intelligence operatives?173 Determining this distinction will also dictate the appropriate response, including the extent to which civilian law enforcement or the military should be involved.
Cyberterrorism consists of using computer technology to engage in terrorist activity, distinguishable from cybercrime since “crime is personal, while terrorism is political.”174 Classic conceptions of terrorism are discernible from warfare, which is not supposed to target civilians.175 IW consists of nation-states’ using cyberspace to achieve the same ends that they pursue through the use of conventional military force – achieving advantages over a competing nation-state or preventing a competing nation-state from achieving advantages over them.”176 Boundaries are breaking down in the twenty-first century – certain states generate crime, terrorism, and war, while individuals wage war in addition to committing crimes and carrying out acts of terrorism.177 Yet it is too simple to state that “If we conclude with some confidence that an attack did not ‘come from a nation-state actor, we inferentially assign it to the cybercrime/cyberterrorism category and embark upon the tasks of determining precisely what it is and who is responsible for it.”178 Given the clandestine nature of cyberspace, states may easily incite civilian groups within their own borders to commit cyber attacks and then hide behind a (however sheer) veil of plausible deniability and thus escape accountability.
175 See U.N. Office of the High Comm'r for Human Rights, Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Aug. 12, 1949, available at . Last visited: 4/18/2008.
176 Brenner, supra note 40.