A Treaty for Cyberspace

On June 28, 2009, in legal, by Eugene

Here’s a quick summary:

The United States and Russia are locked in a fundamental dispute over how to counter the growing threat of cyberwar attacks… Both nations agree that cyberspace is an emerging battleground.

Russia favors an international treaty along the lines of those negotiated for chemical weapons… The United States argues that a treaty is unnecessary.

Basically, it sounds to me like both countries want to continue cyber attacks against each other. The difference is that Russia wants to have a treaty in place so that it can continue to deny what it does, whereas the US would rather not bother with such a thin veil of cooperation.

Cyber attacks aren’t like chemical warfare. First of all, it’s nearly impossible to identify who is attacking you over the Internet. And even if you do have a clue as to which country a hacker is coming from, how will you be ever be able to openly prove that he is working for that country’s government? This quote from the WSJ says it well:

In the digital world, as the cyber threat shows, physical distinctions such as political borders are unhelpful and can be dangerously confusing.

I think we have more important things to deal with regarding cyber security than pointless treaties. It’s time for new solutions to this new and different problem.

NY Times: U.S. and Russia Differ on a Treaty for Cyberspace


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