30 July 2016

POTUS 45: The Future of Information Warfare...

The spectrum of asymmetric warfare being waged across the globe has been accelerating for over a decade.  The physical realm, has now migrated to an environment of "zeros and ones" traveling at the speed of light.  Operational Risk Management (ORM) remains a significant factor for Senior Leadership in government and the private sector.

Information collection, deception, attribution and mutual response is consuming our airwaves and IP addresses, like a digital Tsunami.  Wikileaks vs. Edward Snowden, is a battle for digital privacy branding and a communications platform for the evidence of the truth.

The average world citizen is now reading content and consuming video by the petabyte, to satisfy their particular knowledge appetite.  The personal or nation state requirements of the continuous search for the truth, or perseverating on a single target to achieve a mission, is now the state of play.

As the United States pursues the election of its 45th President, the digital trust of our electoral systems and historical decision process are currently at stake.  Data provenance is at the center of legal and national security policy discussions.  "Trust Decisions" are ever more in our minds and simultaneously at the center of our democratic way of life.
Gawker publishing opposition research.  APT29 malware?  Guccifer2 account by a lone individual? Any similar attributes between the U.S. DNC malware servers and the German Bundestag malware servers?
The speed and sophistication of nation state plots or non-state actors, will continue to feed the novels for people such as John le Carre and yet to be written movie screenplays.  Yet what is now over the horizon for humanity and our future, lies in the innovation and current capability of Artificial Intelligence (AI):
Rob McHenry: Public-funded research has always pushed the state-of-the-art in advanced autonomy, which then drives commercial AI. I think many people would be surprised by the advanced capabilities that autonomous systems for defense are already demonstrating – capabilities that many might guess wouldn’t be achievable for many years.

For example, DARPA and the Navy are testing at sea today an autonomous ship that is designed to go “toe-to-toe” against a human adversary in the wild during complex unconstrained military operations. The ACTUV (Anti-submarine warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) program has delivered an unmanned ship that can not only comply with the complex Rules of the Road in the open ocean, but simultaneously track and harass a manned submarine, keeping a step ahead of a highly trained human submarine captain. This is an example of AI that can understand humans, in both competitive and supportive roles.
As the U.S. Navy and others pursue the asymmetric battlefield across the oceans, we can only hope the human factor remains the man-in-the-middle.  Artificial Intelligence may very well be good at searching, collecting and manipulating data, yet it is still the human behind the intent.

In essence, humans remain the architects of the design, coding and the implementation of the programs, weapons and capabilities.  Where is the trail of evidence leading and where is the response?

Achieving digital trust and the future integrity of our global "TrustDecisions" will remain a tremendous challenge for our governments and the private sectors,  that establish our critical infrastructure.

You can be certain that the response will be calculated and the attribution will be thorough, even as new classified information is involved in the analysis.

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