Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Computing ethics

War 2.0: Cyberweapons and Ethics

bomb casting a question mark shadow, illustration

Credit: Gary Neill

Considering the basic ethical questions that must be resolved in the new realm of cyberwarfare.

The full text of this article is premium content


Yaw Agyepong

These questions only seem to apply to wars between nations. But what about guerrilla/asymmetrical warfare? What about attacks from the cyberequivalent of the Taliban?

R. Marquart

There are so many errors of concept and anaysis in this article, it's hard to know where to start. So, just one;

The authors refer to the "just war", and that's fine. But they then seem to equate that to a "fair war", arguing in favor or "proportionality". That idea is inherently ludicrous.

Any military commander worth his rank knows that wars are best settled quickly, with the response to an attack being overwhelming, thereby accomplishing two goals: Ending that war, and deterring the next.

In brief: The just war -- a war of response to threat or attack -- is best dealt with by a totally unproportional response.

It is particularly concerning that one of the authors is a professor at a military school. I suggest he be relieved of his post ASAP, so as to not corrupt other potential military leaders who will have to deal with actual combat -- not just luxuriate in academia. I'll bet money he has never seen combat, let alone sent others into harm's way.

Gary Marquart

Displaying all 2 comments

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.