Protecting Australian Cyberspace: Are Our International Lawyers Ready?

By Tully, Stephen | Australian International Law Journal, Annual 2012 | Go to article overview

Protecting Australian Cyberspace: Are Our International Lawyers Ready?


Tully, Stephen, Australian International Law Journal


Abstract

Cyberspace is an important element of Australia's critical national infrastructure. Recent policy developments within this field seek to maintain economic opportunity and protect national security. This article discusses four contemporary threats posed to the Australian military and civilian electronic information infrastructure: 'cyber war' conducted by hostile states, 'cyber conflicts' by foreign combatants, attacks committed by 'cyberterrorists' and the commission of 'cybercrimes'. This article reviews the existing international legal paradigms relevant to each and identifies the issues raised from a survey of the existing literature. It concludes that each paradigm is presently inadequate for addressing the nature of these threats and calls for further contributions from Australian government, military and international lawyers to articulate a distinctive national perspective on these questions.

I Introduction

The United States (US) Department of Defense has recently developed an offensive cyber war capability and a coordinated military-civilian strategy to defend against cyber attacks. (1) Cyber experts from the Centre for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications at the US State Department also routinely patrol social media including the internet and recently hacked Yemeni websites to replace al-Qaeda propaganda. (2) In Australia, the Director General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation ('ASIO'), has predicted that cyber attacks against Australia will increase from both state and non-state actors, including terrorists who use the internet for recruitment and to support operational activities. (3) More than 200 cyber intrusions against the Department of Defence were investigated in 2009. (4) The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is also subjected to daily cyber attacks. (5) Australian engineers have since received training at the Idaho National Laboratory, which designed the Stuxnet worm used to sabotage an Iranian nuclear facility. (6) And finally, 'Anonymous' conducted Operation 'Titstorm' to disable the websites of the Australian Parliamentary House and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to protest at mandatory internet filtering. (7)

These developments raise a range of questions. What precisely is occurring, and where are cyber threats emanating from? Flow does cyber activity fit within the paradigms of international law so familiar to us, if at all? Should our international, military and government lawyers respond? If so, how? What are the available legal options and the policy choices relevant to each?

This article addresses several of these questions by surveying the existing literature and contrasting recent policy developments within Australia with that of other states, principally the US and the United Kingdom (UK). Part II will define cyberspace. Part III describes how cyberspace is conceptualised as critical national infrastructure. Parts IV to VII examine four threats to Australian cyberspace: 'cyber war' conducted by states, 'cyber conflicts' between combatants, 'cvberterrorism' targeting civilians, and finally the use of computer technology to commit offences ccybercrimesp. These parts will situate each threat within the relevant legal framework: international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, anti-terrorism measures and criminal law enforcement. The adequacy of each regime for protecting Australia's electronic information infrastructure is assessed. Part VIII identifies challenges, risks and possible solutions, considers several cross-cutting themes and calls for further contributions which demonstrate a distinctive Australian perspective on these issues.

II Cyberspace Defined

'Cyberspace' may be defined as the interdependent network of information technology infrastructures. It includes the internet, telecommunications networks, computer processing systems and embedded industrial processors and controllers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Protecting Australian Cyberspace: Are Our International Lawyers Ready?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.