How Can We Be at Cyberwar if We Don’t Know What It Is?

by on March 23, 2010 · 3 comments

Brilliant column from William Jackson on debunking “cyberwar”:

“The United States is fighting a cyberwar today and we are losing it,” former National Security Agency chief and national intelligence director Mike McConnell wrote in a recent op-ed column in the Washington Post. “It’s that simple.”

It is neither simple nor true. Failure to distinguish between real acts of war and other malicious behavior not only increases the risks of war, but also distracts us from more immediate threats such as online crime.

The habit of threat inflation is harmful to the country. Jackson’s welcome take on “cyber” threats earns an accolade I rarely give out: Read the whole thing.

Update: Tim Stevens, a researcher in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, has—ahem—attacked “cyberwar” rhetoric multiple times. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Kudos, Tim.

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