[ExI] Our Ageing World

Anders anders at aleph.se
Tue Aug 16 21:21:36 UTC 2016

On 2016-08-14 19:33, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
>  Will hackers win the next war?

It might be more relevant to ask whether hackers will win the next 
diplomatic negotiation.

Really interesting response from Snowden about the claimed sale of NSA 
malware by a third party group:
The most relevant part here is his speculation about motivation:
> /Why did they do it? No one knows, but I suspect this is more 
> diplomacy than intelligence, related to the escalation around the DNC 
> hack. Circumstantial evidence and conventional wisdom indicates 
> Russian responsibility. Here's why that is significant: This leak is 
> likely a warning that someone can prove US responsibility for any 
> attacks that originated from this malware server. That could have 
> significant foreign policy consequences. Particularly if any of those 
> operations targeted US allies. Particularly if any of those operations 
> targeted elections. Accordingly, this may be an effort to influence 
> the calculus of decision-makers wondering how sharply to respond to 
> the DNC hacks./

Now in the light of the otherwise fairly laid back Bruce Schneier 
reacting very strongly to the DNC hack implications ( 
https://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram/archives/2016/0815.html#1 ) it is 
not implausible that the claimed sale is a defensive move.

It is enticing to focus on deadly drones, things blowing up, and 
breaking infrastructure. But a lot is just stratagems to mess with the 
other side. Of course, it is not inconceivable that this whole story is 
just a bunch of random things with little plan in the first place - 
subtle plans are vulnerable to unrelated events.

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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