Some Unanswered Questions in the Development of Norms Regarding Cyber-Enabled Disinformation: A Provocation
No nation, no matter how powerful, can unilaterally address the problem of adversarial information flows through technology, domestic law, regulation, military force, education, or any combination of these means. Some form of international cooperation is thus likely to be necessary to make progress on this problem, and international law is one important vehicle for promoting cooperation among nations and combating the worst forms of human (and other) behavior. Nonetheless, many aspects of present-day international law are not up to many challenges posed by digital dissemination of disinformation. These aspects include adequate definitions of disinformation; the operational and legal differences between foreign and domestic spreaders of disinformation; the cumulative effect of many small unfriendly but legal actions; and the applicability of international law and norms to the behavior and conduct of the platform companies that carry large volumes of disinformation. This talk will offer some framing comments and then open up for an interactive discussion.