The Code of the Cyberwarrior?
The emergence of cyberwarfare poses a number of challenges to moral appraisals of war. As well as being governed by principles of jus in bello, warriors tend to see themselves as being bound by a “code of honor.” However, as war shifts into the cyberdimension, it is important to ask whether practitioners of cyberwarfare should see the same warrior codes as governing their conduct. Unlike soldiers, these government-employed hackers face no personal risk. Should they be divided into regiments and seen as military personnel, or are they more akin to intelligence agents? The chapter argues that the cyberwarrior must see himself as governed by a different moral code than the soldier, because he faces no personal risk in plying his trade. The cyberwarrior is more akin to a spy than a soldier, and thus the “cyberwarrior code” should emphasize values such as discretion, creativity, and temperance over courage, loyalty, and fraternity.
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