Ambiguity in cyberspace and the legality of hacking and manipulating sovereign nations; does it benefit the attacker, or the victim? We've all but survived the potential catastrophe of the 2016 election, and the Russian interference within it, but what does that mean for the future of cyber and psychological warfare throughout the world?
A recent report by the Washington Post claims that the IC is investigating the possibility of Russian influence in American politics through cyber attacks, propaganda, and disinformation. While this makes for a fantastic headline, it doesn't really tell us anything.
However, the existence of the investigation does give us an interesting thought experiment. US interests are routinely being barraged by cyber attacks, like the Sony hack by North Korea in 2014, that are nominally ignored by the US government apparatus and IC alike. However, there are two key differences between an attack at the electoral system: First, it is an attack that undermines our ability to practice democracy; and second, it undermines our ability to project military, political, and technological power throughout the rest of the world.