If you can’t beat them, arrest them and make them join you

Marc Sanchez Jul 11, 2012

That’s the strategy John Arquilla thinks could work when it comes to how the U.S. can protect itself from cyberattacks. Arquilla, who invented the term “cyberwarfare” 20 years ago, is a professor of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

The Guardian spoke with the professor:

Arquilla lambasted lengthy jail terms for hacking, saying it “poisoned” relations between both sides. “It’s very, very troubling.” He disagreed with the attempt to extradite Gary McKinnon, a British system administrator who has been accused by one US prosecutor of the “biggest military hack of all time” using the code name Solo.

Arquilla compares what hackers could do to Bletchley Park, the WWII British codebreaking center. He envisions a team that could, not only, decipher codes and stop hacks but launch go on the offensive as well.

“If we take the war to them we can win the network war.” The Stuxnet worm which attacked Iran’s nuclear programme showed the true potential of what he termed “cybotage.”

Perhaps the poem at the base of the Statute of Liberty could be changed to incorporate Arquilla’s ideas… “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free [I don’t care if they’re pierced and tattooed, as long as they can code]”

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.