Cyber Arms Talks in the Works?


President Obama was in Russia discussing arms control. Administration officials expect tentative agreements soon; however, they could be disappointed if the subject of cyber weapons becomes part of the discussions. Many cyber intelligence analysts have speculated that these talks will be the first discussions to include talks about limiting cyber weapons. Russia has attempted multiple time in the past to get the United Nations to examine the possibility of developing international legal regimes restricting the development, production, and use of especially dangerous types of information weapons. So far, however, their draft proposals have been tabled and replaced with resolutions that addressed only information security. The current U.S. position on cyber weapons is on fostering international cooperation rather than trying to limit cyber weapons proliferation that is estimated at already encompassing some 150 countries and multiple criminal organizations not to mention terrorist groups.

INTEL: Sources report that in May of this year the Finish military established a cyber warfare unit.

Given that cyber weapons require no special or restricted materials, no large or unique production facilities, no significant financial backing and skills that are taught in tens of thousands of programming classes available around the world, how would you ever enforce a cyber weapons ban? Just look at the challenges U.N. WMD inspectors have trying to do their job. WMD development requires more infrastructure, more highly skilled technicians that are not in an abundant supply and much money to fund.

Contrasting the two, it would be an impossible task to verify a cyber weapons ban. What would you do about all the offensive cyber weapons that already exist? Many believe that a treaty without a means of verification is less than useless, it is dangerous.

-- Kevin Coleman

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