Humans in Cyberoperations, Espionage, and Conflict
Kinetic warfare involves tanks, bullets, and other hardware, but everyone recognizes that understandings of it must involve warfighters from general staff to boots on the ground. In contrast, most discussions of cyberwarfare—its strategy, impacts, ethics—focus on the machines, systems, and data, while largely ignoring the human element. This chapter explores a range of conceptual and ethical issues that arise when we focus on the cognitive constraints, biases, and heuristics of human agents in four different roles: developers of a cyberaction; target of that cyberaction; defender against some cyberaction; and third-party observers, whether neutral nations, or even the public within a nation engaged in cyberactions. Cyberwarfare is conducted with machines, but humans are the developers, targets, and defenders of cyberactions. Thus, a full understanding of the ethical dimensions of cyberwarfare must incorporate the human actors with all of their cognitive, conceptual, and cultural biases, tendencies, and foibles.
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