Regulating a “Cyber Militia” – Some Lessons from Ukraine, and Thoughts about the Future

Dan Jerker B. Svantesson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article analyzes the contribution to modern warfare that might potentially be made by the “cyber militia” – a body of volunteers undertaking defense-related activities in cyberspace on behalf of a state, with that state’s formal recognition, and with some degree of coordination or guidance by that state, but outside the ambit of the state’s regular armed forces or national security structure. Through real world examples from cyber warfare and a literary review of the field, this article suggests a definition for such a cyber militia and outlines the roles such a body may play. It also considers how international law may impact the type of cyber militia envisaged above. Account is taken both of relevant law applying outside armed conflict, and the international humanitarian law that applies in situations of armed conflict. The article discusses the possible benefits and challenges following a state’s adoption of a formally recognized cyber militia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-101
Number of pages16
JournalScandinavian Journal of Military Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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