Is There a There in Cyberspace? By John Perry Barlow guidepost discussion questions thinking critically writing topics I am often asked how I went from pushing cows around a remote Wyoming ranch to my present occupation which Wall Street Journal recently described as "cyberspace cadet". I haven't got a short answer, but I suppose I came to the virtual world looking for community. Unlike most modern Americans, I grew up in an actual place, an entirely nonintentional community called Pinedale, Wyoming.
Lewis By Bradley Peniston Tweet By Brett Williams Assured access to cyberspace is a key enabler of national security, so the answer to the question in the title is: Two of the defining characteristics of a strong, modern, industrial nation are economic prosperity and a credible defense.
The ability to use cyberspace has become indispensable to achieving both of these objectives. Business and finance executives, as well as senior defense leaders, rely on cyberspace for exactly the same thing—to get information, move information and use information to make better decisions faster than the competition.
Despite the importance of cyberspace, there continue to be senior leaders in both the private and public sectors who find themselves ill-equipped to deal with critical cyberspace issues.
It is not uncommon to find that these leaders are comfortable providing strategic guidance regarding operations, resource allocation and personnel management across all of their areas of responsibility with the exception of cyberspace.
There tends to be a lack of shared understanding between senior personnel who know they need cyberspace to be successful and the technical staffs charged with securing the networks, services and applications that make the organization run. Cyberspace is complex, hard to visualize and — to many people — an esoteric concept that they do not need to comprehend.
The best way to approach cyberspace at the executive level is to understand that cyberspace adds a new dimension to both economic competition and politically driven conflict, but the existence of cyberspace does not require a fundamental change in our strategic approach to either.
Becoming overly focused on the technical dimension, however, creates strategic inversion where the most senior leaders become inappropriately engaged with the tactical and technical details to the detriment of effective decision-making.
Our senior executives and leaders do need to get a lot smarter about cyberspace, but they do not personally need the skills to configure a router or break an encrypted password. This article provides an executive overview of five cyberspace topics that may be useful to stimulate further exploration by those charged with providing and sustaining economic prosperity and national defense.
Cyber should not be used as a verb nor should it be used as a noun that can stand on its own. The term cyber is most useful as part of the compound word cyberspace and cyberspace is simply the man-made domain created when we connect all of the computers, switches, routers, fiber optic cables, wireless devices, satellites and other components that allow us to move large amounts of data at very fast speeds.
As with the physical domains—land, maritime, air, space—we conduct a variety of activities in cyberspace to benefit individuals, commercial entities and governments. The key difference between cyberspace and the physical domains is that cyberspace is man-made and constantly changing.
That characteristic offers both opportunities and risk. Part of the global commons Cyberspace should be classified as a dimension of the global commons. Viewing cyberspace as part of the global commons sets the stage for a number of useful analogies that facilitate the development of policy, domestic and international law, safe operating procedures, individual rights, commercial use, national interests and myriad other issues that we have worked through for the maritime and air domains.
Establishing and enforcing accepted norms for operating on the high seas and in domestic and international airspace is a process that never ends. Technology changes, political interests evolve and competition for resources is continuous. Some of the challenges to creating an accepted governance structure are the ubiquitous nature of cyberspace, the fact that access to cyberspace for good or evil can be cheap and non-attributable and, as opposed to the static nature of water and air, the cyberspace domain itself is in a perpetual state of change.
We do not need to start from scratch with this work. In the maritime and air domains we have defined roles and responsibilities for all of the users and at times they intersect.
Countering piracy is a good example. Individual boat owners and commercial shipping companies require the freedom to operate on the high seas. They are expected to take prudent measures to protect themselves, but at some point the threat exceeded the capability of the private sector and national naval forces stepped in to curb piracy off the African coast.
There are clear analogies to the piracy problem when we define roles and responsibilities in cyberspace for individuals, private entities and states.
Arguably, current concerns over government dominance of cyberspace are overblown. The fact is no single entity can control what goes on in cyberspace and we need both law enforcement agencies and military organizations to have access to cyberspace in order to protect and enable the free, legitimate use of the domain.
The threat The opportunity for cheap, anonymous access to cyberspace creates an inviting environment for a broad spectrum of malicious activity. The threat commonly manifests itself in the form of cybercrime where individuals or specific companies suffer financial loss.
More concerning is the opportunity to create a widespread effect that undermines faith and confidence across financial markets. An example of this occurred in April when a hacked Twitter newsfeed propagated a false report of an explosion at the White House.
Within minutes, the U. While the index recovered rapidly, this incident provided a clear warning of our vulnerability to malicious cyberspace activity given the hyper-connected, information-driven nature of the business environment.
What would happen if instead of a hacked Twitter account, a major business or financial firm found themselves the object of a destructive cyberspace attack that rendered thousands of computers inoperative?
There is a tendency to look at networks, systems, data and operators simply as revenue generators or costs that must be controlled. It is important to understand that there are actors who instead see all of these components as targets. First are the cyber criminals who are just after the money.Hamrick 1 In this essay, “Is There a There in Cyberspace” by, John Perry Barlow, often speaks and writes about computer communication and online communities and real life communities.
In stark contrast, cyberspace has proven to be a place where very few people think they have to be held accountable for their actions. It's a place where racism, sexism and elitism are regularly on display, because users can post anonymously. Amongst individuals on cyberspace, there is believed to be a code of shared rules and ethics mutually beneficial for all to follow, referred to as cyberethics.
Many view the right to privacy as most important to a functional code of cyberethics.
There is not much human diversity in cyberspace, which is populated, as near as I can tell, by white males under 50 with plenty of computer terminal time, great typing skills, high math SATs, strongly held opinions on just about everything, and an excruciating face-to .
Suddenly we are here and there, at a desk in body but in soul or spirit somehow present in cyberspace. And this is new to us, new to the human experience. And this is new to us, new to the human experience. In this essay, “Is There a There in Cyberspace” by, John Perry Barlow, often speaks and writes about computer communication and online communities and real life communities.
He compares the differences of the non-intentional community that he lives in, with a different community that he later found, the online virtual commons for the deadheads.