The Dark Future of International Cybersecurity Regulation
States are not likely to consent to new international rules that restrict the use of cyber weapons.
Law is a form of cooperation. Certain conditions normally exist when cooperative mechanisms like law merge and function properly. Actors within the system, for example, are relatively equal. Future dealings are expected. Trust is high. A consensus exists concerning foundational values. The cost of non-cooperation is high. Individual and collective interests align. Underlying social norms reinforce legal norms. Free-riders and transgressors are easily spotted and penalized. For better or worse, however, these and other conditions necessary to promote the emergence and development of legalist constraints are not present in sufficient degree to support further international rules governing cyber conflict – any more than those conditions have been present in the past to support the emergence of rules governing clandestine or covert intelligence operations of which cyber activity normally is a part.
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