Germany is exploring the legalities around responses to cyber attacks and is recognizing the country may need to change its constitution to allow for striking back to cyber actors:
Germany may need to change its constitution to allow it to strike back at hackers who target private computer networks and it hopes to complete any legal reforms next year, a top Interior Ministry official said on Monday.
State Secretary Klaus Vitt told Reuters the government believed “Significant legal changes would be needed” to allow such “Hack back” actions.
“A constitutional change may be needed since this is such a critical issue,” Vitt said on the sidelines of a cyber conference organized by the Handelsblatt newspaper.
Vitt said much would depend on the outcome of coalition talks in Germany of which cyber capabilities formed a part.
Top German intelligence officials told parliament last month they needed greater legal authority to strike back in the event of cyber attacks from foreign powers.
We can all thank Russia and Putin for forcing this issue globally. Their exceptional use of cyber attacks coupled with propaganda has changed the conventional approach to using cyber as part of a broader geopolitical strategy.
Additionally, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues to explore changing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, I suspect this will become an issue here in Japan as well. Hacking back against malicious actors is not as cut-and-dry as some would suspect. Specific legal authority is required, otherwise the country could face legal issues and liability, especially if attribution is incorrect and an innocent bystander is attacked.