CIMUN Chronicle / Article / 2016

OPINION: The Hypocritical Tale of Cybersecurity: United States


IPD Article Image - OPINION: The Hypocritical Tale of Cybersecurity: United States

Quinn Riordan, Der Spiegel


The Internet is changing the geopolitical world. Countries such as China, Russia, and the United States (U.S.) are utilizing cyber-offensives, misinformation, cyber spies, and hacking to gain power and influence over rivals. Therefore, there is greater concern over the rise of cyberwarfare and the protection of cybersecurity. 

In the United States cabinet, delegates are discussing the effort to maintain and strengthen their leadership in the cybersphere. Yet, as they discuss the implementation of further protections over their own cybersecurity, little attention is paid to the attacks that come from their own nation.  According to the New York Times, in 2019 when trying to prevent Iranian retaliation on shipping traffic; the U.S. launched a covert cyber-operation that damaged Irani computers as well as their ability to monitor shipping traffic. This is just one of the cyberattacks the U.S. has issued on foreign powers.

However, the narrative in the United States and the west is that they have been defenders of the free internet and cyber protection while nations such as China and Russia are held as the sole criminals of cyberwarfare. Whether the internet should be a free and open space with light regulation, non militarized, and for universal use around the world or is it used as a weapon to destroy rivals and grow in power and influence, is not clear cut in the U.S.. 

As the U.S. and nations in the west continuously parade their democratic ideals and power over the world, they need to understand that their actions have consequences both in their nations and around the world. The influence they have so long held up is putting them on the world stage. If the protection of cybersecurity and the freedom and safety for all people was valued the U.S. would own up to their cybercrimes and work to end cyberwarfare and protect all citizens.