INTERNATIONAL LAW IN CYBERSPACE
The agenda item 'International Law in Cyberspace' was introduced at the Fifty-Third Annual Session of AALCO in Tehran, Iran, in 2014, at the recommendation of the People's Republic of China. The topic has been discussed at various Annual Sessions since then, with resolutions directing the Secretariat to study the subject and organize Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) meetings as necessary. Key areas of focus include state sovereignty in cyberspace, peaceful use of cyberspace, international cooperation in combating cybercrimes, and identifying relevant provisions of the UN Charter and other international instruments related to cyberspace.
The first OEWG on International Law in Cyberspace was held during the Fifty-Fifth Annual Session in New Delhi, India, in 2016, and subsequent meetings have taken place at AALCO headquarters and during Annual Sessions. Topics discussed have included sovereignty in cyberspace, law and governance of cyberspace, cyber warfare, and cybercrimes in relation to international law. A Special Study on International Law in Cyberspace was released at the Fifty-Sixth Annual Session in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2017.
At the Fifty-Seventh Annual Session, the consensus for the OEWG's future plan of action was to continue discussing international law in cyberspace, enhance cooperation in countering cybercrime, research key issues, identify areas for capacity building, and maintain the agenda item at future Annual Sessions. The fourth OEWG on International Law in Cyberspace took place in Hangzhou, China, in 2019, where the Rapporteur presented a report based on a questionnaire circulated among Member States.
At the Fifty-Eighth Annual Session in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, in 2019, Member States discussed various aspects of cyberspace, including non-intervention principles, privacy issues, international law applicable to cyber-attacks, regulation of online content, and the possibility of a multilateral convention regulating cyberspace activities. A revised draft of 'Consensual Basic Principles of International Law Applicable in Cyberspace' was circulated among Member States in July 2021, with the aim of further discussions and possible adoption at the Fifth OEWG Meeting on International Law in Cyberspace.