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East-West Institute draws up proposals for cyberwar rules of engagement

Cyber experts at the annual Munich Security Conference are to propose that global rules of engagement are established to cope with cyber weapons.

Conference atendees include UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The proposal has been drawn up by the East-West Institute in New York and describes rendering the Geneva and Hague conventions in cyberspace, according to the BBC.

According to the institute, ambiguity about what constitutes cyber conflict is delaying international policy to deal with it.

The draft document calls for steps to protect zones that run facilities such as hospitals or schools, to distinguish between military and civilian targets, to set rules for retaliatory attacks, and to define a "nation state" in the context of cyberspace.

A recent report on cyber security published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said although very few single cyber-related events have the capacity to cause global shock, governments still need to make detailed preparations to withstand and recover from a wide range of unwanted cyber events, both accidental and deliberate.

The report was compiled by Peter Sommer, visiting professor at the London School of Economics, and Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.


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