Leiden Security & Global Affairs Blog | Why Silence Isn’t (Always) Golden: Espionage Exceptions under Customary International Law

Leiden Security & Global Affairs Blog | Why Silence Isn’t (Always) Golden: Espionage Exceptions under Customary International Law

New blog post / 8 Oct 2019

In this new blog post for the Leiden Security & Global Affairs blog, our recent Visiting Fellow Russell Buchan and his colleague Iñaki Navarrete discuss espionage exceptions under customary international law. This is part I - part II will follow on Thursday 10 October.

Lucas Kello is Associate Professor of International Relations, serves as Director of the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, and is also co-Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security at the Department of Computer Science at University of Oxford.

Duncan Hollis is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law at Temple Law School, Temple University. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Bibi van den Berg is Professor of Cybersecurity Governance within the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs.

Peacetime espionage describes the state-sponsored theft of confidential information for national security purposes and there are almost daily reports detailing states’ involvement in this activity. Rates of espionage have risen dramatically since the advent of cyberspace and the potential for cyber-enabled spying.
While states usually regulate espionage through national criminal law, the conventional wisdom among international lawyers is that ‘international law is silent on the subject of espionage’. According to this view, espionage is ‘neither legal nor illegal under international law’.

Continue reading this article on the Leiden Security & Global Affairs blog.

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