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36672 Internet Court Cases in the Hague?

36672 is the number of court cases which could be taken by nation states if they were to use international law to protect their Internet space.(1) Today, it is difficult to find any country which is not attacked by "bootnet computers" based in the territory of another state. According to vicarious responsibility, as is established in the Corfu Channel and in a few other cases, states are responsible for any harm coming from their territory. The only fact that has to be proven is that harm originates from the territory of the other state. With geo-positioning, it is easy to identify the geographical location of an Internet attack.

If Internet governance moves into the realm of international public law - regulating relations between states - international court cases could be a consequence. Another consequence could be that, in order to protect themselves legally, nation states would have the right to impose much stricter surveillance on their national territory. If they are held responsible internationally, they would need to be allowed to take measures to ensure their responsibility. Is this a realistic scenario? What should be done to avoid it? These and other questions were discussed during this morning's session of the Council of Europe on
state responsibility in the Internet era.

(1) Number was calculated on the possibility that 192 nation states could initiate court cases against each other. In reality, the number could be lower since some states do not accept jurisdiciton of the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

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