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Intelligence Gathering on the High Seas

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the legal issues posed by intelligence gathering activities on and underneath the surface of the high seas. Related to the operational rights acknowledged by the law of the sea, intelligence can be used, inter alia, as an effective tool towards eliminating surprise. Based on the sharing of authority at sea among coastal and flag States, maritime zones may be classified in three distinct categories: a) zones of national jurisdiction, including internal waters, territorial and archipelagic waters, and to a certain extent straits used for international navigation; b) zones where a coastal State exercises sovereign rights with respect to resource exploitation oriented activities, i. e. the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ); and, finally, c) zones of inclusive jurisdiction, i. e. high seas areas. According to article 88 of the LOS Convention, "the high seas are reserved for peaceful purposes".

Keywords: archipelagic waters; article 88; exclusive economic zone (EEZ); inter alia; LOS convention; maritime zones; national jurisdiction



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