Neutral Space in Cyber War

Strains on the sovereign entitlements of states, indeed…

A fascinating new article on "The Principles of Distinction and Neutrality in Cyberwarfare", by Jeffrey T.G. Kelsey, is the only recent bit of scholarship that I’ve seen that links cyber issues to radio broadcasting. It’s not explicitly what the piece is about – Kelsey’s points hover around embeddedness, non-lethality, and violations of sovereign neutrality – but he links the two through a case study that requires analogous reasoning. The lessons of radio and mass-mediated ethnic slaughter in Rwanda and Liberia, and broadcast nationalism in the former Yugoslav states, have been generally forgotten or ignored in the current wave of interest in information operations and strategic communications. So this is worth a read – as is past work by Jamie Frederick Metzl.

Metzl wrote fantastic early articles on radio jamming and the Rwanda genocide, and on IT and human rights. He was also a While House Scholar in the late 1990s, and in a position to strategize the bombing campaign in Kosovo that Kelsey refers to in his article – which, incidentally, included specifically targeting Serbian hacker units and broadcast media. Kelsey doesn’t mention any of this; in Metzl’s case, the lessons of Rwanda fed directly into the decision-making processes for the Kosovo campaign, which in turn have some bearing on issues of distinction and targeting raised in this new piece.

H/T to Bobby Chesney, who’s part of the outstanding National Security Advisors blog (and he teaches law, too…).

Posted in Uncategorized

2 thoughts on “Neutral Space in Cyber War

  1. Sounds good. I see some troubled areas there on the map mentioned. There is work here to be done on social modelling.

  2. As a slight aside, the UK Ministry of Defence has just announced a consultation on the use of its allocated radio spectrum.Full story here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s