Monday, August 8, 2011

Wanted: 1 U.K. cyber privateering advocate

Today I have a respectful request of at least one of my British readers: How about sponsoring an E-petition to legalize cyber privateering in the U.K.? Thanks to The Register, I just learned about the August 4th launch by your government of E-petitions. What a…no offense…revolutionary idea! As I understand it, if a given petition garners 100,000 signatures, then it "could be debated" in The House of Commons. I've even taken the liberty of drafting the first petition page for you (I couldn't go further, as I am not a U.K. citizen nor do I spend much time at all in England):
The three legal elements in the above petition are:
  1. HM Government must rescind the UK signature on the Paris Declaration of 1856 that outlawed privateering (which I assume could be applied to cyber privateering, too).
  2. HM Government would license and bond CYBER PRIVATEERS who would loot criminal enterprises and split the proceeds 50-50 with the UK Treasury.
  3. The CYBER PRIVATEERS would be bound by "The Cyber Privateer Code" of conduct outlined at
My "gut" tells me this would be a "Ministry of Defence" initiative, although they'd have to work closely with Treasury. The benefits of a first-mover advantage to the U.K. would be enormous, and you are free to use the entirety of this blog to fuel the debate.

I'd like to come up with some swell prize to the first of you Brits who enter the petition, and an even "sweller" prize if we manage to land 100,000 signatures and the issue is debated in The House of Commons.

Any prize ideas?


  1. Petition done, awaiting an email to say it's been checked and posted.

  2. Congratulations, Stephen. Once the petition has been posted, I will send your hard-cover copy of DESTROYING ANGEL. Now, if we get our 100,000 signatures and a House of Commons debate, I need to figure out a far more spectacular prize to send you. Thanks, Mate!

  3. Woo hoo!! lol

    I have always believed we should use privateers against organised crime and terrorists. There are a number of businesses owned by the Governments of certain Nations here in England and it'd be nice if, instead of the current system of sanctions, we could just get privateers to deal with them instead.

    Hopefully we'll get a lot of signatures for this idea, and the Government will see the sense in allowing this instead of having to pay people to keep watching them (HMRC, Police etc).

  4. It'll be an up-hill battle, because the politicians will NOT want to lose control. On the plus side, though, external privateering will give those same politicians "plausible deniability." If the petition makes it through HM Gov's vetting process, I'll paint some scenarios for success. In the meantime, you might want to be practicing your TONY STARK speech before the House of Commons. It'll go something like, "…I've successfully privatized world cyber security…" or some such.


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?