11 October 2013

UK cyber defence force

As part of the increasing trend of enforcing State sovereignty online, I note with interest the recent announcement that the UK Ministry of Defence is planning to expand its cyber defence capability by recruiting expert reservists to a Joint Cyber Reserve Unit. The BBC reported the story HERE on 29 September 2013.

I find articles like this interesting because of the (unstated) assumption that there is a delineated British cyberspace that requires defending. Of course I happen to agree with this. It's so obvious that the journalist does not need to explain it. As we look more closely at the idea, we discover that it's not cyberspace (as such) that needs defending - it's the real world infrastructure and people who rely upon it that are being defended.

I do wonder, though, how many journalists will continue to write articles next week and next month about the so-called "borderless" nature of the Internet.

As a final thought for today, I believe that comparisons with "airspace" remain useful when thinking about this subject. We don't talk about the "borderless" nature of airspace - these days we instinctively understand that sovereign states patrol and exercise authority over a given bit of airspace. We also understand that airspace is simply a medium that can be used as a path to damage a state unless that state is able to exercise effective control of that space.