The Pandora’s Box of the Digital Age
In the past year alone, a series of hacks and ransomware attacks by hostile governments and other malign actors have raised alarms about a major threat to global stability. Unfortunately, many governments are responding by developing still more cyber weapons, on the mistaken assumption that offense is the best defense.
STOCKHOLM – Is the world sliding dangerously toward cyber Armageddon? Let us hope not; but let us also apprehend the threat, and focus on what to do about it.
One country after another has begun exploring options for bolstering their offensive capabilities in cyberspace, and many other countries have already done so. This is a dangerous escalation. In fact, few other trends pose a bigger threat to global stability.
Almost all societies have become heavily dependent on the Internet, the world’s most important piece of infrastructure – and also the infrastructure upon which all other infrastructure relies. The so-called Internet of Things is a misnomer; soon enough, it will be the “Internet of Everything.” And our current era is not a Fourth Industrial Revolution; it is the beginning of the digital age, and the end of the industrial age altogether.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one? Log in