Cybersecurity is an Exaggerated Risk
April 28, 2011 12:43 PM Subscribe
Jerry Brito and Tate Watkins of George Mason University published a new paper "Loving the Cyber Bomb? The Dangers of Threat Inflation in Cybersecurity Policy" examining the parallels with the US military's other recent exaggerations. "Cybersecurity is an important policy issue, but the alarmist rhetoric coming out of Washington that focuses on worst-case scenarios is unhelpful and dangerous. Aspects of current cyber policy discourse parallel the run-up to the Iraq War and pose the same dangers. Pre-war threat inflation and conflation of threats led us into war on shaky evidence. By focusing on doomsday scenarios and conflating cyber threats, government officials threaten to legislate, regulate, or spend in the name of cybersecurity based largely on fear, misplaced rhetoric, conflated threats, and credulous reporting. The public should have access to classified evidence of cyber threats, and further examination of the risks posed by those threats, before sound policies can be proposed, let alone enacted. ... No one wants a “cyber Katrina” or a “digital Pearl Harbor.” But honestly assessing cyber threats and appropriate responses does not mean that we have to learn to stop worrying and love the cyber bomb."
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