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US military's cyberwar rules 'ill-formed,' says panel

US military's cyberwar rules 'ill-formed,' says panel
US military's cyberwar rules 'ill-formed,' says panel 

By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
The Register
29th April 2009

The United States government has yet to form a coherent policy for 
engaging in warfare that involves attacks on a country's electrical 
power grids and other critical infrastructure, according to a non-profit 
group of scientists and policy advisors.

They called on policy makers to actively forge rules for how and when 
the military goes about mounting offensive and defensive acts of cyber 

"Today's policy and legal framework for guiding and regulating the US 
use of cyberattack is ill-formed, undeveloped, and highly uncertain," 
the report, published by the National Academy of Sciences, states. 
"Secrecy has impeded widespread understanding and debate about the 
nature and implications of US cyberattack."

As a result, many nuances of cyberwar have remained poorly understood, 
even as the military actively prepares for it. They include the high 
degree of anonymity of those who carry out such attacks, making it hard 
to identify those who perpetrate them. Such attacks also result in much 
more uncertain outcomes than traditional warfare, making it hard to 
predict success and collateral damage.


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