At a glance.
- A World Health Organization for cyber?
- Update: Biden Administration cyber appointments.
Proposal: a “Cyber WHO.”
Calls for international collaboration and norm-building have multiplied in the wake of Solorigate, with the Wall Street Journal collating expert opinions on what sort of cooperation is necessary. Some maintain that even unfriendly countries can work together when global interests are on the line: developing shared definitions for “unacceptable cyber activity,” and building a United Nations or World Health Organization-esque body that can coordinate responses to attacks are among the proposals.
Using the pandemic as an analogy, a Foreign Policy article expands on the latter suggestion, arguing that most of the world needs help diagnosing and fighting “the coming plague of cyberattacks.” Currently, global cyberintel hinges on the generosity of a few countries and companies. A Cyber WHO would ideally have a “breadth of participation” and “depth of mission” that NATO’s Cyberspace Operations Center and the UN’s cybersecurity working group lack, and could function as international tech support and give out cyber-safety ratings, akin to credit ratings.
Since cyberattacks are typically perpetrated by countries and criminal gangs, it’s not immediately clear how much a Cyber WHO could add to existing efforts by (for example) Interpol and the UN Security Council beyond economic incentives for good behavior. Foreign Policy points to more equal distribution of information as the goal, but that’s where the Covid-19 analogy may fall short: threat actors, unlike viruses, adapt when fed intel. Foreign Policy counters that banks overcame this competitive pitfall in their decision to share threat information, but banks have a narrower scope of objectives than do countries.
Three more appointments by the new US Administration.
The Biden Administration has appointed Federal Communications Commission veteran and net neutrality advocate Jessica Rosenworcel Acting Chair of the commission, according to Law360 and Axios. At the moment, the FCC is “deadlocked along party lines,” with one vacancy. President Biden could promote Rosenworcel to permanent chair or nominate someone else.
Axios and Law360 also have the story on the new Federal Trade Commission Acting Chair, Rebecca Slaughter, who is “known for her consumer advocacy and tough-on-tech positions.”
And finally, some continuity: as Law360 reports, the Administration will retain FBI Director Christopher Wray.