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- Written by Eman Jueid
- Category: In Other News
This article, written by R. Scott Kemp, appeared on The Bulletin on June 07,2012
In 1945, the United States organized a committee to investigate whether nuclear weapons should become a central military technology, or whether to abjure the weapons and, through self-restraint, avoid a costly and potentially deadly nuclear arms race. Led by Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson and Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority David Lilienthal, the committee produced the eponymous Acheson-Lilienthal Report, which, after it failed to gather reasonable support, marked a turning point in the Cold War and signaled the beginning of the nuclear arms race. Almost 70 years later, we find ourselves at a similar juncture with cyberwarfare. Cyber weapons do not appear to be capable of mass destruction in the way nuclear weapons clearly are, but they hold at risk some of the most precious assets of our time: the information storage and control mechanisms on which modern society has been built. It is not difficult to imagine catastrophic scenarios such as the destruction of a banking sector, the elimination of a stock market, the flooding of a dam, or the poisoning of a water supply -- all initiated by malfunctions induced by malicious software. The United States rushed into the nuclear age eager to cement its technical superiority, causing a decades-long nuclear arms race that threatened global extinction. Before policymakers go too far, they should now take a moment to consider the implications -- both intended and unintended -- of cyberweapons.
READ MORE AT The Bulletin
*Photo Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
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