New Tallinn Paper: International Law Should Not Serve Interests of Particular Nations

International law should not be altered or subjected to interpretations that might shatter legal stability, concludes the newest addition to the Tallinn Papers, International Law and International Information Security: A Response to Krutskikh and Streltsov.

Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, a Senior Fellow at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and a key contributor to the Tallinn Manual process, responds to criticism of the existing legal framework regulating state cyber operations. Andrey Krutskikh and Anatoly Streltsov claim that the views expressed in the Tallinn Manual are “diametrically opposed [to Russia’s] policy of averting military and political confrontations in information space”.   

Professor Heintschel von Heinegg points out that since the article seems to highlight the issues considered to be important by the Russian Federation, it is a welcome contribution to the on-going debate on the international legal implications for cyber security. Nonetheless, he finds it hard to agree with many of the positions suggested by Krutskikh and Streltsov. 

“Modifying and interpreting international law in the way proposed in the article would most probably serve Russian interests, but not necessarily those of other states,” warns the author. Fundamentally, Professor Heintschel von Heinegg is unconvinced by the authors’ plea on the inability of existing international law to effectively regulate state uses of information and communications technologies. 

Full text of the Tallinn Paper International Law and International Information Security can be accessed at 

The Tallinn Papers are a peer reviewed publication of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. Focussing on the most pressing cyber security debates, they aim to support the creation of a legal and policy architecture that is responsive to the peculiar challenges of cyberspace. With their future-looking approach, the Tallinn Papers seek to raise awareness and to provoke the critical thinking that is required for well-informed decision-making on the political and strategic levels.