Requirement for discussion board:
Response and respond to at least one other post, offering one or two paragraphs of additional insight and details. This could be additional support for their point of view, or it could be arguing a counterpoint.
Discussion Board of other student is below:
# – Is a cyberattack ever morally justified in response to an enemy conventional attack?
For the discussion topic on ethical considerations for cyber operations, I chose to answer questions 1 and 5. According to Dipert (2010), cyber warfare and conventional warfare share commonality based on the uncertainty of the outcome of an attack, as well as any side effects that may occur as a result (p 385). He also believes that the evidence you have to justify an attack should be weighed against the moral conditions for going to war in the first place (p 400). Therefore, I believe a cyber-attack is morally justified in response to a conventional attack, especially if the war outcome is devasting and the cyber-attack is used prevent further destruction from happening. My reason is based on Dipert’s (2010) description of cyber tactics in warfare using an electromagnetic force to disrupt a target’s radio communications, machinery, and infrastructure (p 397). In conventional warfare the attacker is probably already known, and the evidence needed to justify deploying a cyber-attack is likely valid. My decision to deploy a cyber-attack would be based on what might happen as a result of not stopping the attack.
# – Once a war (cyber- or conventional) has begun what kinds of cyberattacks are morally justified?
Dipert (2010) says that we should think about proportionality and likelihood of success when considering to what extent a cyber-attack is morally justified once a war has begun (p 392). Based on this theory, proportionality means that however you decide to respond to a conflict, your response should be less harsh than what was inflicted on you (Pope, p 29). Therefore, under the proportionality criteria the saying ‘eye for an eye’ may not be justified in response to war because it would suggest that I am trying to enforce equal treatment on target solely in retaliation. I understand why proportionality should be considered in this case because, if not, it could lead to unnecessary casualties and economies being without resources, like food, housing, and utilities for a long period of time. However, once the war has begun, the kinds of cyber-attacks that could be deployed morally would really depends on the severity or likelihood that the situation will only get worse if nothing is done to stop it. For instance, I think dismantling electronic devices to prevent communication and machinery to keep it from functioning as it normally would, would be a morally justified cyber-attack. I would consider taking down any resources that keep an enemy in power. While I would also be concerned with noncombatant immunity and ensuring that innocent people do not endure inhumane conditions (Pope, 15), I would likely be less concerned with noncombatant immunity of a target if no other options existed for a cyber-attack to be morally justified.
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