International Law

New manual applies traditional rules of war to state-sponsored Internet hacking


In what is being billed as the first effort to apply the traditional rules of war to state-sponsored hacking, a think tank has released a treatise on the legal parameters of cyberwar.

In discussions that are often advisory because of the cutting-edge topic, the Tallinn Manual (named after the Estonian city in which the treatise was developed) offers its views on a wide range of Internet issues. They range from whether hospitals, reservoirs and nuclear power plants are ever an appropriate hacking target (no) to whether a civilian hacker could ever be appropriately targeted with conventional weapons (yes), according to the Associated Press, Salon and a Huffpost Tech page on the United Kingdom version of the website.

A NATO think tank, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, suggested that the Tallinn Manual be created, but it is not officially sanctioned by NATO.

The Beacon links to another Beacon page directing readers to what the blog describes as a draft copy of the Tallinn Manual. It can be found on a NATO Cooperative Cyber DefenceCentre of Excellence page (scroll down).

Updated at 1:45 p.m. to include Beacon link to Tallinn Manual.

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