Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A step toward licensed cyber privateers: avreward@microsoft.com

Yesterday's posting of Microsoft's $250K reward offer by their Digital Crimes Unit puts us just two steps away from some interesting times:

July 18, 2011 
In order to determine the identities of the John Doe defendants principally responsible for the control of the Rustock bot-net, Microsoft Corporation is offering a $ 250,000.00 dollar reward (USD) for any new information that results in the identification, arrest and criminal conviction of whoever is responsible for the control of the Rustock bot-net. Anyone with such information should contact Microsoft Corporation by email to avreward@microsoft.com. Microsoft Corporation reserves the exclusive right to review and evaluate the legitimacy of all leads submitted, and further reserves the right to provide such leads to United States law enforcement. 
This modern equivalent to a WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE poster needs just two more underpinnings to be totally effective:

  1. The public articulation by POTUS (President Of The United States) of our doctrine of hot pursuit similar to The Monroe Doctrine and which I have lovingly dubbed The Morgan Doctrine; and
  2. The establishment of congressional Letters of Marque and Reprisal in order to license and bond legal cyber privateers (I call this the Get Out Of Jail Free card).
How will this eventually play out? I predict that if the BICH (that's Botherd In CHief) happens to be a Russian, then the culprit won't see any jail time. Nevertheless, a conviction will still net the informant $250K. And the BICH will become a valued member of the Russian cyber war national team. Just like young Darth Vader. In fact, wouldn't it be ironic if Russia's Yevgeny Anikin just happened to be the culprit?

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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?