Skip to main content
Journal Article

‘Hacking back' by states and the uneasy place of necessity within the rule of law

Heidelberg Journal of International Law (HJIL) 80 (2): 433–452
Information technology and systems
International law, cybersecurity, cyberattacks, attribution, necessity, rule of law, special emergency regime
The article deals with necessity as one of the circumstances precluding wrongfulness under customary international law and how it will likely gain relevance in view of the difficulty to quickly attribute malicious cyber operations that threaten important assets of a state. While the necessity doctrine seems fit for purpose, it lacks granularity and is problematic from an international rule-of-law point of view. Taking these pitfalls into account, the article proposes some general principles for a possible special emergency regime for cyberspace.
Journal Pages