Foreign Relations Law and Cyber Warfare

By: Elad Gil

Elad’s work at the Federmann Cyber Security Research Center examines how ‘foreign relations law’—the set of domestic laws, doctrines, and political conventions that govern states’ relationship with foreign states, organizations, and individuals—applies to, is affected by, and should be adapted to accommodate the unprecedented challenges of cyber warfare. Cyberspace introduces an array of new risks and opportunities to the conduct of effective foreign policy—from the possible outbreak of a cyber-arms race to the use of technological advantages as means to achieve previously unattainable policy objectives. At the same time, it poses new grave risks to privacy and other individual rights. This study aims to make progress in grappling with some of the most intriguing questions in this context, including what kind of a regulatory framework is best suited to strike the optimal balance between those, sometimes conflicting, values and risks; how should constitutional law allocate new powers necessary for countering threats and developing cyber-deterrence between the branches of government; how should states interact with international institutions and academics that aspire to develop international law in this area;, and whether new checks and balances are required in this domain.