in the Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion. Outlawing the computer code used to launch cyber attacks outright would mean changing the fundamental nature generative nature of the internet, turning PCs into information appliances. This would constitute an extreme negative impact on the private sector of the type that the UNCLOS saga has taught should be avoided lest the commons prosper. Nor would such an option be feasible, unlike in the ATS or outer space, given the rapidly evolving nature of IT. What is needed instead is a standing international body, such as WCERC, which would have the power to investigate and partner with affected nations to respond to cyber attacks as they occur.263
International law is greatly influenced by events – after all, “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.”264 In this way the cyber attack on Estonia and similar events have pushed the international community to recognize the necessity of acting swiftly to combat the proliferation of IW. There is evidence that at least some subset of countries, namely NATO, have begun international efforts aimed at increasing collaboration to prevent, investigate, and respond to attacks as they occur. Other nations, notably Russia and China, have already come forward with proposals to prohibit the use of IW in twenty-first century warfare. However, if information operations techniques are seen as just another new technology and not a grave threat to national security interests, it is unlikely that dramatic legal developments will occur.265 Just as much of an impetus is the United States’ refusal to negotiate to prohibit these weapons so as to keep its technological edge in IT. It is essential for policymakers to consider cyber attacks as the revolutionary threat that they are to the security and welfare of citizens around the world
263 International support exists for curtailing IW. The U.S. should call Russia and China’s potential bluff and begin work on an international treaty on IW.
264 DOD, supra note 33.