Responding to Public and Private Cyberattacks: Self-Defence, Countermeasures and Jurisdiction

Today I presented at the international conference “The Challenge of Global Cybersecurity” organised by the University of Granada, one of Spain’s oldest universities. Granada is also the birthplace of Francisco Suárez who had an important influence on the philosophy of international law.

My presentation ‘Responding to Public and Private Cyberattacks: Self-Defence, Countermeasures and Jurisdiction’ focused on the distinction between cyberattacks perpetrated by private and public actors. It showed that different (although often overlapping) legal regimes apply their limitations as well as its implications for countermeasures and dispute resolution.

The presentation concluded that the effective application of existing international law to cyberattacks may require the reassessment of application of the concepts of self-defence and countermeasures in cyberspace. The prospects of a global cybersecurity treaty remain limited, but close cooperation with allies and other forms of cooperation is slowly developing.

Further development of State practice and opinio iuris related to attribution, countermeasures and due diligence obligations will subsequently lead to more uniform approaches and crystallisation of principles of international law in the cyber domain.

My conference sides are available here.