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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Cyber Privateer Bonding Authority

Key to the viability of cyber privateering legalization and success is a viable bonding authority. Just as Revolutionary War privateers were licensed and bonded, there must be some effective method of liability control for modern-day cyber privateers. As implied by the Cyber Privateer Code, the "right of parley" along with a "100-to-1 restitution clause" should someone's assets be improperly impounded, there would necessarily need to be a bonding authority involved. The Cyber Bonding Authority would:

  1. Authorize confiscation activity by licensed cyber privateers; and
  2. Be responsible for paying the onerous fees that might arise from a botched job.
As Sony is experiencing in the reluctance of the Zurich American Insurance Company to indemnify and defend them against numerous putative class action lawsuits that arose from their well-publicized data breach, this is not a simple problem to solve. Not only must the government that issues Letters of Marque and Reprisal give the cyber privateering organization a get-out-of-jail-free card, but they'd also better cut off the trial lawyers at the knees with some pretty strict lawsuit guidelines. The good news is that long-overdue tort reform might be the byproduct of cyber privateer legalization. But this needs to be addressed up front.

There does seem to be a precedent to such tort limitations, as healthcare lobbies have made some minor inroads. Another solution might simply involve mandatory binding arbitration.

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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?