Scenario 28: Extraterritorial incidental civilian cyber harm
State A, involved in an international armed conflict against State B, designs a cyber operation aimed at damaging State B’s military command and control system. The operation might also incidentally impact one university in State B and many universities located in State C, not party to the armed conflict. This scenario analyses whether and how to apply the international humanitarian law principle of proportionality to this operation. In doing so, it also examines the application of the principle of proportionality and the law of neutrality to attacks expected to cause incidental civilian harm in a neutral non-belligerent State.
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