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* For the proponents of this view, the prohibition on violating the sovereignty of other States is a substantive primary rule of international law, the breach of which is an internationally wrongful act. This view was unanimously accepted by the experts who prepared the Tallinn Manual 2.0.<ref>Michael N Schmitt, '[https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/cjil19&i=36 Virtual Disenfranchisement: Cyber Election Meddling in the Grey Zones of International Law]' (2018) 19 ChiJIntlL 30,40; [https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139169288 Tallinn Manual 2.0], commentary to rule 4, para 2 (‘States shoulder an obligation to respect the sovereignty of other States as a matter of international law’).</ref> It has also been adopted by several States including Austria,<ref>Austria, [https://front.un-arm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/comments-by-austria.pdf Pre-Draft Report of the OEWG - ICT: Comments by Austria] (31 March 2020), stating that ‘a violation of the principle of State sovereignty constitutes an internationally wrongful act – if attributable to a State – for which a target State may seek reparation under the law of State responsibility’.</ref> the Czech Republic,<ref>Czech Republic, [https://www.nukib.cz/download/publications_en/CZ%20Statement%20-%20OEWG%20-%20International%20Law%2011.02.2020.pdf Statement by Mr. Richard Kadlčák, Special Envoy for Cyberspace, 2nd substantive session of the Open-ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security] (11 February 2020), stating that ‘[t]he Czech Republic concurs with those considering the principle of sovereignty as an independent right and the respect to sovereignty as an independent obligation.’</ref> Finland,<ref>Finland, ‘[https://um.fi/documents/35732/0/KyberkannatPDF_EN.pdf/12bbbbde-623b-9f86-b254-07d5af3c6d85?t=1603097522727 International law and cyberspace: Finland’s national positions]’ (15 October 2020), 3, stating that ‘Finland sees sovereignty as a primary rule of international law, a breach of which amounts to an internationally wrongful act and triggers State responsibility. This rule is fully applicable in cyberspace.’</ref> France,<ref>French Ministry of the Armies, ‘[https://www.defense.gouv.fr/content/download/567648/9770527/file/international+law+applied+to+operations+in+cyberspace.pdf International Law Applied to Operations in Cyberspace]’, 9 September 2019, stating that ‘Any unauthorised penetration by a State of French systems or any production of effects on French territory via a digital vector may constitute, at the least, a breach of sovereignty’.</ref> Germany,<ref>Germany, ‘[https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/blob/2446304/2ae17233b62966a4b7f16d50ca3c6802/on-the-application-of-international-law-in-cyberspace-data.pdf On the Application of International Law in Cyberspace: Position Paper]’ (March 2021), p. 3, noting that ‘Germany agrees with the view that cyber operations attributable to States which violate the sovereignty of another State are contrary to international law’.</ref> Iran,<ref>Iran, ‘[https://nournews.ir/En/News/53144/General-Staff-of-Iranian-Armed-Forces-Warns-of-Tough-Reaction-to-Any-Cyber-Threat Declaration of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran Regarding International Law Applicable to the Cyberspace]’ (July 2020), para 4 (‘Any utilization of cyberspace if and when involves unlawful intrusion to the (public or private) cyber structures which is under the control of another state, maybe constituted as the violation of the sovereignty of the targeted state.’).</ref> and the Netherlands.<ref>Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘[https://www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-foreign-affairs/documents/parliamentary-documents/2019/09/26/letter-to-the-parliament-on-the-international-legal-order-in-cyberspace Letter to the parliament on the international legal order in cyberspace]’ (5 July 2019), stating that ‘countries may not conduct cyber operations that violate the sovereignty of another country’.</ref>
 
* For the proponents of this view, the prohibition on violating the sovereignty of other States is a substantive primary rule of international law, the breach of which is an internationally wrongful act. This view was unanimously accepted by the experts who prepared the Tallinn Manual 2.0.<ref>Michael N Schmitt, '[https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/cjil19&i=36 Virtual Disenfranchisement: Cyber Election Meddling in the Grey Zones of International Law]' (2018) 19 ChiJIntlL 30,40; [https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139169288 Tallinn Manual 2.0], commentary to rule 4, para 2 (‘States shoulder an obligation to respect the sovereignty of other States as a matter of international law’).</ref> It has also been adopted by several States including Austria,<ref>Austria, [https://front.un-arm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/comments-by-austria.pdf Pre-Draft Report of the OEWG - ICT: Comments by Austria] (31 March 2020), stating that ‘a violation of the principle of State sovereignty constitutes an internationally wrongful act – if attributable to a State – for which a target State may seek reparation under the law of State responsibility’.</ref> the Czech Republic,<ref>Czech Republic, [https://www.nukib.cz/download/publications_en/CZ%20Statement%20-%20OEWG%20-%20International%20Law%2011.02.2020.pdf Statement by Mr. Richard Kadlčák, Special Envoy for Cyberspace, 2nd substantive session of the Open-ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security] (11 February 2020), stating that ‘[t]he Czech Republic concurs with those considering the principle of sovereignty as an independent right and the respect to sovereignty as an independent obligation.’</ref> Finland,<ref>Finland, ‘[https://um.fi/documents/35732/0/KyberkannatPDF_EN.pdf/12bbbbde-623b-9f86-b254-07d5af3c6d85?t=1603097522727 International law and cyberspace: Finland’s national positions]’ (15 October 2020), 3, stating that ‘Finland sees sovereignty as a primary rule of international law, a breach of which amounts to an internationally wrongful act and triggers State responsibility. This rule is fully applicable in cyberspace.’</ref> France,<ref>French Ministry of the Armies, ‘[https://www.defense.gouv.fr/content/download/567648/9770527/file/international+law+applied+to+operations+in+cyberspace.pdf International Law Applied to Operations in Cyberspace]’, 9 September 2019, stating that ‘Any unauthorised penetration by a State of French systems or any production of effects on French territory via a digital vector may constitute, at the least, a breach of sovereignty’.</ref> Germany,<ref>Germany, ‘[https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/blob/2446304/2ae17233b62966a4b7f16d50ca3c6802/on-the-application-of-international-law-in-cyberspace-data.pdf On the Application of International Law in Cyberspace: Position Paper]’ (March 2021), p. 3, noting that ‘Germany agrees with the view that cyber operations attributable to States which violate the sovereignty of another State are contrary to international law’.</ref> Iran,<ref>Iran, ‘[https://nournews.ir/En/News/53144/General-Staff-of-Iranian-Armed-Forces-Warns-of-Tough-Reaction-to-Any-Cyber-Threat Declaration of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran Regarding International Law Applicable to the Cyberspace]’ (July 2020), para 4 (‘Any utilization of cyberspace if and when involves unlawful intrusion to the (public or private) cyber structures which is under the control of another state, maybe constituted as the violation of the sovereignty of the targeted state.’).</ref> and the Netherlands.<ref>Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘[https://www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-foreign-affairs/documents/parliamentary-documents/2019/09/26/letter-to-the-parliament-on-the-international-legal-order-in-cyberspace Letter to the parliament on the international legal order in cyberspace]’ (5 July 2019), stating that ‘countries may not conduct cyber operations that violate the sovereignty of another country’.</ref>
* By contrast, the opposing view is that sovereignty is a principle of international law that may guide State interactions, but it does not amount to a standalone primary rule.<ref>Gary P. Corn and Robert Taylor, ‘[https://doi.org/10.1017/aju.2017.57 Sovereignty in the Age of Cyber]’ (2017) 111 AJIL Unbound 207, 208 (arguing that sovereignty is ‘a principle of international law that guides state interactions’).</ref> This view has now been adopted by one State, the United Kingdom,<ref>Jeremy Wright, ‘Cyber and International Law in the 21st Century’ (23 May 2018) (stating that he was ‘not persuaded that we can currently extrapolate from that general principle a specific rule or additional prohibition for cyber activity beyond that of a prohibited intervention. The UK Government’s position is therefore that there is no such rule as a matter of current international law’); see also Memorandum from JM O’Connor, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, ‘International Law Framework for Employing Cyber Capabilities in Military Operations’ (19 January 2017) (considering that sovereignty is not ‘a binding legal norm, proscribing cyber actions by one State that result in effects occurring on the infrastructure located in another State, or that are manifest in another State’), as cited by Sean Watts & Theodore Richard, 'Baseline Territorial Sovereignty and Cyberspace' (2018) 22 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 771, 829.</ref> and has been endorsed by the U.S. Department of Defense General Counsel.<ref>Paul C. Ney, [https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Speeches/Speech/Article/2099378/dod-general-counsel-remarks-at-us-cyber-command-legal-conference/ DOD General Counsel Remarks at U.S. Cyber Command Legal Conference], 2 March 2020, arguing that ‘the Department believes there is not sufficiently widespread and consistent State practice resulting from a sense of legal obligation to conclude that customary international law generally prohibits such non-consensual cyber operations in another State’s territory’.</ref> By this approach, cyber operations cannot violate sovereignty as a rule of international law, although they may constitute prohibited intervention, use of force, or other internationally wrongful acts.
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* By contrast, the opposing view is that sovereignty is a principle of international law that may guide State interactions, but it does not amount to a standalone primary rule.<ref>Gary P. Corn and Robert Taylor, ‘[https://doi.org/10.1017/aju.2017.57 Sovereignty in the Age of Cyber]’ (2017) 111 AJIL Unbound 207, 208 (arguing that sovereignty is ‘a principle of international law that guides state interactions’).</ref> This view has now been adopted by one State, the United Kingdom,<ref>Jeremy Wright, ‘Cyber and International Law in the 21st Century’ (23 May 2018) (stating that he was ‘not persuaded that we can currently extrapolate from that general principle a specific rule or additional prohibition for cyber activity beyond that of a prohibited intervention. The UK Government’s position is therefore that there is no such rule as a matter of current international law’); see also Memorandum from JM O’Connor, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, ‘International Law Framework for Employing Cyber Capabilities in Military Operations’ (19 January 2017) (considering that sovereignty is not ‘a binding legal norm, proscribing cyber actions by one State that result in effects occurring on the infrastructure located in another State, or that are manifest in another State’), as cited by Sean Watts & Theodore Richard, 'Baseline Territorial Sovereignty and Cyberspace' (2018) 22 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 771, 829.</ref> and has been advocated by the U.S. Department of Defense General Counsel.<ref>Paul C. Ney, [https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Speeches/Speech/Article/2099378/dod-general-counsel-remarks-at-us-cyber-command-legal-conference/ DOD General Counsel Remarks at U.S. Cyber Command Legal Conference], 2 March 2020, arguing that ‘the Department believes there is not sufficiently widespread and consistent State practice resulting from a sense of legal obligation to conclude that customary international law generally prohibits such non-consensual cyber operations in another State’s territory’.</ref> By this approach, cyber operations never violate the sovereignty of a State, although they may constitute prohibited intervention, use of force or other internationally wrongful acts.
   
 
The remainder of this section proceeds on the basis of the former “sovereignty-as-rule” approach. Those espousing the latter “sovereignty-as-principle” approach should refer to other relevant sections of the legal analysis (such as that on the [[prohibition of intervention]]).
 
The remainder of this section proceeds on the basis of the former “sovereignty-as-rule” approach. Those espousing the latter “sovereignty-as-principle” approach should refer to other relevant sections of the legal analysis (such as that on the [[prohibition of intervention]]).

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