Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Law and Cyberspace

Research Handbook on International Law and Cyberspace

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Nicholas Tsagourias and Russell Buchan

This timely Research Handbook contains an analysis of various legal questions concerning cyberspace and cyber activities and provides a critical account of their effectiveness. Expert contributors examine the application of fundamental international law principles to cyberspace such as sovereignty, jurisdiction, state responsibility, individual criminal responsibility, and intellectual property rights. In addition to this, they explore the application of international law rules to cyber terrorism, cyber espionage, cyber crime, cyber attacks and cyber war and discuss the cyber security policies of international and regional institutions.

Chapter 7: Cyber terrorism

Ben Saul and Kathleen Heath

Subjects: law - academic, internet and technology law, public international law, regulation and governance, terrorism and security law


Cyber terrorism has not been specifically prohibited or criminalized at the international level. Nonetheless, there is no lacuna in international law that leaves cyber terrorism completely unregulated or unpunished. This chapter surveys the legal framework governing cyber terrorism at international law, considering both existing sectoral and regional anti-terrorism treaties, and the incomplete UN Draft Comprehensive Anti-Terrorism Convention. It then questions whether there is a need for an international cyber terrorism instrument. The utility of such an instrument will depend on the gravity of the threat of cyber terrorism, the scale of technical challenges in addressing that threat, the stigmatizing value of such a convention, and the possible human rights implications.

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