Relevant Categories: —DEFENSE—
Post#: 198-18 – Words: 902 – Audio: N/A
As a community of nations, pretty much what we don’t need in the world is yet another reason to threaten each other. But with the advent of computer technologies and possible repercussions to world peace and stability as those technologies are used for political advantage, it’s very apparent that there is a need to establish a defining of cyber assaults against sovereign national interests and subsequent levels of a response to those threats. Obviously the current cyber threats applied by Russia toward our election process is in the immediate forefront of this new threat to peace.
The major issue at play in measuring threat levels of cyber-stalking activity is three-fold the way I see it. The first is the obvious, cyber-meddling between nations doesn’t necessarily have to result in human death tolls and the destruction of property. While one could certainly argue the potential for cyber-meddling in causing indirect casualties is possible, so far such meddling activity seems to be limited to corporate for proprietary intellectual property espionage, and manipulating election processes. The fact that such techno-activity does not have to culminate in loss of lives and the destruction of property, is why there’s not a lot of important attention being paid in trying to assert some response conditions. It’s generally easy by comparison to establish the responsible nation who shoots a missile at another nation, or drops a bomb. Not so with cyber attacks.
The second issue at play is to what level cyber-tinkering justifies an armed response with the potential for causing human casualties and property damage… when the cyber attack itself was for political advantage and not about inflicting casualties, directly or otherwise. In other words, what would be an appropriate measured response?
The third issue… at the present detection of cyber threats and the identification of their origin can be done with a level of confidence and assurance. But we are not far from the technology of making detection of the assault itself more difficult… we are also not far from being able to make the accurate identification of the responsible party; it being most difficult if not impossible in the very near future. Even deflecting to make the assault look like it’s coming from another source. This obviously challenges who the enemy is for the proper response. At any given time on any given day the average mainframe computer of a government agency or corporate headquarters… to the laptops we use in our bed… the detection of malware, viruses, trojans, phishing attacks.. is defending against a thousand assaults a day. Simply to determine which of those didn’t originate in a foreign capitol intelligence service or some teen hacker playing around on a dare on a mountaintop in Nepal or a basement in Poughkeepsie, is a monolith task.
Solving this problem as a national defensive matter is a huge undertaking by itself, but sitting down with other nations to hammer out some international agreement on what constitutes a measured response for a given attack is at least equally as challenging.
The Extent of Our Collective Vulnerability is Beyond Comprehension –
Literally, some kid from Waterloo, Iowa conceivably could take down the power grid in another country… or the Internet… and that trickle effect could bring about a social and political calamity. It’s Ian Malcolm’s Chaos Theory on a whole new level. Forget the butterflies in Siberia flapping their wings. Some kid in Japan taking down a utility grid could end up messing with the markets on Wall Street. Some ISIS techno-terrorist could end up changing the GPS navigation satellites… and affect the car you’re driving.
I am not postulating any solutions nor can I even venture to suggest how an international agreement of this kind could be worked out. I might suggest that any such discussion begin with the NATO members since that organization is already in step for a collective military defense, and the members are in a unified security mindset already. Very likely the creation of an international cyber center… a cyber “war room” organization of sorts, perhaps under the auspices of the UN, if not NATO, for broader acceptance and greater collective sovereign political inclusion. Obviously such a cyber “watchdog” organization would in itself end up being independent in function but responsive in reporting to the greater body any issues of concern.
The Cyber Threat Is Also A Defense –
Globalization has its advantages in spite of its social drawbacks. The global market place also carries with it global banking.. and electronic foot prints to where the money trail originates and is leading. As being demonstrated with sanctions against Russian officials, getting people in their pocket books can be a sobering compliance measure toward encouraging good international behavior between nations. In this case technology.. the internet… helps us enforce the rules as much as the “bad guys” might use it to affect political change to their ends.
Then you can have other issues in world diplomacy. Example… Nation A has the military… Nation B has the technology. Nation B uses their technology to tamper with Nation A election process. Nation A doesn’t have technology for fighting back. All they have is their military. You can see the implications.
The bottom line is that we can’t wait on this. Russia tampering with our election and those of other countries is a wake-up call.
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