For instance the latest dump of CIA hacking tools show that hackers can leave other hackers’ fingerprints on the sites they’ve hacked.
So when we are told by people on the telly that it looks as though the Russians, the Chinese, the CIA or the Martians did a hack, that is just as likely to be baloney as not.
In the weird Kafka-esque hacker world nothing is as it seems and nothing, it seems, is ruled out.
“The CIA’s mission is to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas to protect America from terrorists, hostile nation states and other adversaries,” says the CIA in its response to the latest Wikileaks dump.
Fair enough. And, of course, it’s fair enough for every other nation state to do the same.
But what happens when an individual hacks a US government site? We’ve seen the US aggressively pursue such hackers demanding extradition and retribution.
But if nation states assume it is legitimate to hack, can it be illegitimate for individuals to hack?
Or is hacking like war – legitimised violence – whereas violence between people is illegitimate?
Clearly non-nation state hacking is becoming a real pain and needs to be criminalised with some harsh, high-profile punishments to deter its epidemic proportions..
International law has failed to serve the needs of modern society by not providing a legal framework for hacking and hackers.