Humanitarian Implications of Cyber Conflicts

September 19 – October 7, 2022
How does cyber conflict affect civilians? The threat and risks of cyber conflict are increasing, but it is unclear how principles of international humanitarian law apply. Cyber attacks can be precise in their effect, but many have caused unanticipated consequences, disrupting shipping companies, national healthcare systems or city services. With the advent of the internet of things, where many more devices and services will be vulnerable to cyber attack, civilian populations are more connected and digitally exposed than ever. Does increasing cyber conflict between states risk unanticipated humanitarian costs? Conversely, could cyber operations reduce the risk to civilian populations by giving states an alternative to traditional kinetic options? What kind of rules are possible to best reduce risk and guide state behavior?  Join us for an interactive discussion of the humanitarian implications of cyber conflict.

James Andrew Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, Technology Policy Program