The notion of "objects" during cyber operations : a riposte in defence of interpretive and applicative precision
Michael N. Schmitt
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Israel law review, Vol. 48, issue 1, March 2015, p. 81-109
This article responds to the two articles published in this journal that criticise the approach taken by the International Group of Experts (IGE) who prepared the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. Their authors took issue with the approach of the majority of the IGE over the question of whether data qualifies as an ‘object’ under international humanitarian law such that, for instance, cyber operations that target civilian data violate the prohibition on attacking civilian objects. The majority of the experts took the position that the law had not advanced that far and that pre-existing law could not be definitively interpreted to encompass data within the meaning of ‘objects’. In this article, the Director of the Tallinn Manual Project responds to the authors' criticism of the majority view by explaining and clarifying its reasoning.