An Assessment of International Legal Issues in Information Operations

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An Assessment of International Legal Issues in Information Operations

Full Citation

Department of Defense Office of General Counsel, "An Assessment of International Legal Issues in Information Operations," [web] (1999)



Key Words

Law Espionage Treaties Government International-Law Global Communities Agreements United-Nations Legislation International-Relations Law-Enforcement


International law consists of binding legal obligations among sovereign states. Two of the basic principles of the international legal system are that sovereign states are legally equal and independent actors in the world community, and that they generally assume legal obligations only by affirmatively agreeing to do so. The most effective instruments in creating international law are international agreements, which may be either bilateral or multilateral. Some of these agreements, such as the United Nations Charter, establish international institutions that the parties agree to invest with certain authority. It is also generally accepted that there is a body of customary international law, which consists of practices that have been so widely followed by the community of nations, with the understanding that compliance is mandatory, that they are considered to be legally obligatory.

Policy Relevance

Policy and Legal Implications, relevant law.

Case Examples

Additional Notes and Highlights

Principal Author: Phillip A. Johnson (Colonel USAF, Retired)