Cyber Warfare and International Law: Regulating the Bits, Bytes, and Bombs in the Age of Digital Conflict

Colonel David Wallace, United States Military Academy, Law Department

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 6:00pm
By Invitation Only
Graduate Students
Policy Students

The Program in Law and Public Affairs invites MPP/MPA students to join us for "Law in Public Service: Not Just for Lawyers," where our guests will be Col. David Wallace.

This event is by invitation only.   If interested, RSVP here.

Military-related cutting-edge technologies revolutionizing and fundamentally altering warfare is not a new phenomenon.  Examples exist throughout history, including the invention of the chariot, crossbow, machine guns, tanks, airplanes, submarines, nuclear weapons, missiles, and satellites.  With the arrival of the digital age, the world has witnessed the development and use of cyber weapons, the designation of cyberspace as a warfighting domain, and the creation of cyber force structure and capabilities.  A senior U.S. defense official presciently observed that, “[i]n the 21st Century, bits and bytes can be as threatening as bullets and bombs.”  This is not surprising considering that computers, computer systems and networks have revolutionized nearly every facet of modern life.  Although it is widely accepted that international law applies to cyberspace and operations, there is significant discussion, debate and uncertainty regarding how it applies given some of the unique attributes of cyber.  This talk will unpack the regulation of cyber conflict under international law and explore some of the gaps, fault lines and ambiguities.

Col. David Wallace
Head, Department of Law
United States Military Academy

U.S. Army Colonel David Wallace is Professor and Head, Department of Law, U.S. Military Academy, West Point. In addition to his assignment at West Point, he has also served as a Deputy Staff Judge Advocate (Fort Bliss, TX); Assistant/Associate Professor at the Judge Advocate General’s School of the Army (Charlottesville, VA); Trial Attorney, Contract Appeals Division, United States Army Legal Service Agency (Arlington, VA); Trial Counsel and Legal Assistance Attorney, 3rd Infantry Division (Kitzingen, Germany); and Public/Civil Affairs Officer, 81st Infantry Brigade (Seattle, WA). Wallace deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 and 2010. In 2004, he served as a member of an implementation team to establish the National Military Academy of Afghanistan (NMAA). His education includes: B.A. (Carnegie-Mellon University); J.D. (Seattle University School of Law); M.(S) B.A. (Boston University); LL.M. (Judge Advocate General’s School of the U.S. Army); and M.A. (U.S. Naval War College).