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Trimming Pegasus’ Wings: International Export Control Law and ‘Cyberweapons’

  • For centuries, export control regulations have accompanied the development of new weapon technologies. The revelations of the ‘Pegasus Project’ have put the question of whether and how to regulate the export of the new technology ‘cyberweapons’ in the limelight: Is the current international export control law up to the challenge of sufficiently regulating the proliferation of ‘cyberweapons’ or does it need an update? To answer this question, the blog post will, first, turn to the definition and relevance of ‘cyberweapons’. Secondly, international export control law is introduced as a possible measure to mitigate the risks posed by ‘cyberweapons’ against the backdrop of regulating the use of ‘cyberweapons’ or establishing a moratorium on its trade. Third, the blog post will assess the export of ‘cyberweapons’ in general and the export of Pegasus in particular within the current international export control framework. The current framework seems to touch upon partial aspects of the trade with ‘cyberweapons’. However, it stands to fear that it is not up to the task of sufficiently curtailing the proliferation of ‘cyberweapons’ and the associated risks, as it especially leaves the underlying problem of the trade with zero-day vulnerabilities untouched.

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Author:Roland Klein
Parent Title (English):Völkerrechtsblog: International Law & International Legal Thought
Document Type:Contribution to online periodical
Year of Completion:2021
Publishing Institution:Deutsches Forschungsinstitut für öffentliche Verwaltung
Release Date:2021/12/13
Tag:Wassenaar Arrangement; arms control; cyberweapons; export control; international law
GND Keyword:Exportkontrolle; Rechtswissenschaften; Rüstungsbegrenzung; Technologie; Völkerrecht
Documents ordered by discipline (DDC classification):300 Sozialwissenschaften / 340 Recht
Documents of the German Research Institute for Public Administration (FÖV):Sonstige Schriften
Access Rights:Frei zugänglich
Licence (German):License LogoUrhG – es gilt deutsches Urheberrecht
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-SA - Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 4.0 International