Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sovereignty and cyberthreats

I want to throw out the following question: Does hacking into another country's computer infrastructure violate their sovereignty in the same way that sending a surveillance drone to spy or sending in a spy to spy or sending in military personnel to conduct a mission violate that country's sovereignty? Israel warded off about 44 million attempts to hack into various government and military sites since the beginning of its current military operation. Does that mean that it warded off 44 million attempts to infiltrate its borders? My intuition is that this case shows that we need a new more nuanced definition of sovereignty and its violation. I suspect that Israel could not successfully make a case that it is in any real sense under siege from 44 million sources and is now justified in treating thousands of people as anti-Israel terrorists with the moral justification to attack them. Nonetheless, there is still a sense in which Israel was attacked and her sovereignty was violated.

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