Cyber War Anyone?

Posted
June 18th 2019

With the rather important news story about US Cyber Command sending a message to Russia, one would expect that mentions of cyberwar|"cyber war" would be up.

But they’re not. This is pretty typical these days for things that might actually be important. The NY Times broke the story earlier this week (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/politics/trump-cyber-russia-grid.html), and some have noted Trump’s great displeasure (about the story for sure, if not also Cyber Command’s anti-Russian-election-meddling act), https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-calls-ny-times-report-on-us-cyber-efforts-against-russian-power-grid-treason-2019-06-16.

Even looking at twitter, government think tanks, and blogs/discussions, in addition to news, we just don’t see much moving of the needle. This may change of course as editors decide what kinds of follow-on stories they can provide. Twitter may yet buzz.

Much more interesting is the default geo view of located sources in PeakMetrics:

Our non-English world coverage is somewhat separate from this view (multilingual issues and geo-ranges are always interpretation challenges here). But note that the Eastern seaboard is lit while the West Coast remains blissfully relatively oblivious. This is not uncommon on foreign policy issues. We should compare this against some control, like +analytics +privacy +law.

As suspected, this isn’t an issue of too-few publications being monitored on the West Coast. They simply care more about privacy there. Zooming in, we find it’s really a Northern Virginia+DC versus Seattle+Portland disparity. LA and SF/Silicon Valley cover privacy about 5x as much as cyberwar, but they do cover both.

In some ways, cyberwar remains a concept one doesn’t find in the public ken. Cyber security, on the other hand, and cyber crime, yes, but cyberwar, like total war, asymmetric war, even economic war and guerrilla war contain that word that is reserved for half-page headlines.

Image result for war japan 1941

Nobody seems shy about using the W-word in trade war.