International Law and Cyber Operations – Launch of the Tallinn Manual 2.0

On Wednesday, February 8, Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE), and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands launched the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations.

The launch was accompanied by a panel discussion on International Law and Cyber Operations featuring distinguished speakers such as: Professor Michael Schmitt, Director of the Tallinn Manual Process and Chairman of the International Law Department at the United States Naval War College; Ms. Megan Stifel, a Senior Fellow at the Council and Founder of Silicon Harbor Consultants; and Mr. Rutger Van Marrissing, Senior Policy Officer at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Jason Healey, a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and Senior Research Fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. The international group of experts explained and debated the Manual’s provisions and shared their insights into ways international law shapes stakeholders’ conduct in cyberspace.

Mr. Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, Mr. Sven Sakkov, Director of the NATO CCD COE and Ambassador Henne Schuwer of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States gave opening remarks. Ms. Liis Vihul, Project Manager and Managing Editor of the Tallinn Manual Process gave a brief presentation on Tallinn Manual 2.0.

The first Tallinn Manual was the most comprehensive analysis of how existing international law applies to cyber space, mostly focusing on cyber operations occurring during armed conflict. Four years after its publication, we have witnessed cyber rapidly moving to the forefront of national security agendas in response to the proliferation of cyberattacks against states, companies, and individuals alike. The Tallinn Manual 2.0, authored by nineteen respected international law experts across the globe, adds analysis of international law governing these more common forms of cyber incidents occurring during peace time.

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Image: Jay Healey, Michael Schmitt, Megan Stifel and Rutger Van Marrissing discuss the role of International Law on Cyber Operations