Universiteit Leiden

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Industrial Cyber Espionage under International Law

  • Russell Buchan
Thursday 12 September 2019
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague

On 12 September 2019, Dr Russell Buchan will give a lecture on industrial cyber espionage under international law.

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.

About Russell Buchan

Dr. Russell Buchan is a Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Sheffield and will be joining The Hague Program for Cyber Norms for a Visiting Fellowship from 19 August to 13 September 2019 at Leiden University's Institute of Security and Global Affairs.

Russell has published extensively in the field of international law and especially on the role of international law in achieving cyber security. On the topic of cyber security, Russell has recently published a sole authored monograph entitled 'Cyber Espionage and International Law' (Hart, 2018) and he is also a co-editor of the 'Research Handbook on International Law and Cyberspace' (Edward Elgar, 2015). In addition, Russell has published ten essays on the application of international law to cyberspace, featuring in internationally renowned journals such as the Journal of Conflict and Security Law, the Chinese Journal of International Law and the Cornell International Law Journal.

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