Document Type : Article


1 Associate Prof, Department of Public and International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Allame Tabatabaii University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student in International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Allame Tabatabaii University, Tehran, Iran


The rapid advancement of technology and the unique characteristics of cyberspace have caused change in many of international law's classic concepts, and in most cases, the lack of coherent customary regimes prepared grounds for new interpretation of classic concepts. Cyber espionage is a relatively new concept in international law, and there is no agreement on legal regime governing it. Ambiguity and fear of extending principles and rules governing espionage in traditional sense, to cyberspace, which is generally the domain of soft law practice, has put international law governing this new concept in a state of uncertainty. Therefore, on one hand, the legitimacy of extraterritorial infiltration acts of States through espionage remains controversial, and on the other hand, the use of virtual instruments by States for advancing their extraterritorial infiltration into cyberspace of other States, has fueled ambiguities. The lack of specific international customary and treaty obligations in this regard paves the way for the application of general principles and rules of international law. This article seeks to elucidate the concept and scope of cyber espionage and the international responsibility arising from it, taking into account, State practice and doctrine, to answer this fundamental question that, which principles and rules of international law govern cyber espionage.


1. فارسی
1. خلیل‌زاده، مونا (1393)، مسئولیت بین‌المللی دولت در قبال حملات سایبری، تهران: مجمع علمی فرهنگی مجد.
2. زمانی، سید قاسم (1384)، حقوق سازمان‌های بین‌المللی: شخصیت، مسئولیت، مصونیت، تهران: مؤسسۀ مطالعات و پژوهش‌های حقوقی.
3. کمیسیون حقوق بین‌الملل سازمان ملل متحد (1391)، متن و شرح مواد کمیسیون حقوق بین‌الملل راجع به مسئولیت دولت، ترجمۀ علی‌رضا ابراهیم‌گل، تهران: شهر دانش.
ب) مقالات
4. اصلانی، جبار؛ رنجبریان، امیرحسین (1394)، «بررسی تطبیقی و تحلیل تعریف حملۀ سایبری از منظر دکترین، رویه- کشورها و سازمان‌های بین‌المللی در حقوق بین‌الملل»، تحقیقات حقوقی، ش 71.
5. حبیبی، همایون؛ بذّار، وحید (1396)، «حملات سایبرى و ممنوعیت توسل به زور»، فصلنامۀ تعالی حقوق، دورۀ جدید، ش 19.
6. خلیل‌زاده، مونا؛ شعبانی، امید؛ اقبالی، میثم (1393)، «جایگاه اقدامات متقابل در برابر حملات سایبری از منظر حقوق بین‌الملل»، فصلنامۀ مطالعات بین‌المللی پلیس، سال پنجم، ش 17.
7. خلیلی، رضا (1382)، «عوامل و مراحل تدوین، اجرا و ارزیابی استراتژی ملی»، مجلۀ راهبرد، ش 28.
8. زارع، محسن؛ قره‌باغی، ونوس (1394)، «تعارض میان جاسوسی و آزادی اطلاعات از منظر حقوق بین‌الملل بشر»، مطالعات حقوق عمومی، دورۀ 45، ش 4.
9. شهبازی، آرامش (1396)، «در تکاپوی توسعه حقوق بین‌الملل اینترنت»، پژوهش‌های حقوق عمومی، ش 54.
10. ضیایی، سید یاسر (1392)، «حمایت از حقوق بشر در فضای سایبر»، مجلۀ پژوهش‌های حقوقی، ش 21.
11. قدیری، محسن؛ کاظمی فروشانی، حسین (1398)، «بررسی تطبیقی حقوق کیفری ایران با اسناد بین‌المللی در زمینۀ مقابله و پیشگیری از وقوع تروریسم سایبری»، مجلۀ حقوقی بین‌المللی، ش 60.
ج) پایان‌نامه‌ها
12. آقاجانی رونقی، آیدا (1397)، جاسوسی سایبری از دیدگاه حقوق بین‌الملل، پایان‌نامۀ کارشناسی ارشد رشتۀ حقوق بین‌الملل عمومی، دانشگاه علامه طباطبایی.
2. انگلیسی
A) Books
13. Becker, T., (2006), Terrorism and the state: rethinking the rules of state responsibility, Bloomsbury Publishing.
14. Crawford, J., & James, C., (2002), The International Law Commission's articles on state responsibility: introduction, text and commentarie, Cambridge University Press.
15. Parry, C., Grant, J. P., & Barker, J. C., (2009), Parry & Grant encyclopaedic dictionary of international law. Oxford University Press.
16. Schmitt, M. N. (Ed.), (2017), Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the international law applicable to cyber operations, Cambridge University Press.
17. Schwarzenberger, G., & Brown, E. E. D., (1976), Manual of International Law. Fred B. Rothman &Company.
18. Ziolkowski, K., (2013), Peacetime Cyber Espionage–New Tendencies in Public International Law, Peacetime Regime for State Activities in Cyberspace; International Law, International Relations and Diplomacy. CCDCOE.
B) Articles
19. Banks, W., (2016), “State Responsibility and Attribution of Cyber Intrusions After Tallinn 2.0”, Tex. L. Rev., Vol. 95, No. 7.
20. Brownlie, Ian, (1983), “System of the Law of Nations: State Responsibility” (Part I), Vol. 79, No.2
21. Calabresi, Massimo (2016), “The hide hidtory of US 2016 election”, Time Mgazine.
22. Carlin, J. P., (2015), “Detect, Disrupt, Deter: A Whole-of-Government Approach to National Security Cyber Threats”, Harvard National Security Journal, Vol. 7.
23. Caron, D. D., (1998), “The basis of responsibility: attribution and other trans-substantive rules”, in Lillich, R. B. and Magraw, D. B. (eds.), The Iran-United States claims tribunal: its conclusions to state responsibility,
24. Clark, D. D., & Landau, S. (2011), “Untangling attribution”, Harv. Nat'l Sec. J.2
25. Cohen-Jonathan, Gérard & Robert Kovar (1960), “L’espionnage en temps de paix”, Annuaire Français de Droit International 6.1
26. Crawford, J., (2002), “The ILC’s articles on responsibility of states for internationally wrongful acts: a retrospect”, American Journal of International Law, Vol. 96, No. 4.
27. Deeks, A. (2015), “An International Legal Framework for Surveillance’, Virginia Journal of International Law,Vol55, No.2.
28. Egan, B. J., (2017), “International Law and Stability in Cybershpace”, Berkeley Journal of International Law, Vol. 35, No. 1. nt'l L.35, 169.
29. Glenn Sulmasy & John Yoo, (2007), “Counterintuitive: Intelligence Operations and International Law”, MICH. J. INT'L L.28.
30. Heupel, M. (2018), “How do States Perceive Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations? Insights from the Universal Periodic Review”, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 40, No.3.
31. Katharina Ziolkowski, (2013), “Peacetime Cyber Espionage – New Tendencies in Public International Law”, in Katharina Ziolkowski (ED.), Peacetime Regime for State Activities in Cyberspace: International Law,International Relations and Diplomacy (NATO CCD COE).
32. Kilovaty, I. (2016), “World Wide Web of Exploitations-The Case of Peacetime Cyber Espionage Operations under International Law: Towards a Contextual Approach”, Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev.18.
33. Cahin, G., (2010), “The responsibility of other entities: Armed bands and criminal groups”, in Crawford, J., Pellet, A., Olleson, S. (eds.), The Law of International Responsibility, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
34. Manuel R. Garcia-Mora, (1964), “Treason, Sedition and Espionage as Political Offenses under the Law of Extradition”, 26 U. PITT. L. REV. 65.
35. Sander, B. (2019, May), “The Sound of Silence: International Law and the Governance of Peacetime Cyber Operations”, In 2019 11th International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon), Vol. 900, pp. 1-21, IEEE.
C) Cases
36. Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, (Bosn. & Herz. v. Serb. & Montenegro), I.C.J., Report 2007.
37. Big Brother Watch & Others v. The United Kingdom, Application Nos 58170/13, 62322/14 and 24960/15, ECtHR, Judgment, 13 September 2018, para. 271.
38. Gabcikovo- Nagymaros Project, (Hongary v. Slovakia), I. C. J., Report 1997.
39. Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua (Nicar. v. U.S.), Judgment, I.C.J., Report 1986.
40. Phosphates in Morocco, (It. v. Fr.), Preliminary Objections, P.C.I.J., Report 1938, (ser. A/B), No. 74.
41. United States Diplomatic and Consular Staff in Tehran, I. C. J., Report 1980.
D) Documents:
42. Report of the Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, U.N. Doc. A/70/174, 22 July 2015.
E) Thesis:
43. Shoshan, E., (2015), »Applicability of International Law on Cyber Espionage Intrusions«, Faculity of Law, Stockholm University.
F) Electronic resources
44. DEP’T OF DEF., THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CYBER STRATEGY, Avaiable at:, 2015/0415_cyber-strategy/Final_2015_DoD_CYBER _STRATEGY_for _web.pdf
45. Lipton, E., Sanger, D. E., & Shane, S. (2016). »The perfect weapon: how Russian cyberpower invaded the US«. The New York Times, Avaiable at: