How and why do states use cyber proxies to project power? Why do some states lean closer to these proxies than others, and what does this distance reveal about how a state views them? In this article, Syed Hamza Mannan answers these questions in a review of Tim Maurer’s book, Cyber Mercenaries: The State, Hackers, and Power.
Mannan explores the demand for cyber proxies, the mechanisms states use to control them, and the implications of cyber state-proxy relationships. Perhaps Maurer’s most prevalent contribution to the research, articulated in Mannan’s review, is in constructing a framework for characterizing different relationships states maintain with cyber proxies: those of delegation, orchestration, and sanctioning. By applying the framework to contemporary examples of cyber proxy proliferation, Mannan’s review illuminates Maurer’s important work.
In light of recent foreign cyber-assaults that have jeopardized personal privacy in the United States, it is time for individuals to explore opportunities for private suits against foreign governments. In the first attempt to do this, Doe v. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the courts found that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act barred suit under the Wiretap Act’s private cause of action and the common law tort of intrusion upon seclusion. Kurland posits that either a new exception should be added to the FSIA to ameliorate this legal lacuna.
Taking an international law perspective, Ashley Deeks, Noam Lubell, and Daragh Murray highlight the potential legal, policy, and ethical challenges that will arise as governments inevitably begin to employ artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to inform their use of force decisions. The authors identify critical questions states should contemplate before developing such algorithms, underscoring that machine learning algorithms could both improve the accuracy of use of force decision making and present negative consequences for states, and recommend prophylactic measures for states as they develop and eventually deploy these tools.