According to The Telegraph, Britain’s Attorney General Suella Braveman will argue in a speech to Chatham House today that international law applies equally to equally in the cyber world as in the real world, where the principle of “non-intervention” in another country’s affairs allows states to take defensive countermeasures. The news comes off the back of Russia’s real-world and cyber-warfare activity in the Ukraine conflict. According to the Attorney General, she states could legally introduce sanctions as well as cyber countermeasures, provided they were “proportionate” to the unlawful attack by a hostile state. “International law matters in cyberspace because if we don’t shape the rules here if we don’t have a clear framework to counter hostile activity in cyberspace, and if we don’t get cyber security right, the effects will be likely to be felt more often and in hugely disruptive ways by ordinary people,” she said.
Cyber law is one of the most complex and difficult areas to manage due to how the occurrences are often unattributable to any particular country. The dynamics and of course the differences between nations can cause conflict of their own or even the ability to avoid any given situation. Clearly a framework to counter hostile states is vital but the intricacies in this context remains a difficulty in its own right to agree on. It is clear that more needs to be done to combat as well as fight international cybercrime such as espionage and increasing cyber war but waiting for a set of international rules can often leave a far greater opportunity given the time it takes for this approval.