It is particularly surprising that the United Nations, the most pluralistic –almost global– organisation has taken extremely few steps towards the setting of an international standard regarding the regulation of computer attacks.
United Nations General Assembly Resolutions
After a resolution adopted by the General Assembly in 2004 regarding the ‘creation of a global culture of cybersecurity and the protection of critical informational infrastructures’, with only a few state responses, the most recent act was a 2010 resolution regarding the ‘creation of a global culture of cybersecurity and taking stock of national efforts to protect critical information infrastructures’.
Which organ should investigate cyber war attacks?
Apart from these actions, it has been proposed that the Security Council be the organ that decides when a perpetrated cyber attack constitutes a threat or breach of the international peace, and accordingly take actions based on its article 42 powers.
Toby Friesen suggests the creation of a UN subsidiary body to investigate claimed acts of cyberwarfare. The basic framework used would be, according Friesen, UN Security Council Resolution 1373, dealing with terrorism. He further suggests as a model the International Atomic Energy Agency, requiring in-State investigations.
Should this scenario occur, a plethora of problematic issues arise. On the one hand, Resolution 1373 is rather contentious, based on -according to some- nonexistent legislative powers of the Security Council. On the other, it would definitely lead to the United Nations becoming a centralised conglomeration of regulating bodies controlling every interstate relation in a global level.