back to article Cyberwar rules of engagement: Military, law bods mull update

Plans are underway to update a putative Geneva convention for cyberwar, put together by experts in international law and backed by an Estonian-based NATO-run military think tank. The Tallinn Manual 2.0 is on track for publication in the second half of 2016, following a drafting conference of legal experts in the Estonian …

  1. Esme

    typo spotted

    "... such as human rights law, a particularly tawny subject. " should be thorny, not tawny

    (please feel free to delete this post, sa it's neither debate nor criticism).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: typo spotted

      I wondered if it was a Freudian slip - maybe such matters get debated over a glass of port.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: typo spotted

      El Reg provides a "Tips and corrections" link at the bottom of each article. I used it once and the article was corrected within the hour.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A thought

    "If a hacker attack occurs after two countries become engaged in open conflict then the hackers behind the assault have effectively have joined hostilities as combatants. "

    If they are not wearing uniform (camo cargo pants and a t-shirt does not count) when caught, does that mean they can be shot out of hand as spies?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: A thought

      I believe they could be: Furthermore hackers-for-hire are like mercenaries who "do not enjoy combat immunity or prisoner of war status,”

      Which would mean that the US CyberCommand has a problem since they're looking for mercenaries...err... contractors.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A thought

      > "...does that mean they can be shot out of hand as spies?"

      This same logic could be applied to a lot of "home front" people employed by the war effort but not actually enlisted. Munitions assembly, for instance. Their efforts in aggregate can amount to a big assist to their military and much of what they build and do is used to directly harm an enemy, yet they are not considered combatants like spies are.

      Now we are told that IT people are to be separated out into a new vulnerable class, basically no different than spies. Why dump on IT workers and not all the others? They are just doing their part. They don't order their work to be deployed against an enemy; The uniformed brass does that. Sounds like this policy was devised by a clueless nimrod.

      But perhaps what is meant are 3rd party hackers who just jump in uninvited?

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: A thought

        We bombed the enemy's civilians production of weapons during WWII.

        So its not like anyone is safe behind the lines in total war.

  3. Adam 1

    now for the hard part

    Can you prove who actually threw the stone? Nation states would have multiple levels of indirection between their command and control and their targets. It is very easy to fake an attack coming from China if you pwn a bunch of Chinese computers via zero day attacks. A "rogue" state could even fake an attack on themselves to justify a "proportional" response. Of course I am definitely not thinking about any western power as rogue...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: now for the hard part

      If they go offline after the drone/cruise strike, you probably got the right people.

      Where "probably" and "right" are on sliding scales.

  4. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Is ISIS, al queda,syrian peoples army(?) and the Taliban also going to sign up?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Obviously not.

      This is not something to sign up to. This is just a flowery exercise in international PR in order to create yet another rod to bash over the head of the unruly uncivilized barbarians when "proper" armies from "civilized" countries have overrun everything and taken all decision-making people as prisoners of war.

      Of course, as usual, anything the US of NSA does will not be subject to any sanctions by this new treaty, even when in flagrant violation of its terms.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Is it Apil the 1st already

    See title :(

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Who needs them? The intellectually challenged and thoroughly terrible and/or terrorised?

      Cyberwar rules of engagement?

      Oh please, you cannot be serious. Perfect common sense dictates the obvious to prime leaders of/in the virtual domain for practical demonstrable dominion over earthed assets in such an alternative human resource field.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Who needs them? The intellectually challenged and thoroughly terrible and/or terrorised?

        And that more than just simply suggests that one be playing, if not only a presiding spectator and mass cheerleader, under their autonomous regulation and engaging anonymous rule/XSSively Safe Secretly Secured Administrative Protocols.

        Or would you be more inclined to boldly go where most folk come to, and disagree, and not imagine that the future and futures and their derivative options are completely different from the past and no impotent clone of current present productions for media direction and propagation....... and it is they that establishment systems and executive order administrations of the intellectual challenged and thoroughly terrible and/or terrorised do vainglorious ineffectual battle against, and in so doing, churn through and squander limitless fiat fortunes.

        And that is a zero sum lose lose game to be playing which creates ever smarter and more astute agile opponents and/or components which are never to be defeated by poorly invented hasty forces from right dodgy corrupt sources/perverse subverted agents.

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