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Abstract

This article examines a subset of multilateral forums dealing with security problems posed by digital technologies, such as cyber warfare, cyber crime and lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). It identifies structural issues that make it difficult for multilateral forums to discuss fast-moving digital issues and respond in time with the required norms and policy measures. Based on this problem analysis, and the recent experience of regulating cyber conflict and LAWS through Groups of Governmental Experts, the article proposes a schema for multilateral governance of digital technologies in armed conflict. The schema includes a heuristic for understanding human-machine interaction in order to operationalize accountability with international humanitarian law principles and international law applicable to armed conflict in the digital age. The article concludes with specific suggestions for advancing work in multilateral forums dealing with cyber weapons and lethal autonomy.

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