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When Do Cyberattacks Become Acts of War?

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By Allan Holmes May 22, 2007

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Recent articles cyberattacks on Estonia's government Web sites has posed some complex policy and legal questions for governments -- is a cyberattack equivalent to an armed attack? Slate's Anne Applebaum points out in her article posted today that Estonia is a member, albeit a new one, to NATO, which, according to the alliance treaty, considers "an armed attack on one of its members 'an attack against them all.'" What to do?

When does cyberwarfare, or information warfare as the Defense Department calls it, become an attack worthy of retaliation, cyberbased or armed?

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