A Second Amendment for Cyber? - Possession, Prohibition and Personal Liberty for the Information Age
The term 'cybernetics' was coined by the French physicist Ampère in 1834 to describe civil government, and the expansion of the term into the informational realm still implies issue of control and governance. This paper will move the consideration of 'cyber' away from the technical and towards consideration of the ethical, moral, and political issues it raises, and which must be confronted. The 2013 Tallinn Manual is an initial attempt to draft a 'rules of war' for the era of cyber conflict; debates about cyber in the civil arena are not even at this stage. The paper is inspired by the work of John Robb, one of the main figures considering the rise of 'open source warfare' and asymmetric conflict in the non-martial domain, and by Zeynep Tufecki's Twitter and Tear Gas (2017) which discusses the use of cyber tools and Electronically Mediated Communication in general as aids to civil insurrection. In a world where access to the means of running EMC-aided information operations and Electronic Warfare are effectively universally available, what are the necessary steps (practical and ethical) for maintaining the security of the body politic in the modern world? Rather than seeking to present a detailed account of the necessary legislation required (which would be impossible, given the range of legislative and legal systems in force worldwide), the paper will seek to spark debate about the key concepts which must be addressed at a time when (in theory and increasingly in practice) every user of a networked device has the ability (deliberate or unintentional) to act as a vector of harm. The paper will consider whether the time has come to regulate the possession of networked devices, and, if so, how such a process could be introduced. Grounded in Berlin's concepts of positive and negative liberty, it will present the fundamental concepts under consideration, and make a number of suggestions as to how such a process could be presented to the public, as an example of influence for the general good.
Citation : Scott, K. (2018). "A Second Amendment for Cyber? - Possession, Prohibition and Personal Liberty for the Information Age". Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security (ECCWS2018). Reading: Academic Publishing International.
Peer Reviewed : Yes