In a blog post published today on Microsoft's website, company President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, has raised concerns over escalating cyberattcks over the past year and the need for a Digital Geneva Convention. He wrote: "Just as the Fourth Geneva Convention has long protected civilians in times of war, we now need a Digital Geneva Convention that will commit governments to protecting civilians from nation-state attacks in times of peace. And just as the Fourth Geneva Convention recognized that the protection of civilians required the active involvement of the Red Cross, protection against nation-state cyberattacks requires the active assistance of technology companies. The tech sector plays a unique role as the internet’s first responders, and we therefore should commit ourselves to collective action that will make the internet a safer place, affirming a role as a neutral Digital Switzerland that assists customers everywhere and retains the world’s trust."
— Expansion of nation-state attacks: "Perhaps most disconcerting, recent years have witnessed the expansion of nation-state attacks. The Sony attack by North Korea in 2014 was not the first nation-state attack, but it represented a visible turning point. While prior attacks had focused on economic and military espionage, the Sony attack in 2014 involved retaliation for free expression in the form of a (not very popular) movie."
— The situation worsened in one additional and important way: "For two-thirds of a century, since 1949, the world’s nations have recognized through the Fourth Geneva Convention that they need to adhere to rules that protect civilians in times of war. But nation-state hacking has evolved into attacks on civilians in times of peace."
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