Chicago Journal of International Law


This Comment explores whether cybercrime constitutes a violation of the law of nations under the ATS. It argues that certain acts of cybercrime may be actionable, but cybercrime as a whole has not yet reached the level of a customary international norm. Part I presents Sosa's approach for recognizing a customary international norm as a private right of action under the ATS. Part II discusses the rising significance of cybercrime and international efforts to thwart it. Part III analogizes cybercrime to one of Sosa's paradigm offenses against the law of nations-piracy-and argues that cyberspace should be viewed as the modern "high seas." This analogy demonstrates why cybercrime is suitable for international recognition, but it also indicates where cybercrime law lacks the requisite specificity. Finally, part IV concludes by presenting other methods of prohibiting violations of international law under federal domestic law and foreshadowing the future international status of cybercrime.