Skip to main content

Denmark invests $75mn in offensive cyber division – report



Reuters / Dado Ruvic





The Danish Defence Intelligence Service (FE) has stated its readiness to launch cyberattacks against hostile states and organizations, according to Politiken daily. Over the next 2 years some $75 million will be invested in an “offensive” cyber division.

By 2017 Denmark will pour some 465 million kroner ($75 million) into developing an offensive cyber-attack capability, according to the report. This is apparently so that Denmark can expand its capabilities from focusing solely on defending itself against hacker attacks, to also attacking hostile targets.

The idea is being developed in the wake of attacks over past several years which allegedly targeted the country’s defense and business sector for sensitive information. Since 2012 at least four Danish companies have reportedly been targeted in “incredibly” sophisticated, “state-sponsored” attacks blamed on the usual suspect, China, according to the report from FE.


While an offensive cyberattack should typically be conducted in secrecy in order to surprise the target, some experts have suggested it must be viewed in the same light as a military operation, meaning it would need an authorization from the parliament.

“When we go to war, it is parliament that declares war and the military that carries it out,” Anders Henriksen, an expert in international law at the University of Copenhagen, told Politiken.

Professor of constitutional law at the University of Copenhagen, Jens Elo Rytter, expressed agreement. “The use of force is such an important thing, according to the constitution there must be parliamentary inspection and control, when Denmark uses the power,” Rytter told regional daily Jydske Vestkysten.

However, the Defense ministry believes only those cyberattacks that would result in physical damage to the target should be considered warfare and require prior parliamentary approval, according to Politiken. Using a “hypothetical’ attack on Moscow’s water supply systems as an example, the publication said that while it would not destroy computers, management applications or physical installations, yet could interrupt the supply itself – it may not have to be subjected to approval.

Launching an attack on foreign state or company without parliamentary approval would not breach the constitution, believes the current Defense Minister Nicolai Wammen.

“I am convinced that the constitutional requirement to include parliament in the given situation can be reconciled with any concerns in relation to the operation’s implementation and security,” Wammen told Politiken.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why States Still Use Barrel Bombs

Smoke ascends after a Syrian military helicopter allegedly dropped a barrel bomb over the city of Daraya on Jan. 31.(FADI DIRANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary
Barrel bombs are not especially effective weapons. They are often poorly constructed; they fail to detonate more often than other devices constructed for a similar purpose; and their lack of precision means they can have a disproportionate effect on civilian populations.

However, combatants continue to use barrel bombs in conflicts, including in recent and ongoing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, and they are ideally suited to the requirements of resource-poor states.

Analysis


Barrel bombs are improvised devices that contain explosive filling and shrapnel packed into a container, often in a cylindrical shape such as a barrel. The devices continue to be dropped on towns all over Syria. Indeed, there have been several documented cases of their use in Iraq over the past months, and residents of the city of Mosul, which was recently …

Russia Looks East for New Oil Markets

Click to Enlarge


In the final years of the Soviet Union, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began orienting his foreign policy toward Asia in response to a rising Japan. Putin has also piloted a much-touted pivot to Asia, coinciding with renewed U.S. interest in the area. A good expression of intent was Russia's hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012 in Vladivostok, near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. Although its efforts in Asia have been limited by more direct interests in Russia's periphery and in Europe, Moscow recently has been able to look more to the east.

Part of this renewed interest involves finding new export markets for Russian hydrocarbons. Russia's economy relies on energy exports, particularly crude oil and natural gas exported via pipeline to the West. However, Western Europe is diversifying its energy sources as new supplies come online out of a desire to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

This has forced…

In Yemen, a Rebel Advance Could Topple the Regime

Shia loyal to the al-Houthi movement ride past Yemeni soldiers near Yaz, Yemen, in May. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


The success of a rebel campaign in northern Yemen is threatening to destabilize the already weak and overwhelmed government in Sanaa. After capturing the city of Amran, a mere 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital, in early July, the rebels from the al-Houthi tribe are in their strongest position yet. The Yemeni government is developing plans to divide the country into six federal regions, and the rebels believe this is their chance to claim territory for the future bargaining.

The central government is nearly powerless to fend off the rebels; its forces are already stretched thin. Neighboring Saudi Arabia has intervened in Yemen before and still supports Sunni tribes in the north, but the risk of inciting a Shiite backlash or creating space for jihadists to move in could deter another intervention.

Analysis


Followers of Zaidi Islam, a branch of Shiism, rul…