Monday, October 20, 2003

PBS Frontline Program on "Cyberwar"

This story summarizes a speech made by John Arquilla, co-director of the Center on Terrorism & Irregular Warfare at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. Arquilla advocates building a "Corp of Hackers," saying "We have to re-examine that punitive approach to the hacking community, and try, instead, to turn it into something that can be useful, and perhaps even to reform some of these people away from their own illegal actions."

I'd never heard of this guy, and was skeptical when the article stated "Arquilla... helped develop the offensive cyber weapons used by the U.S. military in Kosovo, in Afghanistan and in the Gulf War." Google led me to this PBS interview, where we learn Arquilla helped build the Joint Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar System while working for Central Command during the first Gulf War. JSTARS isn't what I'd call an "offensive cyber weapon," at least as far as computers go.

Still, this article wasn't a waste of time, as I made two discoveries. First, I learned Dorothy Denning now works at the Center on Terrorism & Irregular Warfare. Second, I found this Apr 03 PBS Frontline show called Cyberwar! is available in its entirety online. The title (especially the exclamation point) is derived from this 1993 paper by John Arquilla, Cyberwar Is Coming!. The show looks interesting and I plan to watch it and read the interviews when I have time.

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