In a groundbreaking bit of public policy the Pentagon has now deemed acts of CyberTerrorism   now constitute an Act of War. Computers have been around for about 60 years, virii for about 30 or so, but now the first piece of policy directly related to declaring hurting digital information has come to pass.

Hold on  neophyte Nueromancers, grab your Decks and jack into the future. Information is power, and attacks by other foreign bodies on our infrastructure, endangering our people or removing capabilities can now be retaliated against. I’m unaware of distinctions made in other countries, but this seems old hat. I guess because I’m a huge fan of cyberpunk novels.

There were some quick clarifications put forth. Such as not every attack will be retaliated against, but we could. The attacks would have to we have politicos posturing saying we will send missiles down smokestacks in retaliation. Not a good sign, however there is some talk of  “equivalence”, meaning that cyber attacks that cause death and destruction can be shown force in kind.

While I can’t seem to find the report people are referring to others have brought up questions like how will we know when a hack is a lone antagonist with a laptop and when it is an agent acting on orders from a country. The language is apparently vague enough that all options can and will be considered and no actions will be taken unless we know without a shadow of doubt the party responsible.

Still all glib comments aside these are people’s lives we are talking about, and a chilling  decision  to send people into harms way as a response to a digital invasion. I’m honestly not sure how to take this announcement. Its good the situation is finally being dealt with. But the response might not be the right one.

My suggestion a SEAL team of Nerds. In all seriousness a team of counter Cyber terrorism agents. Although they probably already exist.

WSJ–  msnbc –  nytimes

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