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Re: The underlying structure is foamy
From: Keith Seymour <keseymour () gmail com>
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 11:32:03 -0700

We're all driven by metaphors. They make complex subjects easy to discuss
without getting lost in the details. They also allow you to think
creatively about the subject and gain new insights. I think Dave's metaphor
works well for both of these purposes.

Sure the ships are cheaper, sure they are faster but ours are just as fast
and cheap as theirs so the advantage needs to be that ours are more
effective. Bits have to get there and it's still better that they arrive
without alerting the defender. Bits still have to be stopped and searched
and filtered, better if the attacker doesn't know it's happening.
Controlling the commons is what made the British huge and our copying that
is a lot of what helped us become great - we were able to control what
other nations did in the world.

One similarity to the ocean analogy is there are only certain points that
connect a nation to this commons. If you can control the commons and these
points you can manage what nations are allowed to do there. The difference
is that the Navy can only stop, turn around, capture, or sink a cargo from
a controlled nation. In cyber you could board the vessel and weaken the
springs in the cargo of assault rifles without the owner knowing. This
makes you ever more powerful because your opponent believes their cargo is
arriving intact and their plans are moving forward successfully.

Replacing nuclear deterrent in the modern power structure is interesting
because it's entirely asymmetrical.  First world nations are completely
vulnerable and have no real retaliation. If the attack were as Ben puts it
'removing air conditioning and microwaves' and the only retaliation a first
world nation has is nuclear which would be considered an excessive response
in world view. Iran could reverse the economic embargo on the US by
shutting down email mail services in all of the fortune 500 companies, and
there isn't much the US can do about it legitimately.

This new playing field is very interesting because like never before it
puts companies' in the position of directly defending themselves and
everything that's valuable about them against criminals, terrorists, and
nation states. Governments that don't understand that, or aren't able to
protect their citizens will have a difficult time of it.
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