This is a list of frequently asked questions about using and contributing to the Cyber Law Toolkit.
What is the Cyber Law Toolkit?
The Cyber Law Toolkit is a dynamic interactive web-based resource for legal professionals who work with matters at the intersection of international law and cyber operations. At its heart, the Toolkit consists of several hypothetical scenarios, each of which contains a description of cyber incidents inspired by real-world examples accompanied by detailed legal analysis.
Why did you create the Toolkit?
The Toolkit addresses a gap between the academia and practice as far as international cyber law is concerned. Although there is a growing body of research in this area of international law, its outputs are often not easily adaptable to the needs of legal practitioners dealing with cyber incidents on a daily basis. The Toolkit attempts to bridge this gap by providing accessible yet precise practical solutions to scenarios based on real-life examples of cyber operations that all have international law relevance.
Who is the target audience?
The Toolkit is primarily addressed to legal practitioners with a working knowledge of international law. However, the language used is comprehensive and explanatory and should be generally accessible to non-lawyers, as well. Each concept that underpins the analysis is explained in detail to provide a complete understanding of the relevant scenario. Whilst the target audience are those with a degree of familiarity with international law and specifically cyber law, it does not preclude those with a general interest in the area, but no relevant expertise, from reading, using and enjoying the content of the Toolkit.
Is the Toolkit applicable to my country?
How do I use the Toolkit?
Why is this an online resource, and not simply a book?
The online format allows us to continuously update the Toolkit as new incidents arise or new developments in the applicable law emerge. The wiki format allows collaborative work on the Toolkit as well as highlighting interconnections between the various parts of the analysis.
What makes the Toolkit “interactive”?
Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of interactive features of the Toolkit:
Which areas of law are covered by the Toolkit?
The legal areas examined range from general international law to international humanitarian law. Please refer to the full List of articles to find out which specific topics of international law are covered.
Does the Toolkit reflect the approach of a certain country or legal school to international law?
Why is the Toolkit organized around specific scenarios?
The scenarios reflect the pragmatic approach of the Toolkit. The analysis in individual scenarios is based on actual cyber incidents with some relevance for international law. By gathering the relevant cyber incidents and the applicable law in a single place, the Toolkit offers an organized vision of the main legal issues at stake, while encouraging the development of international cyber law in the future.
Which scenarios does the Toolkit consist of?
Please refer to the Main Page, which contains an overview of all scenarios. You may also refer to the List of articles, which places the scenarios in the overall context of all substantive articles in the Toolkit.
What is the structure of individual scenarios?
In brief, every scenario consists of the following sections:
- 0 Executive summary (presented without a section header)
- 1 Scenario (keywords, factual description, and real-world examples)
- 2 Legal analysis (the central part of the scenario; see Note on the structure of analysis for its further division)
- 3 Checklist (questions for legal advisors facing similar situations in practice)
- 4 Appendixes (further information, such as other relevant articles in the toolkit; endnotes; and bibliography)
How does the analysis in the Toolkit relate to real life?
Virtually all scenarios are accompanied by a list of real-world examples. The scenarios are hypothetical but there are many similarities between the hypothetical facts and the real incidents. The Toolkit aims to make the legal analysis in the individual scenarios easily adaptable to existing and future real-life incidents
How reliable is the Toolkit?
The Toolkit is based on reliable and publically available sources. The analysis aims to provide a clear guidance, but when the law is unsettled, this is noted and reasonable views are explained. All scenarios have been peer-reviewed. The full list of sources can be found in the Bibliography of the Toolkit.
I am dealing with an actual cyber incident but none of the scenarios matches the factual situation. What can I do?
Is the Toolkit continuously updated?
Yes, it is. You can track the most recent changes to the Toolkit through the Recent changes page.
What is the future of the Toolkit?
We aspire to maintain and develop the Toolkit further on an ongoing basis. As technology develops and as international cyber law further grows in prominence, new scenarios and analysis will be added to ensure the Toolkit remains state-of-the-art in terms of both facts and law. If you wish to contribute to the future development of the Toolkit, please feel free to get in touch.
What is the aim of the project?
The overarching aim of this project is to promote knowledge and develop expertise among legal advisors and decision-makers confronted by the need to respond efficiently to the challenges posed by modern technology and cyber operations from the perspective of international law. The project strives to achieve this aim by developing, testing, publishing and disseminating an interactive toolkit for the primary benefit of non-academic end users, thus assisting legal advisors and decision-makers in understanding and assessing the law applicable to cyber operations. In short, the aim of the project is to create and maintain the resource that is in front of you right now – the Cyber Law Toolkit.
How is the project financed?
The pilot year of the project (2018/19) is financed from a grant from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (Impact Acceleration Account). All partner institutions have also provided in-kind contributions to the project.
Can I use the toolkit in academia for educational purposes?
Yes. The Toolkit is made available on an open access basis. You are welcome to use it for educational purposes, as long as appropriate credit is given to the authors of the relevant articles and the project as a whole.
I am a journalist. How can I get in touch with the project team?
Can I edit the articles? How do I do that?
How do I add a new article?
I have discovered a mistake. How do I report it? And can I fix it myself?
What is the “Discussion” feature about and how can I use it?
How do I cite Toolkit articles?
Why did you choose this example? I don’t think it fits the facts at all!
Why did you structure the analysis in this way? I don’t think attribution/sovereignty/space law is an issue at all in this scenario.
What is the purpose of the checklist at the end of each scenario?
I don’t understand the technical terms or abbreviations used in the texts. What can I do?
Please refer to the Glossary.
I have a question that is not addressed here. How can I contact you?