Friday, February 18, 2011

Cyber privateering argument from UK security minister

Today's story in's security newsletter has a fairly cogent (if unintended) argument for legalization of cyber privateering. The headline reads, "Why crooks won't be doing time for cybercrime." The answer, of course, is that "The prosecution figures are dwarfed by the activity itself." In other words, law enforcement is way outgunned. But UK Security Minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones cut to the chase:

And it won't all be passive - law enforcement and the security services in this country will hit back, Neville-Jones implied, turning the tools of the cybercriminal back on themselves and presumably using methods such as DDoS attacks to cut off their internet access and malware to scramble their systems. "I think [the key to tackling cybercrime] is going to be through much better defences and disruption - for example, screwing up their network. Much as the intruder can screw up the company network, the reverse can happen," said Neville-Jones. The decision not to make locking up cybercriminals the main focus of UK computer crime-fighting polich is a reflection of the time and resources it takes to track down and prosecute those responsible.
The question I have for the Baroness is, "Who better to do the disruption of the cybercriminals than cyber privateers?" Not only can you issue the contracts to trusted enterprises, but they can pay themselves by looting the cybercriminal organization and splitting the booty with the UK government.

Of course, the UK will have to renounce signing the Paris Declaration of 1856, which outlawed privateering (and presumably cyber privateering).

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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?