Wired Warfare: Computer Network Attack and Jus in Bello

  • Michael N. SchmittEmail author


This chapter examines the application of the jus in bello, or international humanitarian law (IHL), to information operations, specifically computer network attacks (CNA). Discussion centres on the use of CNA in the context of an international armed conflict, although the conclusions would apply equally to a non-international armed conflict for those customary rules of IHL which extend into that form of conflict. It begins by addressing the threshold issue of whether IHL applies at all to CNA. Concluding it does, the chapter goes on to explore the key aspects of IHL relevant to CNA operations, especially the rules which prohibit the use of indiscriminate weapons and those governing targeting. Of particular note is the discussion of the notion of “attack” in the CNA context. Ultimately, it is concluded that CNA presents a particular problem for application of the traditional IHL.


Armed Conflict Rome Statute Military Operation Civilian Population Geneva Convention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.




Computer network attacks


International Committee of the Red Cross


North Atlantic Treaty Organization


Electronic attack


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the authors 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United States Naval War CollegeNewportUSA

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