Thursday morning I was listening to this segment on Morning Edition and wondered why we were just hearing about this concern now.
So why is there no arms control measure that would apply to the use of cyberweapons?
It is not for lack of attention to the issue. Government and military leaders around the world have warned that the next world war is likely to be fought at least partly in cyberspace, and cyber "disarmament" discussions have been under way at the United Nations for more than a decade and more recently at the International Telecommunications Union, the leading U.N. agency for information technology issues.
The problem is that governments have widely varying ideas of what constitutes a "cyberweapon" — and what a "cyberwar" might look like.
Advanced industrial democracies are likely to see a cyberattack as an assault on the computer infrastructure that underlies power, telecommunications, transportation and financial systems.
But many developing countries see cyber war in political terms.
According to NPR, developing countries think tweeting is the biggest danger because it destabilizes authoritarian countries.
But how does that tie into this other story I read today from Kevin Drum about that perhaps the next cyber war assault is aimed at Iran?
A geographical distribution of computers hit by Stuxnet, which Microsoft produced in July, found Iran to be the apparent epicenter of the Stuxnet infections. That suggests that any enemy of Iran with advanced cyber war capability might be involved, Langner says. The US is acknowledged to have that ability, and Israel is also reported to have a formidable offensive cyber-war-fighting capability.
Maybe the reason we don't have agreement about cyber weapons is because it doesn't fit the accepted narrative (aka; the threat is tweeting)? And the people that have the most to fear from cyber war sabotage are those developing countries that aren't conforming to expected norms?
So who fed the more innocuous line to Tom Gjelten at NPR to feed to their audience?