"The U.S. military , meanwhile , lacks a formal doctrine on offensive military operations in cyberspace, although the Bush administration is " racing " to finalize such a policy before it leaves office, says one person familiar with the White House ' s work on the issue."It is always concerning when we see a government body "racing" to do anything and this issue is too important to be done in a haphazard fashion.
However, the report does define three important questions that need to be answered sooner rather than later:
Answering these questions, combined with the creation of Rules of Engagement for Cyber Warfare and better investigative capabilities to determine actual source and motive, would be excellent first steps in gaining some measure of control over the situation.
"There are three central issues with which the international legal community must grapple as the debate continues, says James Lewis, the project director of the Commission on Cybersecurity of the 44th Presidency, which issued its report this week. Each country might have different answers, but the questions will be universal.
- "At what point does a cyberattack constitute an act of war or a violation severe enough to justify a response?
- "How do we protect the civil liberties of the Internet-using public while improving security?
- "Which legal authorities will assume responsibility for investigating a cyberattack—the intelligence community, the military, or law enforcement?"
When Do Online Attacks Cross the Line Into Cyberwar?