Jul 09


The UN Charter states:

All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

This is inadequate. Because cyberwarfare attacks are not physically intrusive, national boundaries are not violated, and it is not clear when something constitutes an act of war. Further, it is hard to tell who committed the attack. What sort of level of governmental involvement is required to justify going to war? In other words, when does cyberterrorism justify warfare?


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  1. One of the duties of the government is to serve and protect its people so we will not be succumbed to harm or any violent threat. While information warfare deals with military combat operations, cyberterrorism is a threat to civilians and infrastructure. Therefore, when innocent civilian lives are being threatened, the government must step in to ward off and attempt to eradicate such threat. The justification can be found by the context of the situation, and who is being targeted and for what reasons.

    1. I also agree when innocent civilians are being targeted and tragedies are forming the government should interfere.

      1. Of course I agree as well, well said. good point.

    2. Government should step to neutralize threats but proportionality is very important when considering retaliation. Excessive force to other nations can instill in civilians a desire to act in accordance with or sympathize with terrorist groups close to them. Reacting with precision with different means (cyberwarfare) instead of the way of traditional warfare is more of appropriate route.

      1. I say a strong well developed communication plays a role and also agree to neutralize threats. Civilians that are ignorant, naive, and not properly educated are prone to fall to symphathize and be influenced with terroist groups and even create alliance. Cpberwarfare just enforces modern warfare and conducts manipulation from unknown sources.The united nation should enforce policies and tactics to eliminate cyberwarfare and terroism while having nations that promote peace and justice to agree.

  2. Cyberterrorism justifies warfare when it begins affecting citizens and organizqtions of a country. The Internet and cyberspace has become a very vital element in today’s society, if people use cyberterrorism to hurt a country it can be very damaging to people and organizations who have become dependent on it. It will be devastating for businesses and the economy and can create very negative effects. If cyberterrorism is affecting people and organozations severely towards negative effects is when it can justify warfare.

    1. I agree with you Yosy. The government must at all times be prepared and vigilant to threats from cyberterrorists. After all, their actions are disruptive and harmful to civilian lives.

      1. The secondary effects can be devastating and there can also be civilian uproar over the whole country.

        1. No one likes civilian uproar ;(

    2. i think Cyberterrorism and Terrorism are the same, they all target civilians and use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. thus in any level it can justify warfare.

  3. CYberterrosim definitly justifies any and all acts of retaliation because of its destructive nature. For example country A bombs a factory and disables its machines. Country B sends a virus to a factory and disables its machines…..

    1. i think any of cyber attacks is equivalence that a traditional military attack would cause.

    2. I believe Cyberwarfare as you described can be less damaging then the modernize version of classical warfare we engage in or see (depending on your perspective). This makes a traditional attack disproportionate and inappropriate. I don’t agree that Cyberterrorism justifies any and all act of retaliation, but there should be accountability.

      1. I agree that retaliation of all kinds is not justifiable by cyberterrorism. However, accountability is something the government should consider as well as how much and what the offender should be held accountable for.

    3. I agree with you. We are living in a digital age. It is hard to commit any crime without a part of it being digital.

  4. If a cyber attack produces death, damage, or some kind of economic or commercial disruption equivalent to what might be wrought by a military attack, it could be considered an act of war.For example hacker attacks civlil and goverment infrastructures such stocks, nuclear plant, gasoline pipeline etc.

  5. It’s hard to say when cyberterrorism would justify warfare given that for the most part, these acts are carried out by groups and not states or state representatives. And of course it’s possible that known terrorist groups can be used to carry out acts that states would want or for a state to not intervene or mitigate actions of these groups and claim innocent. Classical Warfare (more modernized through drones and other weapons) would be an obsolete measure to take in my opinion. The more appropriate action to take would be track down specific groups and whatever administration accountable. States can harbor these groups and claim ignorance but sanctions and war can make the situation worse. Disabling these terror organizations could be more effective.

    1. Hows it going Brian.I agree where its hard to justify that cyberterism justifies warfare since there are many factors and needs more specification. I also agree that the physical acts and process is more effective according to what you mentioned to disable organizations or an individual itself that carry out these violent terroist acts while having a strong national networking security.

      1. I agree that a blanket statement saying cyberterrorism justifies warfare is too much. There should be specified and outlined factors that contribute to the conclusion of whether or not government intervention in the form of warfare is the best solution.

        1. Just like any act of terrorism, it must be well defined. Both intent and outcome should be considered.

  6. Cyperterroism I believe is to broad and also very controversial. It is hard to justify because these warfare are always comes from a specific individual, organization, group, etc. Cyberterrroism is used to manipulate and influences war and terroism. The level of governance that needs to be enforced is where networking should be secured at a strong measurement for national security while practicing civil rights for civilians.

  7. Whenever a life is threatened we should evaluate the situation and whether government involvement is necessary. The question of the level or severity of governance depends on how strong of a threat a case of cyberterrorism is.

  8. Cyber terrorism constitutes a real thread. And it could be ignored just until it could be detected who was behind it. I think the government possesses enough resources to accurately identify who committed any specific cyber crime. I think cyber terrorism, in that sense, is just like other forms of terrorism and could be an act of war.

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