International and Foreign Cyberspace Law Research Guide

This guide covers resources on various aspects of cyberspace law, including Internet governance, electronic commerce, privacy, cyber crime, cyber warfare, and cyber terrorism.

IGO, NGO, & U.S. Government Agency Resources

The IGOs, NGOs, and U.S. government agencies listed below are reliable sources of information about the challenges of combating cyber threats and managing conflicts in cyberspace.

International Organizations

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
    The military alliance of North American and European nations is increasingly focused on combating cyber threats as part of its core task of collective defense. NATO also has affirmed that international law principles apply to cyberspace. Its website provides access to the following resources:
  • NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE)
    The CCDCOE provides research and training to NATO and its member states to help them defend against cyber threats. It is best known for its work on the Tallinn Manual, which applies international law principles to cyber operations. The CCDCOEs website also provides access to the following resources:
    • Cyber Law Toolkit
      The Cyber Law Toolkit consists of 28 hypothetical cyber incident scenarios on a range of topics. Each scenario includes a legal analysis section that summarizes the relevant law that applies to such a scenario, with references and hyperlinks. Scenarios also include quotation from the public national positions of NATO members on the subject in question.
    • Cyber Terms Glossary
      A glossary of terms related to cyber law used throughout the Toolkit above. Use this to help you decipher specialized jargon related to cyber security and cyber warfare. For some terms, multiple definitions from different sources are provided.
    • Cyber Security Publication Library
      Search or browse for publications by CCDCOE researchers. 
      Search or browse this database for legal and policy documents adopted by international organizations that are active in promoting cyber security and defending against cyber attacks.
    • Strategy & Governance Database
      Includes a directory of national cyber security agencies and selected national policy documents; search by keyword or browse by country or document type.
  • United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) Cyber Policy Portal
    This autonomous U.N. institute assists the international community in finding solutions to disarmament and security challenges, striving to anticipate new security threats before they become critical. UNIDIR’s Cyber Policy Portal provides access to the following information:
    • IGO Directory
      This directory provides links to the websites of intergovernmental organizations that are active in promoting cyber security and preventing cyber attacks. For each IGO, you will find a selection of policy documents, model laws, and related documentation.
    • Comparison Tool
      Use this tool to compare cyber security measures and policies in different countries and among various intergovernmental organizations. Begin by selecting two or more countries or two or more IGOs from the respective menus. Points of comparison include national policies/strategies, legal frameworks (national legislation), and international cooperation (ratification of multilateral and regional treaties).

Non-Governmental Organizations

  • International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC)
    The ICRCs website is the best online resource for researching international humanitarian law (IHL). In addition to its searchable databases of primary law, the website includes the following secondary source materials:
    • New Technologies and IHL
      This page aggregates the ICRCs materials concerning the novel humanitarian and legal challenges posed by emerging technologies, including cyber weapons and cyber warfare.
    • Terrorism
      This page aggregates the ICRC’s materials on the application of IHL to acts of terrorism.
    • Resource Centre
      Search by keyword for articles and other ICRC publications.
    • International Humanitarian Law Bibliography
      Every three months, the ICRC compiles a comprehensive list of books and articles published in English and in French on topics related to IHL. Annual bibliographies also are available for download.
  • RAND Corporation
    This independent think tank—known for the quality and rigor of its work product—is a good source for credible research and informed commentary on a wide range of topics. Many of its research reports are available for download in PDF format. Visit its Cyber Crime and Terrorism pages to browse for reports on those topics or use the Advanced Search template to search by keyword.

U.S. Government Agencies