Ransomware attacks demonstrated multiple vulnerabilities of today’s technological societies that are caused by a number of factors, including companies who fail to provide updates, secret services that stockpile vulnerabilities, and states that do not force essential service providers to ensure that their systems are stable and secure. Against this background and in light of the overwhelming importance of the Internet for states, business and society, this chapter demonstrates how cybersecurity, as a prerequisite for a reliably functioning and secure Internet, has become a global community interest which needs protection. The chapter concludes that international law fully applies to the Internet, including with regard to regulating cybersecurity, and establishes cybersecurity-related rights and obligations for different stakeholders, based, inter alia, on general principles and custom.
Ben Wagner, Matthias C. Kettemann and Kilian Vieth
In a digitally connected world, the question of how to respect, protect and implement human rights has become unavoidable. As ever more human beings, organizational systems and technical devices transition online, realizing human rights in online settings is becoming ever more pressing. When looking at basic human rights such as freedom of expression, privacy, free assembly or the right to a fair trial, all of these are heavily impacted by new information and communications technologies. While there have been many long-standing debates about the management of key Internet resources and the legitimacy of rules applicable to the Internet – from legal norms to soft law, from standards to code – it is only more recently that these debates have been explicitly framed in terms of human rights. The scholarly field that has grown in response to these debates is highly interdisciplinary and draws from law, political science, international relations, geography and even computer science and science and technology studies (STS). In order to do justice to the interdisciplinary nature of the field, this Research Handbook on Human Rights and Digital Technology: Global Politics, Law and International Relations unites carefully selected and reviewed contributions from scholars and practitioners, representing key research and practice fields relevant for understanding human rights challenges in times of digital technology.