Can the United States rely on cyber-deterrence – the threat to retaliate in kind if attacked in cyberspace in very damaging ways? The difficulties in attribution were thought decisive until DoD leaders argued that attribution was actually good. Perhaps the attribution of those who repeatedly penetrate systems, haul away copious information, and fear no consequences (e.g., Chinese hackers) is good (it never gets tested). But attribution for cyberwarriors who need only penetrate once, need not haul away large amounts of information, and may well bear consequences is a different thing entirely. The paper also moots how deterrence measures may be applied to stop Chinese hacking when their activity (espionage) is sanctioned by international norms and carried out by other countries (albeit for different reasons), and where the harm done is hard to quantify.
Deep throat Edward Snowden’s revelations about the e-spying carried out by the United States set off a political storm in Washington and the capitals of its allies and is spurring President Barack Obama to speed up the timing for reforming the National Security Agency, reforms that should create a new equilibrium between the nation’s security and individual freedoms.
The critical information infrastructure (CII) represents the indispensable "nerves and blood" that allow modern societies to work and live. In fact, without it, there would be no distribution of energy, no services like banking or finance, no air traffic control and so on. The CII allows remote control and management of commodities and services, thus reducing costs, to utility companies and consumers alike, and improving efficiency. But the CII was born and developed with an intrinsic, and potentially disastrous, defect: security was never considered a top priority. Today, organized crime, rogue groups or even states may plan to disrupt or destroy portion of the CII or essential services, thus putting in serious dangers governments and economies around the world. This paper outlines the major elements of the CII and the risks to which it might be subject today and tomorrow.
The July 10-11, 2013 US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) made major strides in stabilizing and moving forward US-China relations, building upon the momentum spurred by the June presidential summit between US President, Barack Obama, and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Sunnylands, California. The US and China have hosted the annual S&ED since 2009, and before then as a separate Strategic Dialogue and Strategic Economic Dialogue, which were initiated in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
While US-China bilateral relations are currently strained across multiple issues –North Korea’s increased nuclear testing; emissions curbing of “super GHGs”, human rights; and China’s increasingly assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea – it is the cyber war debate that has been claiming recent news headlines, and much more so within the US than in China.