William Gibson’s transition from the bridge cycle and Johnny Mnemonic with its meta verse-cyberspace to Blue Ant cycle with it’s careful amplification of trends through nudges etc captures this beautifully
I am one of those people who find this problem so pressing that I have
side-lined my SIEM engineering job to pursue an international
relations degree. It has been an epiphany to say the least.
- The lack of empiricism in cyber policy has transformed it
into a credibility problem, centred around personalities. This problem
is not going away anytime soon.
- If it is going to remain a subjective discipline, then
there are techniques like Process Tracing – well known in public
policy which also struggles with empiricism and emergent properties –
that could be applied than invoking the spirit of John Nash (RIP).
- The offence-defence discourse is soul-suckingly banal. It
boggles me that we choose to completely ignore disciplines like
political economy as they are not as hot as cyber offence.
- I am not sure what Dave meant by COGINT but we need to
start looking at cyber policy papers and policies that have aged
well. It may bring the doctrinal focus back on things like
information operations or lead to a Socratic first-principles
- Look, I understand that exploit writers and hackers feel
like Oppenheimer when he paraphrased the Sanskrit quote: “Now I am
become death, the destroyer of worlds”. But the technologist,
liberalist and realist sides need to know that their perspectives do
not apply in absolute terms in cyber policy. Weird machines and
national power are reflexive.
- One thing is for sure: cyber policy has slipped out of the
hands of norm entrepreneurs. We really need to stop talking about
norms, normative frameworks and Tallinn Manual for a while now.
 Shawn M. Powers and Michael Jablonski, The Real Cyber War: The
Political Economy of Internet Freedom (University of Illinois Press,
 Erik Gartzske, ‘The Myth of Cyberwar: Bringing War in Cyberspace
Back Down to Earth’, International Security 38, no. 2 (2013): 41–73;
Michael Monte, Network Attacks and Exploitation: A Framework (Wiley,
 David Ormrod and Benjamin Turnbull, ‘The Cyber Conceptual
Framework for Developing Military Doctrine’, Defence Studies 16, no. 3
 Jon R. Lindsay and Derek S. Reveron, ‘Conclusion’, in China and
Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain
(Oxford Scholarship Online, 2015), 334–52.