Estonia calls for cyber convention

Embattled Baltic country Estonia has called for UN Member
states to make a concerted effort in the battle against cyber-crime and
cyber-terrorism, starting with an international convention on the emerging
issue, reports the UN News Centre.

Speaking to the General Assembly on Tuesday evening,
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves called for the development of a globally
negotiated and comprehensive law with which to govern cyber-space. Estonia’s
own experience of cyber-warfare, which occurred in late April and early May at
the hands of a loose federation of politically motivated cyber-activists,
served to starkly underline the urgency of the cyber-assault issue, he argued.

Many of the country’s private and public networks
were crippled due to a flood of unsolicited traffic, believed to have been
facilitated by the use of an attack application that was downloaded by groups
across the globe.

President Ilves said that the asynchronous nature of
such cyber-attacks, in which the attacking forces are networked and therefore
vastly superior, in terms of scale and strength, to their target, makes international
co-operation on the subject crucial.
“They make it possible to paralyze
a society, with limited means, and at a distance. In the future, cyber attacks
may in the hands of criminals or terrorists become a considerably more
widespread and dangerous weapon than they are at present,” he said.

The true severity of the cyber threat continues to
be under-estimated because past cyber-assaults have not been known to result in
the loss of life, he added.

In an unusually bold condemnation of the subject,
often regarded as a peripheral area of criminal concern by law-enforcement, Mr
Ilves argued further that cyber-crime should be considered as dangerous and
iniquitous as physical terrorism and human trafficking, and denounced

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

Related Topics