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Category: PRISM

Dec. 21, 2017

A Three-Perspective Theory of Cyber Sovereignty

The cybercrime and cyber terrorism raging today are the most visible symptoms of a more pervasive problem concerning cyber security. How to establish a fair and just governance regime in cyberspace and establish international rules spark a storm of controversy. The controversy reflects the competing interests and demands of three distinct cyberspace actors: the state, the citizen, and the international community. By focusing only on one’s own interests, each actor ignores the interests of the other two, resulting in the current situation in which each sticks to its own argument and refuses to reconcile. The establishment of a new order in cyberspace requires a comprehensive review from the perspective of all three major actors. This article proposes a “three-perspectives” theory based on the three actors. It divides cyberspace into three levels; the base level, the application level, and the core level. Treating each level differently, it seeks to identify the largest common ground, and transcends the single perspective vulnerability of interpreting everything in terms of binary opposition. Three-perspective thinking makes it possible to deal with the binary opposition of exclusivity and transferability with respect to state sovereignty.

Dec. 21, 2017

An Interview with Marina Kaljurand, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia

Those were the first explicitly political cyberattacks against an independent, sovereign state in history. If put into today’s context, the attacks were not very sophisticated—even primitive. But back then, they were very disturbing. By that time, Estonia already had widely established internet and e-services, and an e-lifestyle; when those services were interrupted—mainly in the banking sector—it was highly disruptive. As to the effects of the attacks? They did not kill anybody, they were not destructive. They were highly disruptive to our lives though.

Dec. 21, 2017

Warnings Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes

Every day we hear warnings—from parents concerned about the personal safety and good health of their children, to government officials worried about protecting the citizenry from external adversaries and the forces of nature. Distinguishing serious warnings of impending catastrophe from those that are frivolous may mean the difference between life and death, success and failure, freedom and oppression.

Dec. 21, 2017

International Conflict and Cyberspace Superiority: Theory and Practice

Cyberspace Superiority is a compelling mix of advanced technological know-how and easy-to-understand writing. Bryant, a Lieutenant Colonel who is a career fighter pilot and earned his Ph.D. in military strategy, first examines whether cyberspace is a “global common”—i.e. a shared resource like the oceans, atmosphere, space, and Antarctica. The answer may well determine the future nature of cyber hostilities but, with the issue as yet unsettled, Bryant posits a far more pressing question—is superiority in cyberspace “a useful construct for thinking about and planning for nation-state conflict in cyberspace?”

Dec. 21, 2017

Cyberspace in Peace and War

Martin Libicki has been a prolific writer in the field of information warfare since the mid-1990s. In this newer work, published by the Naval Institute Press, he aggregates his thinking during the past several decades into a single book. Cyberspace in Peace and War draws from work performed at RAND, both solely and with colleagues, and from lecture interactions with his students at various universities, to present a streamlined and consolidated overview of activities within and enabled by information technologies.

Dec. 21, 2017


Nearly a half century ago in October 1969, computer programmers at the University of California, Los Angeles used a primitive Department of Defense computer network called ARPANET to send the first messages to computers at Stanford Research Institute. This quiet event, considered by some to be the birth of the internet, ignited a technological movement within the computer and information industries that eventually transformed the world into a globally connected society utterly dependent on instant access to information, yet increasingly vulnerable to network intrusions by those who seek to steal sensitive data or disrupt cyber infrastructure.

Dec. 21, 2017

Cognitive-Emotional Conflict - Adversary Will and Social Resilience

Today’s information sharing tools let adversaries interfere more directly than ever with a targeted nation’s political processes and the minds of its citizens. Operating effectively in such “cognitive-emotional conflict” requires that information-based capabilities be employed and countered in agile, integrated ways across the military, government, and society. Coherent narratives tied to strategy and backed by actions are important. Technical cyberspace activities need to be well-coordinated with content-based approaches like military information operations, government-wide messaging, and intelligence gathering (including all forms of security). Even more important is to build a society’s resilience against persistent, disruptive, or disinformation campaigns that aim to undermine citizen confidence and core beliefs.