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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Call to define rules of cyber war

The BBC reported on October 14th that former DHS head Michael Chertoff called for definition of the rules of cyber war. Combine this with the 2009
C-SPAN video on privatization of U.S. intelligence, and I get the distinct impression that the concept of modern-day privateers may be an idea whose time has come. The key Chertoff statement that resonates with me is that it must be "…very clear to an adversary the consequences of [a cyber attack]." My current opinion is that if the U.S. Congress issues a single Letter of Marque and Reprisal, the mere existence of that authorization may significantly reduce international cyber criminal activity. Yes, online theft by international criminals is a far cry from state-sponsored cyber war, and privateers' looting of a drug lord's bank accounts significantly differs from dipping into the treasury of a rogue government, but both scenarios require the same cyber toolset and definitely draw a line in the sand. 

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?