Spies Without Borders: International Law and Intelligence Collection
Journal of National Security Law and Policy, Vol. 5, 2011
32 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2011
Date Written: June 15, 2011
This article examines the status of peacetime spying in international law. Part I defines “spying” as the term is used in the article, focusing on collection of intelligence from human and electronic sources. The article then divides spying into geographic zones: territorial; extraterritorial; and transnational. In Part II, it examines doctrines of international law applicable to spying in each of these three geographic areas, focusing on sovereignty rules, international immunities and human rights principles. The article concludes that the question of international law and intelligence-gathering is not easily reduced to a simple question of legality or not. Instead, an assessment of legality depends on a careful assessment of the location and technique of spying in question.
Keywords: intelligence services, intelligence collection, intelligence gathering, international law, spying
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