Dr Kubo Mačák presents in Tallinn on 24 July 2019.

Cyber law in time of war: Exeter academic presents at a cyber diplomacy event in Tallinn

On 24 July 2019, Dr Kubo Mačák spoke at the Tallinn Summer School of Cyber Diplomacy on the topic “Cyber Operations and International Humanitarian Law”.

In the lecture, Dr Mačák discussed the key challenges that modern cyber operations pose for international humanitarian law (IHL). He spoke in favour of general applicability of IHL to cyberspace and outlined some of the difficulties specific IHL rules present for the interpretation and application of this body of law in the context of cyber operations during armed conflicts.

The topics discussed included the relevance of the duty to perform a legal review of new weapons with respect to cyber capabilities; the question whether cyber operations may trigger an armed conflict between states; and the application of the law of targeting to cyber operations against civilian datasets. The selection of these topics drew on the Cyber Law Toolkit, which is the product of an ESRC-funded research project led by Dr Mačák.

The Tallinn Summer School of Cyber Diplomacy took place between 22 and 26 July 2019, bringing some 80 diplomats, researchers and experts from a total of 26 countries to Estonia to discuss a variety of cyber security related strategic, technological, and legal issues. The event addressed, among other things, topics including international law and norms in cyberspace, the role of cyber operations in modern conflict, the improvement of cyber resilience and deterrence, and internet administration and freedom.

Date: 30 July 2019