It is ironic that the US is seeking help from China to help block cyberattacks from North Korea in deciding how to respond to the SONY hacking following the cancelled film premiere of a “comedy” involving a CIA planned assassination of President, Kim Jong Un of North Korea. As Times columnist David Carr wrote today, “was it really important that the head being blown up in a comedy about bungling assassins be that of an actual sitting ruler of a sovereign state? If you want to satirize a lawless leader, there are plenty of ways to skin that cat, as Charlie Chaplin demonstrated with “The Great Dictator,” which skewered Hitler in everything but name.”
But seeking China’s help, when China and Russia tabled a proposed treaty in 2011 to develop legal rules for the peaceful use of cyberspace which was rejected out of hand by the US, seems a little late and inadequate to the task. The US already opened a Pandora’s box in cyberspace when it boastfully participated in the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s plutonium enrichment facilities sending a signal to the rest of the world, that this kind of warfare was feasible. Times readers should be informed of how the US rejected offers from Russia and China to negotiate an international treaty for peace in the cybersphere (as well as in space), choosing only to discuss non-binding “rules of the road”. Without this background information, how will we be able to make informed judgments on US government policies before we reap the awful consequences of our aggressive and provocative actions?