Binary Bullets: The ethics of Cyberwarfare

Fritz Allhoff, Adam Henschke, Bradley Jay Strawser

    Research output: Book/ReportEdited Bookpeer-review


    Philosophical and ethical discussions of warfare are often tied to emerging technologies and techniques. Today we are presented with what many believe is a radical shift in the nature of warthe realization of conflict in the cyberrealm, the so-called fifth domain of warfare. Does an aggressive act in the cyberrealm constitute an act of war? If so, what rules should govern such warfare? Are the standard theories of just war capable of analyzing and assessing this mode of conflict? Upon short reflection, these changing circumstances present us with a series of questions demanding serious attention. Is there such a thing as cyberwarfare? How do the existing rules of engagement and theories from the just war tradition apply to cyberwarfare? How should we assess a cyberattack conducted by a state agency against private enterprise and vice versa? Furthermore, how should actors behave in the cyberrealm? Are there ethical norms that can be applied to the cyberrealm? Are the classic just war constraints of noncombatant immunity and proportionality possible in this realm? Especially given the idea that events that are constrained within the cyberrealm do not directly physically harm anyone, what do traditional ethics of war conventions say about this new space? These questions strike at the very center of contemporary intellectual discussion over the ethics of war.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationUSA
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages316
    ISBN (Print)9780190221072
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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