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The Tallinn Manual on International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare

March 15, 2013, 4:09 a.m.
Michela Menting, Research Director

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The Tallinn Manual on International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare officially launches in London today . The Manual is the fruit of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. Developed by a group of experts from Academic and Military backgrounds, the Manual is the end-result of 4 years work to produce an independent manual on the law governing cyber warfare. The Manual is about 215 pages long and offers insight into such issues as sovereignty, state responsibility, the use of force, the applicability of the law of armed conflict and the conduct of hostilities among others.

Although the Manual is not designed to be a binding document, it is undoubtedly one that is urgently required in terms of setting down what the possible status quo might be at this moment in time. This will serve as a baseline against which advocates and critics can build their arguments. As a NATO-sponsored initiative, there is no doubt that the manual will offer much food for debate. It is in any case a document I will happily pour through and comes in good time ahead of SMi’s Cyber Security for the Military and Defence Sector Conference in London where I will be speaking on exactly this topic, International Law and Cyber Warfare.