Electronic Warfare

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th March 2018.

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Photo of Viscount Waverley Viscount Waverley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria they use to determine whether cyber aggression constitutes an act of war; and in such cases, what plans they have to allow for Parliamentary scrutiny of any evidence.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

The UN Charter applies in its entirety to state actions in cyberspace, including the prohibition of the use of force (Article 2(4)). The Government considers that a cyber-operation may constitute an “armed attack” if its scale and physical effects are equivalent to those achieved by a conventional attack which would meet the same threshold. Whether a particular cyber operation constituted an “armed attack” would need to be considered in light of all the relevant facts and circumstances.

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