Cyber pork? Cybersecurity and the dangers of threat inflation
Two George Mason University researchers are calling the bluff of the nation's military-intelligence-industrial-complex and essentially saying in their latest research paper: show us the evidence.
Jerry Brito and Tate Watkins, at the Mercatus Center at GMU, wrote a research paper titled: Loving the Cyber Bomb? The dangers of threat inflation in cybersecurity policy.
In the paper, they draw an analogy of the current political and national rhetoric on cybersecurity policy with the run-up to the Iraq War, and how the military, the press and public officials didn't paint the whole picture for the public.
Is this research paper a wake-up call for those of us citizens, taxpayers and journalists who are really wondering how much basis there is to the cybersecurity fear? I have written several articles on cybersecurity and how it's ramp-up is benefiting Maryland -- and I know that Brito and Watkins' paper is giving me pause.
But Brito and Watkins make a great point -- how much evidence is there really out there to support the rhetoric, to justify what we hear from our state leaders, such as Gov. Martin O'Malley ("Cyber Maryland" promoter ) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who's also been a huge booster of the cybersecurity industry in the state.
Is "Cyber Maryland" really about "Cyber Pork"?
Part of the issue, many agree, is that the federal government has an "over-classification" problem, meaning too much information is shielded from public view. That has to change if Americans wish to decide on the cyber threat for themselves, the researchers argue.
Take a read through Brito and Watkins' paper. Is there evidence out there in the ether that they missed?
What do you think ? Is the cybersecurity threat overblown? Is this an example, as Brito and Watkins say, of "Cyber Pork," and Maryland is just a beneficiary of it, to the expense of U.S. taxpayers as a whole?
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