A draft report to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly has warned that the loose hacktivist collective Anonymous is becoming “more sophisticated” and says measures will be taken to “persecute” its members.
One section covers hactivism, where Anonymous is specifically named. The loose group was responsible for attacks on sites such as Mastercard and Paypal, after they withdrew their services from whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
The report said that as the group is growing “more sophisticated,” stricter measures were needed to combat the collective.
“The longer these attacks persist the more likely countermeasures will be developed and implemented. The groups will be infiltrated and perpetrators persecuted,” read the report.
The report also covers WikiLeaks, which has leaked thousands of cables of diplomatic communications. It strongly condemns the organisation, saying that military and intelligence operations “simply cannot be planned and consulted with the public.”
“Transparency cannot exist without control. The government, and especially its security agencies, must have the right to limit access to information in order to govern and to protect. This is based on the premise that states and corporations have the right to privacy as much as individuals do and that secrecy is required for efficient management of the state institutions and organisations,” read the report.
“In addition, transparency can be misused on several levels – by providing unprofessional or poor-quality interpretation of information or documents, by conducting superficial or biased analysis, by lack of experience on the topic or by pursuing a political agenda. Thus, not everything carried out under the ‘transparency label’ is necessarily good for the government and its people.”
Upon the release of this draft report, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an MP in NATO member Iceland, said she was “seeking input” as she claims the report “falsifies facts” about WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, a US Army private who was accused of leaking the diplomatic cables. Jónsdóttir was formerly a WikiLeaks activist.
The report also detailed general options on cyber security that the international community and NATO could take, such as supporting initiatives to “negotiate at least some international legal ground rules for the cyber domain,” discouraging “the cyber arms race” and to define “thresholds above which attacks constitute an act of war.”
It recommended funding “technical solutions” for a new set of secure protocols to address vulnerabilities of the current infrastructure without keeping surveillance of member states’ populations. The report emphasised that security measures should not “cross the line” to violate principles cherished by member states.
“It is also important for our national security interests: since the cyber domain is to a large extent governed by the people, it is important to win the moral support of the majority of the virtual community,” read the report.
“In order to prevent the abuse by the governments, stricter security rules should be accompanied by measures ensuring democratic oversight.”