Friday, February 10, 2017

Tallinn 2.0 is the Bowling Green Massacre of Cyber War Law

Above is the Atlantic Council livestream of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 launch. Look, no-one can deny that Mike Schmitt is a genius, but the Tallinn Manual is more mirage than oasis. Let me sum it up: They can't AGREE on whether the Russian IO work on the US Election was anything in particular, and they already acknowledge that they don't have solidity on what state sovereignty means in cyberspace. In other words, wtf does the Treaty of Westphalia have to do with information warfare, if anything, is still an unanswered question, no matter how many of "the best lawyers in the world" you put in a room in Tallinn.

Literally, that means that despite his opening statement at EVERY EVENT HE'S EVER AT, the Internet is literally an ungoverned space, with a sort of militant "rule of the strong" applying at best. That's what the Russian efforts this fall mean.

That doesn't mean his efforts are wasted - The US DoD and other states LOVE a manual that can allow them to rationalize their actions, and that's why this is on the desktops of specialist lawyers across the space. Right now CYA in cyber costs fifty bucks on Amazon. Deep down, if you can't agree on the lines or definition of anything, then you don't have a process that produces consistent results.

"We captured all reasonable views and put them in the manual." What is this, the Talmud of cyber war?

But these are just my opinions (and yes, they are shared among the high level International Law specialists in this space I've talked to at the pool), and the hard part of this release is how little criticism processes like this have. These sorts of events are love-fests, not working groups.

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