Microsoft is calling on world government to hold a Digital Geneva Convention for cyber attacks and cyber warfare. If you are unfamiliar with the Geneva Convention or Conventions, they are a series of international treaties that countries signed to create international laws governing the rules of war. The last notable one was in 1949, which laid out how prisoners of war and refugees are suppose to be treated. Now Microsoft’s President Brad Smith wants to hole a digital version of the conventions, and it’s about time.
Smith wants to start an independent organization that will hold countries responsible for hacking civilians. Think of it as a digital United Nations that would sanction a country that illegally hacks civilians and non military targets. We know that China like to hack American businesses, and we all know about the Russians hacking the election. Having international law to govern cyber warfare is just as critical as the laws that govern traditional warfare.
Now Smith did state that companies like Microsoft should be considered civilians, that is another argument. This also has the smell of wanting to cover Microsoft’s own butt. This is due to the fact that they and other companies were exposed for giving the U.S government user data in the Eric Snowden spying scandal.
Regardless of the motivations behind this call to action, it does need to happen. Right now cyberspace is the wild west. The in no governance in regards to government sponsored hacking. Ordinary individuals need to be protected from government hacking, both foreign and domestic. The world needs to come to a consensus on cyber warfare, and must protect the most vulnerable from any kind of hacking.
Hopefully the world governments and most importantly the United States government see this as something that must be addressed.