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Column: Big cyberattacks should be handled by nations — not lawyers | Opinion

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On New Year’s Eve of 1879, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance” premiered, featuring lovable corsairs relegated to the eponymous Cornish seaside resort. It marked quite an image makeover from the beginning of the century when, in 1801 and again in 1815, the U.S. fought two naval wars in the Mediterranean against piracy, known as the Barbary wars.

How piracy went from menacing seaborne threat to charming comic opera over the course of the 19th century should give policymakers some clue about how to prevent attacks by cyber pirates, like the ransomware attack that crippled the Colonial Pipeline last week. Whether the pirates are in Russia or North Korea or elsewhere, the U.S. is going to have to engage in some old-fashioned hard-power geopolitics to change those…

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