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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cyber privateer road map: military science fiction.

Arthur C. Clarke invented the communications satellite. Jules Verne envisioned the atomic submarine. These two science fiction authors illustrate that many visionary ideas arise in a fantasy creation. My own idea for cyber privateers owes a lot to several contemporary writers of military science fiction: David Drake and his Hammer's Slammers; David Weber and his Bolos series; John Ringo and his Live Free or Die; and of course, my friend the late Frank Herbert and his Dune series (Frank Herbert, by the way, talked me into running for the U. S. Congress in 1978; he said I reminded him of his character Jorj X. McKie in The Tactful Saboteur). Notwithstanding that all these authors do a wonderful job of suspending scientific disbelief, their real contribution to my cyber privateer doctrine is what I call the calculus of human interaction, which can be summarized as follows:
  1. We're never going to have a unified world government, as John Ringo quotes Ronald Reagan, "…unless there is an alien invasion." And even then, certain religious fanatics would rather see the planet incinerated than give up their power base.
  2. Politicians will never give up control, because the people they represent want "their share of the stuff."
  3. The difference between "management" (ie, bureaucrats) and "leadership" is, according to Admiral Grace Hopper, that "…managers get letters of commendation from the home office while leaders get letters of reprimand." Hopper further says that "…bureaucrats prefer to see battleships safely at port, even though the vessels weren't designed for that purpose."
  4. Corporations are in business to make money, and stockholders don't have patience for longer-term thinking.
  5. While we appoint "cyber czars" and heads of institutions, no one has ever appointed a "genius."
Given the above dynamics, talked about again and again by my favorite military science fiction authors, my "gut" tells me that world cyber security is only possible if one stalwart political entity turns some enterprising individuals loose, authorized with Letters of Marque and Reprisal. While we don't have a one-world political system, we unfortunately have a one-world cyber system that's running amok. Yes, if the formal rules of engagement aren't simple yet well thought out, cyber privateers could plunge the world into a full-blown cyber war. Those risks can't be minimized. Hence the goal of this blog is to…consider the possibilities.

Stay tuned.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?