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From Cybercrime to Cyberwarfare: The Dimensions of Cybersecurity

New weapon of mass destruction? Photo courtesy of ktvyeow/flickr

Defence IQ has published a very interesting podcast on cybersecurity with Dr Nigel Inkster. He is the Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

The talk clarifies some important dimensions about the spectrum of activities from cybercrime to full blown cyberwarfare. The context of two major cybersecurity events, a cyber-attack in Georgia during the 2008 South Ossetia war and a 2009 attack in the UK on MI5 are considered.

The talk addresses the potential dimensions and impact of cyberwarfare (on military vs. civilian targets) For the most extreme forms of cyberwarfare, Dr Inkster notes, “…none of these attacks are going to be confined to the military domain, all of them are going to have a significant impact on civilian populations.” He further outlines areas of potential vulnerabilities to infrastructure.

The podcast ends with a consideration of the efforts that governments are making to develop defensive and offensive capabilities.

Defense IQ is a cyber security forum that provides military personnel and the defence community throughout the world with information regarding current military and defence issues. It offers focused content such as podcasts and presentations, and hosts webinars, conferences and summits on defense issues.

Please also check out our Special Report on cyberwarfare.

Freestyle Iraq, fo shizzle

Freestyle Iraq from The US Defense Department

Screenshot: Freestyle Iraq from The US Defense Department

Yo yo yo wazzup y’all.

I’m late to the party with this ish…but I just wanna pull your coat about this sick video podcast I found while chillin like a villain. It’s da deelio on what’s going down when Uncle Sam’s throwin’ down.

YaknowwhatI’msayin? This tight joint is from the US DoD fo all y’all.

Oh, excuse me. I was just feeling Freestyle Iraq.

From the Pentagon Channel site: “Freestyle Iraq is a lifestyle news magazine set smack dab in the middle of a combat zone…yep, IRAQ! ”

Yep. It’s a hip and happening look at how US troops cut loose when they’re not dodging

Blazin (a cigar) on Freestyle Iraq

Blazin (a cigar) on Freestyle Iraq

bullets from insurgents. Freestyle Iraq full of MTV-style jump cuts, pans, and an on-cam crew trying their best to get their hip-hop swagger on.

And hark, I think I heard a little Public Enemy in the soundtrack of one of the episodes.

Does Chuck D know about this?

Some of the dialogue is cringe worthy (The host said “Bring your A-game” in reference to being on top of your game on the basketball court. The last time I said “Bring your A-game” to anyone I was…wait…I’ve never said that to anyone.)

All kidding aside, Freestyle Iraq does two things: It attempts to show the human side of US troops, which, right or wrong, is important for fashioning wartime imagery; and it presents the military in an attractive manner to prospective recruits (who shouldn’t be too hard to find).

And the fact that it’s available on the official Pentagon channel is something to note.

Perhaps the folks in uniform are ready to get buck?

iWar: Apple’s Military Market

US Marines recharge their army-issue iPods / Photo: Randy,flickr

This week, the biggest names in the mobile phone industry declared war on Apple Inc by forming an alliance to combat the iPhone’s dominance over the apps market. And on Tuesday Microsoft launched a counterattack on the handset with its new Windows Phone 7. The battle waged by rival companies against Apple’s growing monopoly in the world of consumer electronics has become a commonplace media fixture, with the metaphor of war a recurring theme in press coverage.

But outside of the public consumer sphere, Apple’s market has extended to the world of actual warfare. The iPod touch is now being issued to US military personnel due to its multitude of battlefield applications and cost-effectiveness. This single device can be programmed to process the multitude of data of modern warfare, including linking soldiers and drones via wireless internet networks, and as a navigation and translation tool. Apps have been created that allow soldiers to receive intelligence on their local area, translate Arabic, Kurdish and several Afghan languages, and make ballistics calculations.
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We Like to Watch

Bradford Peace Podcast / YouTube

Bradford Peace Podcast / YouTube


When the boss isn’t looking and we have a few minutes to spare, we check out the latest international relations video podcasts. Here are some currently on our YouTube playlists:

Any more suggestions?

Bruce Riedel on the US Af-Pak Strategy

CIPS PodcastsBruce Riedel chaired the task force who reviewed the US strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan last winter.

The Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), an ISN partner, has published a podcast of his talk at the Ottawa Roundtable on Security and Intelligence.

After a long career at the CIA and advising three US presidents to the US presidency, Riedel is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

In his talk, he presents the key conclusions of the Af-Pak strategic review released in March 2009. By the way, here is the US white paper summarizing the recommendations which came out of the review.

Riedel also outlines developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the last six months and looks at the direction US policy is likely to, or should, take.

Further ISN resources on the topic:

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