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An Anticipatory Ethical Analysis of Offensive Cyberspace Operations
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7552-9465
Towson University; Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, University of Baltimore.
2020 (English)In: 15th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security / [ed] Prof. Brian K. Payne and Prof. Hongyi Wu, 2020, p. 512-520Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This article presents the ethical issues using offensive cyberspace operations. Previously enshrouded in secrecy, and now becoming the new norm, countries are using them to achieve their strategic interests. Russia has conducted offensive operations targeting Estonia, Georgia and the Ukraine; Hamas was targeting Israeli targets; and Iran has been targeting U.S. targets. The response has varied; Estonia and Georgia struggled with the attacks and were unable to respond while Ukraine tried to respond but it was inefficient. Israel’s response on Hamas offensive operations was an air strike on a building with Hamas Cyber-operatives. Iran shot down a U.S. Drone over the Strait of Hormuz, and the U.S. initially intended to respond with kinetic capabilities in the form of missile strikes. However, in the last minute, the U.S. chose to respond with offensive cyberspace operations targeting the Iranian missile systems. This last-minute change of response choosing between kinetic or cyber capabilities shows a need to further investigate how offensive cyberspace operations can be used against which targets from an ethical perspective. This article applies anticipatory ethical analysis on U.S. offensive operations in the “Global Hawk”-case when Iran shot down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz. Anticipatory ethical analysis looks at emerging technologies and their potential consequences. Offensive cyberspace operations present a range of possibilities, which include lowering the risk of harm to cyber operatives’ lives belonging to the responding nation. However, a response can also be kinetic. Therefore, the analysis of the “Global Hawk”-case is compared with the Israeli-air strike of the building of Hamas Cyber-operatives. The authors argue that applying anticipatory ethical analysis on offensive operations and kinetic operations assist decision makers in choosing response actions to re-establish deterrence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. p. 512-520
Keywords [en]
Offensive Cyberspace Operations, Anticipatory Ethics, Deterrence, Response, Kinetic
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Information Systems Information Systems, Social aspects Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-9100DOI: 10.34190/ICCWS.20.054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-9100DiVA, id: diva2:1415417
Conference
International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security
Available from: 2020-03-18 Created: 2020-03-18 Last updated: 2020-03-18

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