as it is applied to the physical domain, for which it was created. The cyber domain is vastly different. Accordingly, civilians and States who are party to international armed conflicts are left to apply their own understanding of how LOAC principles should be applied to the cyber domain. This article analyses legal questions surrounding civilians participating in cyber hostilities.