Prof. Janine Hiller is a Professor of Business Law at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. Hiller has published legal and interdisciplinary research in the area of electronic privacy and security. She has organized a conference addressing the public-private partnership for privacy and security, contributed to ABA publications on privacy and cybercrime, and received a National Science Foundation grant to study legal and technical means to protect children's online privacy. She served in the Fulbright-Lund Distinguished Chair of Public International Law in Sweden in 2010, and is a member of the Virginia Tech Hume Center for National Security and Technology.
Legal Aspects of a Cyber Immune System
The malicious and criminal attacks against individuals, businesses, and nations on the Internet and in cyberspace must be mitigated in order to protect citizens and nations. One cyber security vision is the cyber immune system. Such a system would include automatic defense mechanisms based on incomplete attribution, continuous monitoring, pattern recognition, and the application of a set of rules designed to isolate or destroy the abnormal actor, or attacker. The cyber immune system would operate at a distributed level, at the speed necessary to thwart constant and ever changing threats. From a legal perspective, it matters if a state or private entity applies the system. For example, if a state actor is involved, then due process, and the protection of fundamental rights such as privacy and speech, are relevant to the action taken, while if a private entity applies the cyber defense then relevant legal issues include property, contract, and regulatory limits. While the automated nature of a cyber defense may present legal challenges to both state and non-state actors, it may mitigate the legal ramifications of human decision making if the system of rules is carefully crafted.