Informational Aspects of the Concept of Aggression in International Law

Author: I.N. DYLEVSKY, S.A. KOMOV, A.N. PETRUNIN

Maj. Gen. I.N. DYLEVSKY, Candidate of Military Sciences

Col. S.A. KOMOV (Res.), Doctor of Military Sciences

Col. A.N. PETRUNIN, Candidate of Political Sciences

Abstract. The paper offers a retrospective analysis of the way the content of the aggression concept in international law has been formed, while taking into account the current practice of using information and communication technologies to affect foreign information resources across the border.

It follows from the analysis that the existing definition of aggression could still be used with some adjustment and further specification concerning prospective acts of aggression in information space.

Keywords: international law, aggression, military and political vocabulary, cyber terminology, cyber aggression, information and psychological aggression, information weapons, information space, information resources.

Lately the Internet, the media, and various research and journalistic works have been using on an ever greater scale the phrases aggressive internet activity, information and psychological aggression, information aggression.1 More importantly, this kind of terminology is finding its way into the military and political parlance of certain states. For example, the latest edition of the U.S. National Military Strategy uses the term cyber aggression.2 Oddly enough, neither the journalists, nor scholars, nor yet military strategists bother to explain what they mean by these things, seemingly under the impression that the physical meaning of the latter is sufficiently clear as it is. We believe that it is worth examining how extensively contemporary international law has to use these terms and how well they match the existing aggression concept in international law.

Let us start by tracing back the history of defining aggression. There we will assume that the cyber terminology (cyber aggression, cyberspace, cyber attack, etc.) is a particular case of using information technology applied strictly to

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activity in computer networks, like the Internet. A more detailed treatment of the correlation between information and cyber terms is given in one of our earlier ...

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