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Authors

Ronald Deibert

Abstract

Cyberspace – the global environment of digital communications – surrounds and embodies us entirely, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are always on, always connected: emailing, texting, searching, networking, and sharing are all now as commonplace as eating, breathing, and sleeping. But there is a dark side to cyberspace - hidden contests and malicious threats - that is growing like a disease from the inside-out. This disease has many symptoms, and is being reinforced by a multiplicity of disparate but mutually reinforcing causes. Some of these driving forces are unintended byproducts of the new digital universe into which we have thrust ourselves with blind acceptance; others are more sinister and represent deliberate manipulations of the new opportunities for exploitation that have been created. As ominous as the dark side of cyberspace may be, our collective reactions to it are just as ominous – and can easily become the darkest driving force of them all should we over-react. In order to protect and preserve cyberspace as a secure and open communications environment – dealing simultaneously with the dark side while also benefiting from its positive effects – a return to some timeless principles may provide the best solution.

 

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