Lecture | Industrial Cyber Espionage under International Law

Lecture | Industrial Cyber Espionage under International Law

Lecture / 12 Sep 2019 / The Hague

On 12 September 2019, our Visiting Fellow Russell Buchan will hold a lecture on industrial cyber espionage under international law.

Lucas Kello is Associate Professor of International Relations, serves as Director of the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, and is also co-Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security at the Department of Computer Science at University of Oxford.

Duncan Hollis is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law at Temple Law School, Temple University. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Bibi van den Berg is Professor of Cybersecurity Governance within the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs.

Location: Leiden University, Campus Den Haag, Wijnhaven - room 3.60, Turfmarkt 99, The Hague
Time: 15:30 - 17:00
Registration: free, via email (
info@thehaguecybernorms.nl)

Given the highly competitive economic environment within which they operate, companies have increasingly sought to steal the confidential business information of their foreign rivals. This practice is known as industrial espionage and its occurrence within the world order has grown exponentially since the dawn of cyberspace. This paper pursues two arguments. First, this paper maintains that industrial cyber espionage compromises the financial security of the victim company which, in turn, undermines the economic security of the host state. As such, industrial cyber espionage can be construed as a threat to the victim state's national security. Second, this paper investigates the role of international law in dampening and suppressing this threat. In particular, it examines the extent to which the international law principle of due diligence requires states to take measures to prevent companies within the jurisdiction from engaging in industrial cyber espionage against foreign competitors.

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