As the United States and China hurl toward a potential Thucydides Trap, the Chinese government has steadily laid groundwork as a global leader in emerging technologies. Maj. Bret White’s article examines Chinese thought as to that country’s place in the world: a leader in some respects; an outcast in others – but always an innovator.
Next, the article applies this thinking to the interests of China in two critical domains, outer space and cyberspace. By probing China’s vision to reshape the international legal landscape as the world becomes increasingly bipolar, space becomes fuller, and cyberwarfare expands, the article serves as a roadmap for national security practitioners and attorneys working with China.
Although acts of cybercrime and cyberwar are different, the lines between the two have been become blurred over time. The nature of cyberspace has complicated the pre-existing doctrine for armed attacks, yet they are still being applied. Furthermore, the United States historically has responded to malicious cyber activity through a militarized lens.
This tendency to lean towards and emphasize a militarized approach has displaced the domestic law enforcement approach and left it inadequately trained, inadequately resourced, and inadequately supported to identify, deter, and punish offenders. Discussions currently neglect other existing frameworks and the development of new ones to address malicious cyber activity
Without a comprehensive international legal framework governing malicious cyber activity, Mieke Eoyang and Chimène Keitner seek to encourage greater awareness of the consequences of viewing malicious cyber activity through only an armed conflict lens.
Cyber investigations often involve devices and data that cross or are located across international borders. This raises challenges for law enforcement which often finds itself limited by enforcement jurisdiction that stops at its territorial borders.
What happens when law enforcement is seeking to access data or a device and the location is unknown? What about situations in which law enforcement has its hands on a device, but the data being accessed via that device is located in another state’s jurisdiction? What if the device itself is located overseas—in a jurisdiction unwilling or unable to aid the investigation?