Saturday, June 27, 2009

U.S., Russia duel on a cyberwar treaty: could affect US speakers


The United States and Russia are sparring over a cybersecurity treaty, and there could be implications for individual consumers and publishers in each country. The front page story appears Saturday June 27 in The New York Times, by John Markoff and Andrew E. Kramer, “Cyberwar: U.S. and Russia Differ on a Treaty for Cyberspace”.

The U.S. (along with major European countries) wants to have the ability to “defend” its infrastructure regardless of where an attack comes from, and important consideration motivated by concerns after 9/11, and well motivated by the asymmetry of cybercrime. Russia wants a more conventional treaty, such as that already negotiated for chemical weapons.

The U.S. is resisting agreements that allow governments to censor the Internet, obviously to prevent despotic governments (like Iran today) from finding cover under gross censorship, and particularly any agreement that could compel the U.S. to censor content created by its own citizens.

Media reports indicate, for example, that Iran has confiscated satellite equipment and computers of ordinary citizens in Iran as intimidation and cover, and that the government is even broadcasting videos warning citizens what it will do.

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