Research Handbook on Human Rights and Digital Technology
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Research Handbook on Human Rights and Digital Technology

Global Politics, Law and International Relations

Edited by 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. This contemporary Research Handbook offers new insights into well-established debates by framing them in terms of human rights. It examines the issues posed by the management of key Internet resources, the governance of its architecture, the role of different stakeholders, the legitimacy of rule making and rule-enforcement, and the exercise of international public authority over users. Highly interdisciplinary, its contributions draw on law, political science, international relations and even computer science and science and technology studies.
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Chapter 7: ‘This is not a drill’: international law and protection of cybersecurity

Matthias C. Kettemann


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.

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