international relations

This tag is associated with 12 posts

Tufts Democrats: What did you think?

The Tufts Democrats got an earful from me about how US foreign policy on cyberspace hasn’t advanced significantly in fifteen years. I complained that a whole lot of basic questions haven’t been settled, and drew on some key national documents to verify that is the case. They were more impressed with my rapid-fire interactive summaries … Continue reading

Cyber Shield newest mixed metaphor

This is the latest example of what’s wrong the metaphor of cyberspace for information security. Cyberspace isn’t a space. Cyber attacks don’t involve thrown projectiles or spears. A shield won’t bat them down. The meat of the policy is buried: look how little attention is devoted to the five points in the last paragraph quoted … Continue reading

Fuzzy Thinking on African Botnets

I call “bull.” African botnets are not WMD, and the solution to African botnets is not to prosecute the lucky few who have computers there. Franz-Stefan Gady is completely out of touch with the realities of IT in Africa. The last thing African governments need is shunt scarce resources into prosecuting cyber criminals, particularly within … Continue reading

Trade Cartograms at UseR! 2010

A bit of shameless self-promotion! I will be presenting my work on trade cartograms at UseR! 2010. I’ll update this with a link to the abstract when it is listed there. Earlier this year I posted on the use of cartograms to visualize dyadic trade flows. About UseR! useR! 2010, the R user conference, will … Continue reading

Full hearing: US Senate on Cyber War Readiness

Highlights from the US Senate panel on cybersecurity 23 February 2010. Mary Ann Davidson, CSO (Oracle). Required reading! Ms. Davidson masters the subject in bright prose. This is an excellent indictment of the rush deploy smart grid technologies before we’ve had time to harden them from the types of attacks that routinely take computers off … Continue reading

Another failed attempt to resurrect deterrence for cyber war

Cyber war creates far more than its share of Maginot strategy. How is it that we can hope to make deterrence work without the three elements that supported it during the nuclear age? McConnell’s article dated this coming Sunday (2/28/10) [sic] outlines three conditions, and then claims that the failure of these conditions isn’t really … Continue reading

Export Trade Clusters

This post, as with the prior ones on trade clusters, aims to help visualize patterns of trade in the OECD from 50 years of partner trade statistics. The data is rich, meaning we should be able to develop rich intuition by exploring it visually. These slides follow the method laid out in Jong-Eun Lee, “Two … Continue reading

Space is a terrible metaphor for cyber space

Physical metaphors for cyber space create pernicious mistakes of intuition about strategy. The lay of the land determines a great part of battlefield strategy. Cyber space is as unfamiliar and surprising as a trip through the looking glass, frustrating many efforts to understand cyber strategy by way of analogy to physical space. Writing about cyber … Continue reading

Hardly anybody [I know] reads…

Bill Easterly, one of the most accomplished and iconoclastic development economists and commentators, may have overreached a bit. He has picked a bone with the Global Forum for Health over their failure to win publications and citations in journals worthy of consideration at tenure review. Isn’t that a strange criterion for judging the success of … Continue reading

State of the art in AI battlefield ethics

Can programmers specify a sufficient code of ethics to govern autonomous robots in battle? I believe the reasoning falls down in many places. First, life is much more complex than the proposed codes below permit. “Harm” is an extremely complex concept based not only in physiology but also human dignity, local norms, and learned patterns … Continue reading


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