To hack back or not to hack back?
by Kai Roer - Senior Partner, The Roer Group - Wednesday, 12 June 2013.
It is one thing to shoot a horse thief, and it is a very different thing to accidentally trigger a nation-state’s war machine. I urge you to take a moment to think things through. Use your intellectual capacity to reflect on what is better - a closed-down world where everyone shoots at each other, or a world where we all abide to the same laws made out to build global stability, peace and predictability?

Patience, my friend

Yes, the current laws and legal systems are a major challenge to cybersecurity. History has shown us that allowing every man his own justice system simple does not scale well. We do not need a granulated “hack back” retaliation regime.

We must focus our efforts on making an international cyber governing body that will decide the laws and that will have the authority to pursue and make justice across national and regional borders. Personally, I would not mind hearing a prosecutor say: "The World versus Hector Hacker."

We need a new system, and that system must be larger than each individual, organization and nation-state. Obviously, the creation and implementation of such a multilateral governing body will take time and effort. While we are waiting, we can help by pushing our governments in the right direction. Open dialogue, building trust and sharing information are important building blocks. Respecting differences, and seeking to learn how to overcome them is vital.

Private organizations may help by setting up and funding think-tanks, inviting both public and educational sectors to discuss alternative courses of action. Nation-states can help by using existing governing bodies like WHO, UN and Interpol to create a new, global cybersecurity unit, and enter into agreements that enable it to govern the sector on a global perspective.

Every single one of us can look beyond mere self-interest, and look for common ground where workable, realistic solutions can grow and operate. And have the patience to allow for this process to evolve and grow, just like it happened when the Code of the West was replaced by law.


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