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Controlling Computer Network Operations

NCJ Number
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism Volume: 26 Issue: 3 Dated: May-June 2003 Pages: 215-232
Andrew Rathmell
Date Published
May 2003
18 pages
This article profiles the relationship between computer network operations and the security environment.
It is becoming increasingly important for an international regime for the control of Computer Network Operations (CNOs) to be developed in order to control malicious computer-mediated activities. A strategic dilemma exists of how to characterize and approach the control of CNOs, allowing CNOs to be used advantageously in the military while simultaneously protecting the global information environment. Following a discussion of the various threats against CNOs is such as organized crime, electronic vandalism, corporate espionage, and sub-state terrorism, the article discusses the ways in which the United States is leading the way in publishing doctrines on how to protect information operations while maintaining the usefulness of CNOs for military personnel. Europe is following the United States’ lead and NATO is striving to develop Information Operations policies. The events of September 11, 2001, have illustrated both the importance of protecting cyberspace and the need for parallel developments to occur in the military's offense and defense spheres. Following a discussion of the need for well-developed global environment paradigms in this interdependent world, the article details the increased role in CNOs played by businesses in the private sector. The proliferation and routinization of military CNOs pose a danger to the information society and suggests, that the adoption of multilateral norms and codes of conduct are essential in developing a secure information environment. 60 Notes