This section of the reading was all about cybersecurity and where we can go from here. The authors have now outlined all the problems governments and individuals have with cybersecurity and cyberwarfare. But now they attempt to come to a conclusion as to how governments can react to the cyber threats that face us today.
They conclude that shutting down the internet and starting over is impossible, because the internet is not a law that can be “repealed” (Not the only thing that can’t be repealed @GOP Obamacare for life!!). There is also the discussion of gathering nations together to come up with some form of international regulations or to at least establish international cooperation. The problem with this is essentially realism– the larger states that hold the complex power and technology do not want to relinquish it to the smaller states. This goes back to the idea that there are weak players and strong players, and while there are advantages to being a weak player, the strong players still have more choices, and thus more advantages.
It has also been very difficult for the government to place barriers as far as cybersecurity, because where an initiative can protect one party, it hurts another. In other cases, it is hard for Americans to compromise their privacy in return for safety. The issue is that rather than there just being shades of grey in this issue, there are ONLY shades of grey, and no black or white. The good and the bad blend together, disguising both helpful and hurtful entities. It has been very difficult and costly to ensure cybersecurity, which is most of the time not ensured or even vaguely doable. It was interesting to read the McColo case and the Visa case to see that change is possible if the right actors are involved.
When I read this, I immediately thought of the 2016 election, which was marked by cybersecurity breaches, whether it be WIkiLeaks or the DNC. It is interesting to see how competing actors can hurt each other via cyberwarfare, and how the big guy (the US government and the DNC) can be breached, while it takes months and years to learn how and by whom (we all know, but there’s no real way to punish people because there are no methods in place by which to assert power and order over cybersecurity.
Here is a link to a Buzzfeed article about Russia’s cyberwarfare game (I know, Buzzfeed, but it’s an easy read) and how Russia has been able to supplement its military strength with cyber capability:
That’s all for now.