International Law

Anthony Rutkowski: International Signals Intelligence Law: Provisions and History (Lawfare Research Paper Series)

By Susan Hennessey
Friday, March 25, 2016, 2:30 PM

Lawfare is pleased to announced the publication of a new paper in the Lawfare Research Paper Series: International Signals Intelligence Law: Provisions and History by Tony Rutkowski.

From the abstract:

A rich and extensive history of treaty provisions which constitute the public international law of signals intelligence has remained largely invisible. These provisions are primarily known only to the handful of specialists in the field who negotiate and shape the provisions in arcane venues over many generations which are then archived in inaccessible repositories. This enduring body of law goes to the most basic concepts of national sovereignty and has constituted the “rules” among nations when facilitating interconnection of networks, electronic communication transit, or radiocommunication. Since 1850, the continuing threads have underpinned the sovereign rights of national authorities worldwide to engage in lawful interception, route communications, and demand decryption. This paper assembles material collected and used over the past forty years — some of which is now becoming accessible online.

The paper can be downloaded as a pdf here.