Obama Wants Peace Among Hacking Nations

By James O Malley on at

Cyberwarfare is now a big problem for governments around the world. All of the big players - America, China, Russia, and even Britain have increasingly large armies of hackers looking for ways to break into the systems of their enemies. And as the recent hack of US Democratic Party emails shows, nobody seems to be waiting for war to be officially declared before firing digital shots.

This has the potential to create chaos, which is perhaps why President Obama has now called on other countries to figure out some new rules of engagement.

According to Politicus USA, he was speaking at the G20 in China, and urged the creation of new norms to mitigate any escalation in conflict. But just to make sure that everyone knew who was boss, he wrapped up in a sly boast about America's capabilities:

"We’re moving into a new era here where a number of countries have significant capacities. And, frankly, we got more capacity than anybody both offensively and defensively. But our goal is not to suddenly, in the cyber arena, duplicate a cycle of escalation that we saw when it comes to other arms races in the past, but rather to start instituting some norms so that everybody is acting responsibly."

The trouble is that without rules, every country has to behave as though guns are drawn at all times - when it'd be better for every country if every other country lowers their weapons. So preventing cyberspace from becoming the "wild, wild west" is important, in Obama's view.

Perhaps it is time - as some commentators have suggested - to start thinking about a formal cyberwarfare treaty? [Politicus USA via
The Register]