Yesterday, the law school hosted a presentation on the international legal implications of cyber warfare by Gary Brown, Deputy Legal Advisor for the International Committee for the Red Cross and formerly the first senior legal counsel for U.S. Cyber Command. Mr. Brown discussed whether the law of armed conflict, which was developed to address traditional forms of warfare, is well-suited to cyber conflict – and, if not, what law should apply. The program was sponsored by the law school’s Institute for International Law and Public Policy, and was organized by Professor Duncan Hollis, one of the country’s leading scholars of cyber warfare.
The event underscores that today’s law students will soon enter a practice world marked by rapidly changing and highly disruptive technologies. Not terribly long ago, no one had heard of cyberspace, much less thought about its legal implications. Today, it is difficult to imagine life without the internet. The web connects billions of individuals, machines and essential infrastructure in ways that have transformed our world – and made cybersecurity a critical policy and legal issue.
Thinking about cyberwar reminds us that today’s lawyers must be able to assist their clients in navigating through the complex regulatory and commercial issues raised by new technologies. Temple is fortunate to have talented faculty who are national leaders in cutting edge issues involving technology and cyberlaw. Before joining the Temple faculty, David Post clerked for then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, worked on intellectual property issues and high technology commercial transactions for a leading Washington, D.C. law firm, and taught at Georgetown University. He is a Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology, and an Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute. He is co-author of the leading textbook on cyberlaw, and his most recent book, In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace (Oxford University Press) explores what cyberspace is, how it works, and how it should be governed.
Duncan Hollis approaches cyber issues from the perspective of international law. Duncan is an award-winning author whose work on treaties has been cited by the United States Supreme Court. He is now part of an interdisciplinary team headed by research scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Department that was awarded a multi-year grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study existing norms of behavior and governance in cyberspace. Before joining the Temple faculty, Duncan worked as an international lawyer at the U.S. Department of State.
Professors Post and Hollis embody the types of cross-cutting expertise that is increasingly necessary in today’s rapidly changing practice environment. One of my key responsibilities – and joys – as Dean is to ensure that discussion of cutting-edge issues is part of our students’ everyday experience.