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Chapter 6: Deterrence and International Agreements
Purpose: This Chapter explores what nations can do in the face of cyberthreats in light of the fact that (as we learned in chapters 3-5) traditional law enforcement strategies are not terribly effective, and war is not a realistic tool except in the face of all but the most extreme cyberthreats. In particular, we discuss two strategies: deterrence and international agreements. (This chapter assumes a thorough understanding of chapters 3-5.)
Concepts Covered: Deterrence, International Agreements
1 6.1 Deterrence
1.1 Joseph S. Nye Jr., Nuclear Lessons for Cybersecurity, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Winter 2011
This article summarizes general lessons for cybersecurity from the experience with nuclear weapons. Nye focuses here on more issues than just deterrence, but the whole piece should be read. Make sure you read and understand Nye’s point in the end about softer forms of deterrence.
1.2 Patrick Morgan, Applicability of Traditional Deterrence Concepts and Theory to the Cyber Realm, Proceedings of a Workshop on Deterring CyberAttacks: Informing Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy, 2010
This article is a similar effort to Nye’s that is more focused on the deterrence lessons for cyber from nuclear.
1.3 Stephen Lukasik, A Framework for Thinking About Cyber Conflict and Cyber Deterrence with Possible Declaratory Policies for These Domains, Proceedings of a Workshop on Deterring CyberAttacks: Informing Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy, 2010
This article is more of the same, with a special emphasis on declaratory policy, which is a nation’s unilateral statement of intent (i.e. of threatened action) as a basis for deterrence.
2 6.2 International Agreements
2.1 Abraham D. Sofaer, David Clark, and Whitfield Diffie, Cyber Security and International Agreements, Proceedings of a Workshop on Deterring Cyberattacks, pp. 179-206, 2010
This piece discusses how the threats to cybersecurity are currently being approached at the private, national, and international level, then demonstrates the potential for increased international cooperation. It explains the demand for cyber international agreements and their feasibility and usefulness. It also covers how to fashion effective international initiatives and the difficulties in such negotiations.
2.2 Clark and Knake, Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It, Chapter 7, 2010, ISBN: 978-0061962233
This chapter proposes a concrete international agreements for the cyber domain.
2.3 Agreement of the Governments of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [China, Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan] on Cooperation in the Field of International Information Security, 2008
This agreement shows how differently the Chinese view the cybersecurity issue than the way that the west conceives it.
2.4 Russian Proposal, Convention on International Information Security, November 2011
This Convention shows how differently the Russians view the cybersecurity issue than the way the west conceives it.
2.5 Jack Goldsmith, Cybersecurity Treaties: A Skeptical View, Future Challenges in National Security and Law, February 2011
This article explains why international cooperation is considered central to the cybersecurity problem and examines three major hurdles to a global cybersecurity treaty. It explains why a cybersecurity agreement of the type Clark and Knake propose might not be feasible, and considers the feasibility of narrower and softer forms of cooperation.
2.6 James Andrew Lewis, Confidence-building and International Agreement in Cybersecurity, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, 2011
This article is skeptical about international agreements but somewhat more hopeful than Goldsmith.
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