Tallinn Manual – Imposing Strict Rules for Hackers and Cyberwar

Internet being the main source of communication, business, trade, news, entertainment etc, we depend on internet for almost everything in our day to day life.

Like each and every big and good thing gets corrupted by some ill intentioned people, internet also is a huge platform for criminals named as cyber criminals. Hackers, phishers, sniffers, snoopers etc are the types of the cyber criminals that are affecting the network, business and ultimately the users of the internet.

Solution? Well we have SSL, antivirus software, anti-malware, anti phishing software, password protected USB drives and so on. But like any other crime cyber crime is also preposterous and punishable offence and also like any other crime it should have a strict law and a strict punishment for the criminal. The question here is do we have any such law that abides the offender for the punishment and also gives justice to the victim?

The answer is yes. A certain group of experts has released a manual called The Tallinn manual to justify the laws. Published in March 2013, the manual contains of practices of international law for the world of electronic warfare with effect to claim that hospitals, civilians and neutral nations have the right of protection against the information-age fight.

The editor of manual, US Naval War College Professor Michael Schmitt, in an interview clarified that as the international laws applies to use of each and every weapon so does the rule applies to the cyber weapons.

Tallinn manual is named so because it was abridged in Estonian capital and was invented at the command of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Executive, a NATO think tank. It promotes the underlying rules on the battlefield behavior like that of the 1868 St.Petesburg Declaration and the 1949 Geneva Convention, to the Internet, frequently in unexpected ways.

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A teacher of international law at London’s University of Westminster, Marco Roscini explained the manual’s ubiquity of displaying laws of war, even of those of 19th century are extensible of integrating the new facts of online clashes.

The Tallinn manual consists of 282 pages has no official stamping but it will become an important reference for the protection against electronics attack. Roscini expressed that it will become a great influence for the world.

Heart of the manual specifies that stopping war will not help because it happens online.

There is no doubt that hospitals and other organizations have their own physical security.

Also manual informed that cyber war will increase the cyber crimes to a greater extent. Sending off a computer network attacks to the world from a nation is definitely condemned. Similarly cutting off of an internet connection in a limited area is a crime. The team behind the development of the manual consisted of two dozen officers, academics and researchers whose background belonged to NATO state.

As far as the countries are concerned they have their own self defense techniques like they can attack first on any soldiers if they find something fishy or so. But how that could be applied to cyber warfare?

The laws mentioned in the manual also cover the attacks against civilian objects, still the team was confused as to whether to portray objects as data or not as it leaves a big loophole for the military attacks which is potential to destroy valuable information from the database.


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