In this Council Special Report, Robert K. Knake briefly examines the technological decisions that have enabled both the Internet’s spectacular success and its troubling vulnerability to attack. Arguing that the United States can no longer cede the initiative on cyber issues to countries that do not share its interests, he outlines an agenda that the United States can pursue in concert with its allies on the international stage. This agenda, addressing cyber warfare, cyber crime, and state-sponsored espionage, should, he writes, be pursued through both technological and legal means. He urges first that the United States empower experts to confront the fundamental security issues at the heart of the Internet’s design. Then he sketches the legal tools necessary to address both cyber crime and state-sponsored activities, including national prohibitions of cyber crime, multilateral mechanisms to prevent and prosecute cyberattacks, and peacetime norms protecting critical civilian systems, before describing the bureaucratic reforms the United States should make to implement effectively these changes.
Phi Beta Iota: This is an Epoch A report that is state-centric, does not demonstrate knowledge of the code-level and open-source challenges and opportunities, and lacks any sense of how a strategic analytic model with burden sharing among the varied stakeholders (e.g. eight clouds, twelve modalities) could resolve the problem at a fraction of the cost of the “traditionalist” “solutions” proposed here. This report is about doing the wrong things righter, not about doing the right things in the first place.