Some experts remain hopeful about the possibility of working on effective treaties with nontraditional allies. Although such treaties are likely to require a significant amount of negotiation, they could ultimately be effective as long as negotiators concentrate on “common ground,” says John Savage, a Brown University computer science professor. Savage recently spent a year serving as a fellow in the State Department working on cybersecurity issues.
People sometimes “speak about [the problem of cybercrime] as if it’s hopeless,” Savage says. But he says that as with other kinds of crime, new approaches, combined with best practices, can sometimes prove effective. The United States “will get there” on cybercrime. “We just can’t get there alone.”