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Prosecuting Cyberterrorists--an article by Paul Stockton and Michele Golabek-Goldman '14


As you read this, U.S. adversaries are scouring our financial system, electric power grid, and other parts of our critical infrastructure for vulnerabilities to cyber sabotage.  President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Lisa Monaco, has argued that prosecutions of cyberterrorists “will be critical tools for deterrence and disruption” of such attacks. However, a critical gap lies in building the legal framework needed to prosecute cyberterrorists who strike from abroad.

In their forthcoming article in the Stanford Law & Policy Review, “Prosecuting Cyberterrorists: Applying Traditional Jurisdictional Frameworks to a Modern Threat,” Paul Stockton, President of Cloud Peak Analytics and Managing Director, Sonecon, LLC and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs from June 2009 until January 2013, and Michele Golabek-Goldman ’14 propose a new legal framework for prosecuting cyberterrorists based on the protective principle of prescriptive jurisdiction. They also argue that sequential prosecutions by states that suffered a fundamental threat to their security would help resolve conflicting claims of jurisdiction, which such attacks would likely engender. This proposed framework would not only advance U.S. national security interests by helping to deter and defeat cyberterrorism, but also provide a cornerstone for efforts to build broader international agreements against this threat.

You can access the article through the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2257915.