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Protecting the information space in times of armed conflict

Just Security
Robin Geiss, Henning Christian Lahmann (2021)
Subject(s)
Ethics and social responsibility; Information technology and systems
Keyword(s)
disinformation, information operations, hybrid warfare, international humanitarian law, law of armed conflict
The legal implications of digital information warfare in the context of armed conflict have so far received only scarce attention. This paper aims at filling this gap by exposing some of the legal issues arising in relation to mis- and disinformation tactics during armed conflict in order to serve as a starting point for further debate in this respect:

What, if any, limits exist concerning (digital) information operations in armed conflict? Does the humanitarian legal framework adequately capture the humanitarian protection needs that arise from these types of (military) conduct? Where and how to draw the line between effects and side-effects of digitalised information warfare that should remain either within or without the protective ambit of international humanitarian law (IHL)? What are, or what should be, the limits of disinformation campaigns, “fake news”, deep fakes and the systematic manipulation of a given information space in times of armed conflict?