Hayden: Google Acting as a Nation-State

Great to see somebody on top of things, here Michael Hayden, previously director of the NSA and the CIA in the context of the Shady Rat attacks:

“You see Google acting in some ways as nation-states used to act, exercising to the best of their ability some attributes traditionally associated with sovereign states. ‘We’re going to break relationship’—cease doing business there, you know. It’s something I dwell on a lot. The cyberworld is so new that the old structures, you know—state, non-state, public, private—they all break down … The last time we had such a powerful discontinuity is probably the European discovery of the Western Hemisphere. At that point, we had some big, multi-national corporations—East India Company and Hudson’s Bay—that acted as states. And I see elements of that with the big Microsofts and Googles of the world. Because of their size, they actually are making decisions that have the impact of the kinds of decisions made in the halls of government. Google is not a state. But what constitutes Google’s inherent right of self-defense in this new environment against this kind of attack? I’m not accusing anyone of doing anything wrong. These situations are just so different. What do we believe would be legitimate for Google to do in response to this? Now, I don’t have answers. I really don’t know, but it’s a really good question.”