Entries with label cyberspace .


[Hebert Lin & Amy Zegart, eds. Bytes, Bombs, and Spies. The strategic dimensions of offensive cyber operations. The Brookings Institution. Washington, 2019. 438 p. ] REVIEW / Albert Vidal

review / Pablo Arbuniés

Bytes, Bombs, and Spies. The strategic dimensions of offensive cyber operationsJust as in the second half of the 20th century the world experienced the degree program nuclear weapons between the US and the USSR for world hegemony, everything seems to indicate that the degree program that will mark the 21st century is that of cyberspace. Ever since the department The inclusion of cyberspace as the fifth domain of the country's military operations (along with land, sea, air, and space) has made clear the paramount importance of its role in global security.

However, the very nature of cyberspace makes it a completely different field from what we might call kinetic security fields. The only constant in cyberspace is change, so any study and strategic approach must be able to adapt quickly to changing conditions without losing efficiency and maintaining enormous precision. This is a real challenge for all actors operating in cyberspace, both national and private. At the national level, the incorporation of cyber operations into the U.S. national security strategy (NSS) and the development of a cyberwarfare doctrine by the department are the two main pillars on which the new degree program through cyberspace.

"Bytes, Bombs, and Spies" explores the big questions posed by this new challenge, presenting very different approaches to different situations. Probably the greatest value offered by the book is precisely the different ways of dealing with the same problem defended by the more than twenty authors who have participated in its elaboration, coordinated by Herbert Lin and Amy Zegart. These authors collaborate in the 15 essays that make up the book. They do it with the idea of turning a topic as complex as offensive cyber operations into something achievable for non-expert readers. topic, but without sacrificing the depth and detail of an academic work.

Throughout the volume, the authors not only propose what the approach of the framework theoretical. They also assess the U.S. government's policies in the field of offensive cyber operations and propose what the points should be core topic in the development of new policies and adaptation of previous ones to the changing cyber environment.

The book tries to answer the big questions asked about cyberspace. From the use of offensive cyber operations in a framework from conflict to the role of the private sector, through the escalation dynamics and the role of deterrence in cyberspace or the intelligence capabilities needed to carry out effective cyber operations.

One of the main issues is how cyber operations are included in the framework of the dynamics of a scale of conflict. Is it permissible to respond to a cyberattack with kinetic force? And with nuclear weapons? The U.S. government's current cyber-doctrine leaves both doors open, facing a response based on the effects of the attack over the means. This idea is described as incomplete by Henry Farrell and Charles L. Glaser in their chapter, in which they argue for the need to take into account more factors, such as the perception of the threat and attack by other actors, as well as public opinion and the international community.

Continuing with the theoretical approaches, the main question raised by this book is whether it is sensible to apply the same principles in the strategic study of cyberspace that were applied to nuclear weapons during the cold war to answer the questions posed above. And since this is a relatively new field in which global hegemony and stability can be at stake from the outset, how this question is answered can mean the difference between stability or absolute chaos.

This is precisely what David Aucsmith proposes in his chapter. In it, he argues that cyberspace is so different from classical strategic disciplines that its strategic dimensions must be rethought from scratch. The disintermediation of governments, incapable of encompassing all of cyberspace, opens up a niche for private companies specializing in cybersecurity, but even these will not be able to completely fill what the government does in other domains. For his part, Lucas Kello tries to fill the sovereignty gap in cyberspace with the aforementioned private participation, proposing the convergence between governments and citizens (through the private sector) in cyberspace.

In conclusion, "Bytes, Bombs, and Spies" tries to answer all the main questions posed by cyberspace, without being unattainable to an audience that is not an expert in cyberspace. topic, but maintaining rigor, precision, and depth in its analysis. .

Categories Global Affairs: Global Security & DefenseBook Reviews

Great Wall of China, near Jinshanling

▲Great Wall of China, near Jinshanling [Jakub Halin-Wikimedia Commons]

COMMENTARY / Paulina Briz Aceves

The Great Wall of China was completed after decades of successive efforts by different dynasties, not only as a defensive line, but also as a sign of China's attitude towards the outside world. Although this wall currently has no use, other than to be a tourist attraction, it has been an example for the creation of another great wall, which, although not physical, has the same effects as the original: isolating the Chinese community from the outside world and protecting itself from attacks that threaten its sovereignty.

The "Great Firewall of China" – the government's online surveillance and censorship effort – monitors all traffic in Chinese cyberspace and allows authorities to both deny access to a variety of selected websites, and disconnect all Chinese networks from the Internet. network of the Internet. In addition to the Great Firewall, the Chinese government has also created a domestic surveillance system called the "Golden Shield," which is administered by the Ministry of Public Security and others Departments government and local agencies. The Chinese government understands how valuable and powerful technology, innovation, and the Internet are, which is why it is cautious about information disseminated on Chinese soil, due to its constant fear of possible questioning of the Communist Party and disruption of China's political order.

China's cyber policies and strategies are barely known in the international world, but what is known is that China's network security priorities are motivated by the goal the main challenge of the Communist Party to stay in power. China's rulers understand that cybernetics are something that is already fully integrated into society. Therefore, they believe that in order to maintain political stability, they must keep an eye on their citizens and control them, leaving them in the shadows by censoring not only general information, but also sensitive issues such as the massacre in the city. place Tiananmen or Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution .

Filters that control what citizens see on the web have become more sophisticated. In addition, the government has employee around 100,000 people to monitor the Chinese internet, to control information not only coming from the West, but even that which is generated in China itself. It is true that this meddling in the media has undoubtedly caused the Chinese government to assert its power over society, because it is clear that whoever has the information definitely has the power.

Categories Global Affairs: Asia Security & Defense Comments