With due respect to my Chinese readership (who popped into #2 only behind U.S. eyeballs last week), I admit I've been pretty hard on…Hu (see my post of two years ago here). My humor probably doesn't translate well, and I really do consider my Chinese friends among my best. Heck, my wife and I teach a Sunday class of five-year olds and we have a weekly "date" to visit our local dollar store to pick up gifts for the kids that illustrate our lesson topic. Almost 100% of our gifts come from you wonderful people. For example, this next week we're teaching about faith and have purchased pinwheels to give each child (3 pinwheels for a dollar isn't a bad price). What makes the pinwheel turn when you blow on it? Wind, right? Prove it. You can't see the wind. But you can see its effects. It takes faith. You get the idea. Which brings me to your country's low ranking as cyber citizens.
The just-completed RSA conference in San Francisco had almost everyone blowing the "Protect ourselves from China" wind. You've got to admit that that anti-China technology crowd is whipping up quite a storm, perhaps on a level with the Y2K entrepreneurship gold mine. I think you need to get ahead of this thing and become the champion of good. How, Hu might ask (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun)?
You could become the source for licensing cyber privateers. They would naturally have to be bonded by an independent entity. The Morgan Doctrine website contains all the legal justifications as well as a good deal of the mechanics necessary for legitimizing the effort. And if the cyber privateers followed The Cyber Privateer Code of conduct (click on the right or go to www.cyberprivateer.com), you would achieve several goals:
- You would reserve cyberwar for governments (one can almost see your logic in building national defensive AND offensive cyber capability, just in case), while …
- …completely putting a stop to cyber criminal activity (see my article on the guaranteed deterrent effect here).
- Your "cut" of cyber privateering profits would be a goldmine for China, and
- You would take the "moral high ground" in the battle to protect the Internet. As Larry Ellison said to Steve Jobs, "That moral high ground is pretty expensive real estate." Number 3 above pretty well pays for that real estate and collects rent from the rest of the world. Call it "a first-mover advantage" that ties up all the pricey hotels in our cherished capitalist game of Monopoly.
Notwithstanding my saber rattling about cyber privateering and the currently undeclared cyberwar now taking place, my internal value system really does believe that "Blessed is the peacemaker." I hope you'll at least consider the possibilities. Before somebody else ties up that moral-high-ground real estate.