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The U.S. Election Hacks, Cybersecurity, and International Law

  • David P. Fidler (a1)
Extract

In October 2016, the United States accused Russia of hacking political organizations involved in the U.S. elections and leaking pilfered information to influence the outcome. In December, President Obama imposed sanctions for the hacking. This incident damaged President Obama's cybersecurity legacy. The “hack and leak” campaign targeted American self-government—a challenge to his administration's promotion of democracy in cyberspace. It created problems for the president's emphasis on international law and norms as “rules of the road” for cybersecurity. The episode exposed failures in his attempts to make deterrence an important instrument of U.S. cybersecurity.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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5 David E. Sanger & Michael S. Schmidt, More Sanctions on North Korea after Sony Case, N.Y. Times (Jan. 3, 2015).

7 See, e.g., Michael Schmitt, International Law and Cyber Attacks: Sony v. North Korea, Just Security (Dec. 17, 2014); Int'l Law Comm'n, Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, with commentaries, UN Doc. A/56/10 (2001).

8 Annegret Bendiek & Tobias Metzger, Deterrence Theory in the Cyber-Century 6-7 (May 2015).

9 Tim Stevens, A Cyberwar of Ideas? Deterrence and Norms in Cyberspace, 33 Contemp. Security Pol'y 148, 159 (2012).

11 Department of Defense, Cyber Strategy 11 (Apr. 2015).

12 Eric Lipton et al., The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S., N.Y. Times (Dec. 14, 2016).

13 White House, supra note 10, at 9.

14 Id.

15 International Code of Conduct for Information Security, UN Doc. A/69/723 (Jan. 23, 2015).

16 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Remarks on Internet Freedom (Jan. 21, 2010).

17 David E. Sanger, Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran, N.Y. Times (June 1, 2012).

19 Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, Nov. 23, 2001, E.T.S. 185.

23 Freedom House, Freedom on the Net 2016 (Nov. 2016).

25 About G20, G20.

26 Ellen Nakashima, U.S. Developing Sanctions against China over Cyberthefts, Wash. Post (Aug. 30, 2015).

30 Michael McFaul & Amy Zegart, America Needs to Play Both the Short and Long Game on Cybersecurity, Wash. Post (Dec. 19, 2016).

33 Center for Strategy and International Studies’ Cyber Policy Task Force, A Cybersecurity Agenda for the 45th President (Executive Summary) 1-2 (Jan. 4, 2017).

34 President's Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, Report on Securing and Growing the Digital Economy 48 (Dec. 1, 2016).

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  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2398-7723
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-international-law
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