It is very difficult to manage cyber security issues these days as they are truly international in nature. A cyber criminal residing in one country may cause damage to computer systems of another nation with great ease. At times the intrusions are so sophisticated that they are not detected for years. The present era belongs to sophisticated and state sponsored malware that can perform their tasks in a covert and stealth manner.
Even if the cyber criminal is traced back to a particular location, it is very difficult to punish him for the cyber wrong as authorship attribution is very difficult to prove for sophisticated cyber incidences. The semi anonymous nature of Internet and use of encryption and anonymous technologies can mask the origin of cyber attacks to a great extent. Thus, international legal issues of cyber attacks are not easy to manage.
In these circumstances International Cyber Security Cooperation is need of the hour says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of ICT law firm Perry4Law. The “Real Problem” is that we have no “Internationally Acceptable” Cyber Security and Cyber Law Treaty, says Dalal. In the absence of such “International Harmonisation”, the documents like Tallinn Manual are “More Problem than Solution”, opines Dalal.
The Tallinn Manual on the International Law applicable to International Cyber Warfare Attacks and Defence is “Premature” and “Undesirable” at this stage when we have no “Universally Acceptable” Cyber Law and Cyber Security Norms. Jumping at the Apex without sorting out the controversial issues existing at the Ground Level is a bad idea and NATO has exactly done so, says Dalal.
“The Tallinn Manual effort is Significant as it is the first Coordinated and Collaborative effort in the direction of tackling the menaced of Cyber Warfare at the International Level. However, this effort of NATO is also “Highly Risky” and “Pre Mature” as “International Consensus” is not an essential part of this effort”. Countries and Stakeholders may raise objections against the same and refuse to be bound by the same as well, opines Dalal.
In fact, Russia has already raised an objection against the Tallinn Manual and more may join this protest very soon. According to Russian experts, while Russia is trying to prevent militarisation of cyberspace by urging the international community to adopt a code of conduct in this sphere, the United States and its allies are already agreeing the rules for prosecuting cyber warfare.
The legal position seems to be that as on date we have no globally acceptable cyber security legal norms that can be adopted by various nations. This would create problems for international fight against cyber crimes and cyber attacks and something must be urgently done in this regard by international cyber security community.