Now this was a pleasant surprise. I am always on the lookout for any serious or interesting conversations about the Letter of Marque and Reprisal, and low and behold I stumbled on a good one at the Aspen Security Forum. General Michael Hayden, with his extensive intelligence background and experience, actually brought up the concept of the LoM (@ min. 30:04) when talking about private security in the cyber space realm. The ‘Digital Blackwater’ comment came up before the mention of the LoM. Pretty cool stuff, and it is great to see such important and highly influential folks have a conversation about the concept.
The other topic that came up that really grabbed my attention is the patent legislation that is coming up that is referred to as the ‘first to file’ law or the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. Meaning, companies that ‘first’ file the patent, win the rights to it, as opposed to companies or individuals who actually thought it up and file for that patent. A law like this would make it very lucrative for digital pirates to steal valuable information and file it first–legally. Scary stuff, and this could ramp up the cyber piracy game big time.
The other statistic I was floored by was that the US businesses loses about a trillion dollars a year to cyber piracy and all of the money that companies have to spend on security. That is a stunning figure, and it kind of puts into perspective what is really being lost, and especially during such tough economic times. Something must be done to stop that, and you can see why concepts like digital PSC’s and LoM come up. It’s like these criminals and attackers are just walking into Fort Knox and taking whatever gold they want.
Finally they ended the conversation with cloud computing, which will probably be pretty popular for companies to get into. Reduced cost and increased security do to economy of scale (everyone is sharing everyone’s stuff, to include security measures) Although I tend to think that cloud computing will be attacked and exploited, just like anything else. Interesting stuff, and this is a great LoM resource for future discussions. –Matt