'Legitimate' cyberwar to make culture wars uglier

Hacktivism is only a start; cyberwar may be as big a part of domestic politics as dirty tricks

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It's possible most will view and use cyberweapons – both those designed to gather information and those designed to destroy someone else's – as an alternative to violence.

In the long run, it's more likely to simply increase the volatility of conflict in general, extending those that have gone on too long already or introducing faux violence to a confrontation as a precursor to the real thing.

I'd like to say I'm optimistic about the former rather than the latter.

What I expect is that people will handle cyber weapons just as badly as they do the other kinds.

Those who escalate a conflict from talking to TALKING VERY LOUDLY will continue to do so, using cyberweapons to embarrass opponents, spy out their plans and try to dox them into submission.

Those who think it's reasonable to escalate from talking to shooting will use cyberweapons as a way to get to the "shooting" a little quicker, without as much chance of return fire.

Either way what we end up with is a lot more violence and chaos in the virtual world without any real change in the amount of either in the real one, which only probes even change that is inevitable isn't necessarily good.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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