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Ariel Rabkin – Laws and Norms in Cyber-conflict

Thursday, February 21, 2013
12:30 pm


Sherrerd Hall, 3rd floor open space
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States + Google Map

Food and discussion begins at 12:30 pm. Everyone invited.

Different technologies enable different kinds of conflict. These in turn develop different rules and customs. In the last few years, computer-based attacks have become a significant tool of national policy. There is an urgent need to clarify the status of such attacks.

This talk argues that it is futile to ban or ignore cyber-conflict. It is also infeasible to rely solely on existing categories from the modern law of armed conflict. Rather, a new set of norms must be developed. I will focus on two important normative questions: the permissible participants and the permissible targets in cyber-conflict.


Ariel Rabkin is a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University, working with Mike Freedman on distributed systems. He received his PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in May 2012. His dissertation research focused on making software systems easier to configure and manage. He is also professionally interested in security and cloud computing. He is formerly from Cornell University (AB 2006, MEng 2007). He is a contributor to several open source projects, including Hadoop, the Chukwa log collection framework, and the JChord program analysis toolset.