The potential for terrorists to develop, acquire, or use biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons has been one of the most important security issues of the post-Cold War era. This chapter analyses the threat of terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It begins by reviewing policy responses to WMD terrorism and describing how states used international law to address WMD and terrorism during the Cold War. The chapter then catalogues the emergence of WMD terrorism in the post-Cold War period and the impact this development has had on international law. Specifically, it analyses how states (1) adapted and applied traditional international law on WMD and terrorism to WMD terrorism; (2) developed new instruments and strategies targeting WMD terrorism; (3) launched new ‘soft law’ initiatives against WMD terrorism; and (4) responded to the use of chemical weapons by state actors and terrorist groups in recent armed conflicts in the Middle East.
David P. Fidler
The Internet is the most consequential communications technology to emerge during the human rights era. The relationship between cyberspace and international human rights law is broad and intensive. Cyberspace challenges general principles of international law important for human rights, including rules sovereignty, non-intervention, and jurisdiction. The emergence of cyberspace also comprehensively affects the human rights regime, creating debates about whether Internet access is, or should be, a new human right. The cyberspace–human rights relationship also involves human rights controversies that developed as national and international policies on Internet governance and cybersecurity have evolved. The disclosures made by Edward Snowden agitate these controversies, especially as they involve the policies of the United States. The Snowden leaks suggest that, rather than being an exceptional technological phenomenon in human rights terms, cyberspace increasingly appears subject to the harsh international politics that have adversely affected human rights in the past. This trajectory means that the transformative human rights potential once associated with cyberspace will be difficult to recover.