Southwestern journal of international law, Vol. 26, no. 2, 2020, p. 264-288
Despite its historically narrow application under International law, in today’s digital age, usage of the term “pillage” has expanded to include the theft of intellectual property carried out by cyber means. The modern usage notwithstanding, it appears the law of armed conflict still limits liability for pillage to the non-consensual takings of public or private property by members of armed forces and affiliated non-state actors during armed conflict for private or personal use. This article applies the historical perspective to modern cyber activities, including those on and off the battlefield, and clarifies that while many activities do not rise to the level of the war crime of “pillage,” certain activities can meet the definition of cyber pillage and lead to individual criminal liability under the law of armed conflict. As States contemplate cyber operations during armed conflict, they will need to ensure protections are in place to prevent and punish potential acts of cyber pillage.
By entering this website, you consent to the use of technologies, such as cookies and analytics, to customise content, advertising and provide social media features. This will be used to analyse traffic to the website, allowing us to understand visitor preferences and improving our services. Learn more