You know that a topic has become du jour when The Economist puts out multiple stories about it in rapid succession.  I greatly respect this venerable news magazine and appreciate that it is one of the last fronts on the attack on quality journalism.  That being said, they can never pass up the opportunity to pile on to a topic!  Hence, they get to be the subject of the IT Thought of the Day News Commentary of the Week.   image

On Mondays I offer comments on some   of the most interesting information technology stories that I have found on the web that week.  Please feel free to join in the discussion or suggest other stories.

Today’s comments were generated after I read not one, but two stories from The Economist about the threat, fear, and realities of CyberWar.  Great articles, both, that I recommend to you.  Give them a read below.

The EconomistWar in the fifth domain: Are the mouse and keyboard the new weapons of conflict?

After land, sea, air and space, warfare has entered the fifth domain: cyberspace. President Barack Obama has declared America’s digital infrastructure to be a “strategic national asset” and appointed Howard Schmidt, the former head of security at Microsoft, as his cyber-security tsar. In May the Pentagon set up its new Cyber Command (Cybercom) headed by General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (NSA). His mandate is to conduct “full-spectrum” operations—to defend American military networks and attack other countries’ systems. Precisely how, and by what rules, is secret.”

The EconomistCyberwar: It is time for countries to start talking about arms control on the internet

“As with nuclear bombs, the existence of cyber-weapons does not in itself mean they are about to be used. Moreover, an attacker cannot be sure what effect an assault will have on another country, making their deployment highly risky. That is a drawback for sophisticated military machines, but not necessarily for terrorists or the armies of rogue states. And it leaves the dangers of online crime and espionage. “

Seriously good writing about seriously complicated topics containing serious information, commentary, and consideration.  What is not to love here.  If you are an Information Professional then you need to read these stories.  Enjoy them.  I suspect that if The Economist is now writing about this weekly, the topic will be showing up everywhere!

OK, that is what I think of this topic. What do you think about this topic?  Do you agree or disagree with me? Do you have a recommended news story for next week? Please share your ideas below.

That is my Information Technology Thought of the Day (ITTOD) for July 5, 2010  by Scott Coughlin.

Image Credit: Help Net Security at net-security.org

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